Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Christian pregnancy centers and "sexual integrity"

A message from Ms. Gibson's pregnancy center

LifeNews recently published an article about Kathy Gibson, a woman who faced an unplanned pregnancy as a teenager and went on to lead a pregnancy resource center. The title of the article: She Was a Preacher's Kid. They Told Her: "Your Dad Will be Fired if They Find Out You're Pregnant.
In a culture of secrecy that can, unfortunately, tend to thrive in the Bible Belt, even the nurse at her pregnancy test appointment reminded Gibson of her dire straits.
“The one thing that the nurse told me was, ‘Your dad could be fired if people find out you’re pregnant,’” Gibson said. “I think, still in this generation, the way the church looks at them—or for parents, the way the community will look at them if their daughter gets pregnant—there is still a huge push to abortion.
“If she has an abortion, the church never finds out, and you don’t have to worry about your standing in the community. That’s still huge in our area.”
THANK YOU, Kathy Gibson, for speaking up. This is a huge problem, and it's important for people of faith to work within their own communities to solve it.
While Gibson has watched her client visits skyrocket as she and her board have re-envisioned and adjusted their ministry’s approach—which has encompassed even the details of the look and feel of their waiting room—she and her staff are also seeing a growth in the scope of clients they’re reaching.
Keying in on college students through an ideal location and the addition of STI services, Gibson told the story of one student—a young man who identifies as both gay and an atheist—her center definitely would not have reached prior to the changes over the past three years.
Today, however, he’s part of a mentoring process and Bible study, as he explores both the claims of Christianity and the vision for sexual integrity First Choice holds out for its clients.
And we've come to the point where as a secular person, I have to sigh and shake my head. That "vision for sexual integrity" is exactly the attitude that put so much pressure on Ms. Gibson to abort as a teenager!

Think about what "sexual integrity" means. It's a loaded phrase. It goes way beyond informing a patient that certain sexual behaviors are risky, or teaching your child that the family's religion reserves sexual intercourse for marriage. "Sexual integrity" says that a failure to observe sexual norms is a sign that you lack integrity. No one wants the neighborhood thinking that they lack integrity. Wonder where that Bible Belt culture of secrecy comes from? Here's your answer.

I don't know where that patient will come down on the claims of Christianity, but if Ms. Gibson is hoping to change his sexual orientation, I would advise her not to hold her breath. He's going to remain gay. Which is fine! The world can always use another gay pro-life advocate. Send him over.

I don't want to sound mean. Ms. Gibson doesn't seem like the fire-and-brimstone type. She probably treats her patients with love and respect (would the gay atheist stick around if she didn't?), and that's a credit to her. But when abortion and unplanned pregnancy prevention take a back seat to promotion of the Christian worldview, you're bound to make some counterproductive decisions.

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