A misleading concept prevalent about women is the focus of a new book from the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s publishing arm.
“There is an idea out there that those who are pro-choice are pro-woman, and the rest of us do not care about women,” said Trillia Newbell, editor of Women on Life: A Call to Love the Unborn, Unloved and Neglected.
“This, to me, couldn’t be further from the truth.”
The book features 16 female writers addressing a variety of life situations from a biblical, pro-life perspective. The topics include not only protecting unborn children and vulnerable women from abortion but helping pregnant teenagers, living as a single mother, and caring for widows, the elderly and those with special needs.
“I wanted to get women who I knew were indeed pro-women and pro-life” to write about difficult issues in today’s culture, Newbell told Baptist Press in an email interview. “These women who contributed to Women on Life love women and want to see the unborn, toddlers, the mother to the grandmother prosper in the Lord. I knew they would share covered in grace and truth.”
Published by the ERLC’s Leland House Press in print and e-book formats, Women on Life was released in mid-January for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on Jan. 17 and the first Evangelicals for Life conference, Jan. 21-22 in Washington. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and Focus on the Family were the primary cosponsors of the conference.
Among the contributors to Women on Life are Betsy Childs Howard, an editor with The Gospel Coalition; Jackie Hill-Perry, poet and artist with Humble Beast Records; and Kelly Rosati, vice president of community outreach for Focus on the Family.
“Holistically Pro-life,” a chapter by Newbell, serves as a big-picture perspective the other contributors apply to specific issues.
Newbell, the ERLC’s director of community outreach, writes that God calls Christians not only to love their spiritual brothers and sisters but to love all human beings, including their enemies.
“This means we love the 90-year-old woman in our congregation, the rambunctious and joyful child with autism, and the hostile non-Christian neighbor struggling with depression,” she notes. “All life matters because all life matters to God.
“Like Christ, we die to our own needs, our preferences and, in times of others’ needs, our very own bodies and goods to show love and compassion to others,” Newbell writes.
It is impossible to be “truly be pro-life without a great love for others. Our lack of compassion for the defenseless and hurting, ignoring the widow and orphan, and forgetting the elderly can be equated to selfishness and self-absorption, which is not love.”
To be pro-life holistically, Newbell said, is to take action, see others as God’s image bearers and apply the gospel of Jesus.
“[B]eing pro-life in all of life requires some sort of action,” she said. “I also believe that it’s essential to remember that all people are image bearers of God and therefore valuable and have worth. Finally, I believe that the gospel theme throughout the book is central and extremely important to grasp and understand in order to effectively love our neighbor and pursue pro-life ministry motivated by grace.”
Among the other topics addressed in the book are living a pure life, receiving forgiveness for sexual sin, teaching children about sex, assisting women with high-risk pregnancies and dealing with the challenges of adoption.
The book is available in print at ERLC.com and Amazon. The e-book version is available at ERLC.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the iBookstore from Apple. The book is part of ERLC’s Leland House Press mission to publish books and pamphlets to inform and equip the church regarding ethics and religious freedom.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Tom Strode is the Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)