In the abortion debate, the perspective of men is rarely taken into account. Most abortion activists are content to tell men that their thoughts on the pregnancy and desires do not matter when it comes to a woman’s “right to choose.” Their role has been mostly relegated to the passive participant whose sole job is to cover part or all of the cost of the abortion.
But that might not always be the case.
Hope Women’s Center of McKinney, Texas is trying to change that through a new program called Men of Hope. Made up of 20 or so volunteers, the men who make up Men of Hope are on call daily to help minister to the young boyfriends and husbands that accompany their girlfriends or wives to Hope Women’s Center. Their backgrounds vary from young fathers who experienced an unplanned pregnancy to men who’ve dealt with drug or alcohol addiction, but they all share the desire to help support the young men who are coming into the clinic.
“Our target is the guy that is leaning towards termination,” Tyler Fisbie said, the man who helped start Men of Hope. Tyler became a father as a junior in high school, and he sees an opportunity to share his experience and the Gospel with men who come through this clinic. “He has influence in that decision, and a lot of times he gets his way if he really pushes.”
When a couple arrives to the clinic, the boyfriend often spends a significant amount of time in the lobby as his girlfriend’s pregnancy is evaluated and she receives some initial counseling. During that time, the center noticed that the boyfriend is often blowing up her phone with text messages asking her about the appointment and why it is taking so long. It’s distracting and can minimize the opportunity that the staff and volunteers have to share the Gospel. To minimize his influence in that moment, especially if he is abortion minded, a mass text goes out to the Men of Hope to see who might be available. They arrive within 15 minutes and they are able to speak with the guys for 30 minutes to an hour, counseling and ministering to the boyfriends who are often tense and nervous.
“We care about them,” Tyler said. “We ask them questions about their background, and just try to establish a relationship initially. And when an opportunity becomes available, we share our testimonies.”
The young men who come in can be Muslims, atheists or Christians. It doesn’t matter. The point is to build a relationship with these young men and to come alongside them as they work through the next steps.
It is a ministry that Tyler wishes was around when he first found out his girlfriend was pregnant. Although his parents were supportive with the couple’s decision to pursue life, there were no resources for the young father.
“My girlfriend and I at the time prayed through it, and we’ve been married for 22 years,” Tyler said.
The abortion industry wants men to believe that they have no voice, no ability to speak into the decision that their girlfriend is making in regard to their child. But that isn’t true. Men of Hope wants to empower men, through guidance and counseling, to support life. Because, as Tyler says, “If you can change the heart of the man, you can change the direction of the family.