Citing the Church's moral complicity in the abortion industry due to a significant number of churchgoing women who have abortions, Care Net President and CEO Roland C. Warren called for the church to address its own abortion problem before tackling it in secular culture.
"We need to overturn Roe V. Wade in our own hearts and in our own churches, in our own pews. This is the log in our eye versus the speck in the culture's eye. If we want to have an impact in the culture, we need to work on our house first because that would give the message. How many sermons have you heard about that? I've never heard one," Warren said at the Evangelicals for Life conference in Washington D.C., Friday.
Care Net, an Evangelical Christian crisis pregnancy center, is America's largest network of pregnancy centers. Warren said the organization conducted surveys that show that nearly four out of every 10 women were attending church at the time they had their first abortions.
"As part of the survey we talked to women in Church and one of the things that we found was that 4 out of 10 women were…going to church more than monthly at the time of their first abortion. In the church," he stressed.
"And there's other research that shows 65 percent of women who have abortions profess to be Catholic or Protestant. Do the math, a million abortions, 65 percent, that's 650,000 abortions by people who check on boxes to say Catholic or Protestant," he continued.
Warren refused to debate about whether the women were devout or cultural Christians but asserted that their abortions reflected a problem which was not being effectively addressed in the church.
"Let's say there's just 200,000, I'm pretty convinced that's a good number. 200,000 Christians having abortions. The average abortion is around $500, do the math, that's $100 million dollars that Christians are funding the abortion industry," he said.
"We're talking about defunding Planned Parenthood we need to defund Planned Parenthood ourselves," he continued.
"We need to change. Imagine what $100 million a year would do for pregnancy centers, adoption care workers? …And we are giving it to people who are providing abortions at the same time we are protesting as a community," he added.
Citing James 1:27 in the Bible, Warren explained that the Church had a very specific call to address the issue of abortion.
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world," he said quoting the scripture.
"When it was written, what was a widow? Primarily a mother without a husband. An orphan was a child without a father and today what we have is cultural-orphans and widows in our churches and our communities but the difference is instead of the husband or father being dead, he's saying to the mother and the child, 'you're dead to me,'" he explained.
"And we've got an ability, a call to bring that man back to life. And the other piece is, when you think about abortion, the reality is, when you think about the kinds of support that these women need, and that these men need is actually the kind of support that the Church is well equipped to do. The kinds of reasons people have abortions are all linked to these types of things. I like to say life decisions need life support. Each and every one of us has an ability and opportunity to be a life ring for someone else," he said.
He further noted that the church has allowed the abortion industry to hijack the conversation on abortion and in order to become more effective in the debate, the church needs to reframe as not just an assault on the sanctity of life but an assault on marriage and family as well.
"When abortion was legalized there was more than one reason to reject it. Not just because it is an assault on the sanctity of life, but also because it is an assault on the sanctity of marriage and family as God designed it. Fathers and mothers united in marriage loving each other and loving their children," he said.
"And when abortion was legalized, two things happened and we only really talk about one. But there's something else that happened that's been profound in our culture. See, we delinked fatherhood and motherhood in the womb. Now we believe women become mothers at conception and men become fathers at birth," Warren said.
"We're gonna have to change what we're doing to have a much more comprehensive view of how we do this work. We need a paradigm shift, we have to stress this link between abortion, marriage and family and articulate the high idea of the sanctity of marriage and family as God designed for folks who desperately need it," he added.