Quoting Quiverfull: Upside Down World – LAF Now Claiming Unwed Pregnancies Not Sinful?

Quoting Quiverfull: Upside Down World – LAF Now Claiming Unwed Pregnancies Not Sinful? September 1, 2015

quotingquiverfullby Chad Ashby as quoted by Ladies Against Feminism – Brothers and Sisters, Unwed Pregnancy is Not a Sin

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.

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully.

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Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon

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  • Saraquill

    I mostly know of PRCs from an episode of Law and Order, coupled with some anecdotes I’ve heard online. Those have been enough to recommend against those places.

  • Brennan

    Libby Anne did a detailed take down of this article a few weeks back. The gist of Ashby’s argument is that churches should do more to make people publicly confess to everyday sins and also should be less tolerant of any kind of sexual activity among youth, presumably so that young pregnant women will feel like everyone is being judged equally. It’s not at all clear how added shaming is supposed to translate into an environment of *less* shame, and Ashby apparently didn’t feel the need to elaborate. As for “pregnancy resource centers,” in my area they go by the name of “crisis pregnancy centers.” The basic tactic is to smile, show them a fetal heartbeat, and maybe buy them a crib, all in the name of making women feel like crap for not wanting their pregnancies. If that fails, they escalate to Step 2: lie about how far along the pregnancy is, lie about the health effects of abortion, lie about the psychological effects of abortion, and print out some pictures from the fetal ultrasound for them to put on the fridge.

  • paganheart

    A girl who lived in my dorm in college got snookered into going to a local “Crisis Pregnancy Center” when she thought she might be pregnant. The place used “free pregnancy tests” to lure in unsuspecting women and girls. Once there, they handed you the same basic pregnancy test you could buy at any drugstore. While you waited for the results, the staff would give you brochures to read about the evils of abortion (including some pretty graphic photographs.) In the waiting area they had lifelike models purporting to show “what your baby looks like now,” which were obviously inaccurate since they showed a six-week-old embryo looking like a fully formed miniature baby! Off in one corner they had a box of donated items for “mothers in need,” which consisted mostly of dirty, worn out stuffed animals, toys and clothes. She ended up leaving before she got the results of the test; she said the place left her shaken and creeped out, and she warned the rest of us to stay away. (She wound up getting a real pregnancy test at the student health center and found out she wasn’t pregnant after all.)

  • Julia Childress

    Note that the article specifically says that the pregnancy is not a sin and that she will find love, understanding and joy at the PRC. You can bet the farm that the act that led to the pregnancy is very much considered a sin. The anti-choice marketing m.o. is not to do or say anything that will make the pregnant client walk back out the door and go to the abortion clinic. They will still consider the mother to be chewed gum, a used bicycle, or whatever is the metaphor of the moment but she may never know that.

  • Catherine

    Not to mention using deceptive tactics to try to convince her to give up her baby in an ‘open’ adoption to a ‘good’ (Christian) family, only to reveal after she’s signed the kid away that “nope, it was actually a closed adoption and you really should just move on since you would have been a horrible mothe anyway”.

  • amoetodi

    Side question: What season is that?

  • Saraquill

    I don’t remember. All I know is that I saw it a couple of times during USA channel’s many SVU marathons.

  • BondGurl7

    Hm. I volunteered for awhile at a Crisis Pregnancy Center as a counselor. Did we offer free pregnancy tests? Yes. But it wasn’t a way to lure anyone in. We were very honest and upfront with who we were from the beginning. Regarding the quality of the pregnancy tests, they were the same as what are given in physicians’ offices, and we always advised clients to have a second test done in a physician’s office, regardless of our test’s outcome. We also offered free ultrasounds to our clients, which was a great way to put them in touch with an OB, as many of them didn’t know where to start.
    Many young women are not entirely sure they want an abortion, and they do want to know their other options. Some are honestly terrified at the thought of going to an abortion clinic, regardless of the reason. What we did, was provide a safe, comfortable place for these girls, women, and sometimes their parents/grandparents and husbands, where they could express their feelings, hear about their other options, and obtain information on other services, from insurance, to lactation consultants, to Obstetricians, and food banks. And yes, I did give them information regarding the risks of abortion, because there are risks, as with any medical procedure. Most chose to keep their babies, a few chose adoption, and some chose abortion. But no matter what they chose, our focus was on the emotional support for them, and we never turned anyone away, even after they had abortions.
    As for the donations we received, we only accepted clean, in tact clothing, toys, and baby items. We had some elderly ladies who hand-knit booties and blankets that we gave to the girls who decided to mother. Honestly, the items we had were far superior to what I have seen in some second-hand stores, and our items were free to these young women.
    I’m not trying to get into anything with anyone, and I am truly sorry for your friend’s experience, however that, nor the portrayal on LO:SVU should be the basis for which to judge all Crisis Pregnancy Centers.

  • Pat

    I know a young woman who went to a pregnancy resource center at the first of the year. She needed an ultrasound to prove she was pregnant so she could sign up for Medicaid. She said the first thing they did was have her read out loud a Bible verse and something about sex outside of marriage being a sin. A little late to close that barn door! Plus, how is a woman who was raped going to feel after that?

    They promised her baby supplies if her and her boyfriend attended weekly classes, which were mainly Bible study, not classes about parenting. I don’t know if they attended any because they didn’t have a car and were working shift work at fast food restaurants.

  • paganheart

    My friend’s experience actually happened about 25 years ago, so it is certainly possible that things have improved, at least at some crisis pregnancy centers. It sounds like the one you were affiliated with was doing a better job. Based on accounts I have read here and elsewhere (see Pat’s post on this thread), a lot of CPCs still have issues. Some are so focused on preventing abortion at any cost that they use high-pressure tactics that would embarrass a used-car salesman. Others may offer assistance, but only after a heaping dose of preaching and proselytizing. Women and girls (and their partners, husbands or families) faced with an unplanned pregnancy do not need to be preached at. They need to be listened to with empathy and compassion, not shame and judgement.