Editor’s note: While I agree with Ashby that there should not be blaming, shaming or condemnation when someone turns up pregnant out of wedlock it’s not been my experience that places like PRCs or even the pages of LAF are very safe places. This is exactly the kind of ridiculous hypocrisy that the world looks down upon in the churches, saying one thing, doing exactly the opposite. Even the places that treat unwed expectant mothers well tend to turn and blame them the moment the baby is born and the mother attempts to sign up for any social network benefits. You cannot have it both ways, say you support unwed mothers, yet try to shame them later as a drain on society.
If you’ve experienced an unwed pregnancy in your church, your family, or your circle of acquaintances—who hasn’t?—you know the typical reaction. It’s a mixture of disappointment, condemnation, and pity. But there are places across the country where this is not the response to the girl who shamefully mumbles, “I think I’m pregnant.” They are called pregnancy resource centers (PRCs). The women and men who serve in these safe-havens have comprehended something our churches haven’t yet: unwed pregnancy is not a sin.
When a young woman walks into a local PRC, and she makes the painful admission that she’s pregnant by her boyfriend, and she’s afraid what her family will say, and she’s pretty sure her dad is going to kick her out of the house, and she’s worried her college dreams are shot, the response she finds from her counselor is surprising. It’s Christian love, understanding, and joy. Perhaps for the first time since she [found out she was pregnant], she’s found someone who actually celebrates her pregnancy as a gift from God and does not judge her for carrying a tiny baby inside.