"I did not become pro-life because I got into politics. I got into politics because I was very adamantly pro-life and believed that there needed to be a greater emphasis for people who truly believed that this was a cornerstone issue of civilization,” shared Michael Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, Republican Party presidential candidate in 2008 and 2016, and keynote speaker at Care Net’s 37th annual fall fundraiser – Wonderfully Made.
The vision of Care Net Pregnancy Center and Huckabee could not be more compatible. Before his political career, Huckabee was a Baptist minister, something which he says he stumbled into. “My pastoral ministry was somewhat of a detour from what I thought was my career path. Sometimes in life, our detour is the destination. We just can’t see it at the time.”
“God engineered circumstances that I could not have planned, but it turned out to be what I consider my ultimate graduate school. Learning what life was about and being a pastor gave me the front row seat to human life like nothing else does,” said Huckabee.
That experience prepared him for his foray into politics. “There’s no job in your community where the person can put a name and a face to every single social pathology in that community like your pastor does,” he noted, which was the foundation he needed to remain steadfast in his beliefs.
As to his pro-life stance, Huckabee said, “The more I started looking at this issue, it just did not ring true to my spirit that it was okay to take the life of an unborn child for reasons of convenience or financial hardship.”
Instead of abortion, Huckabee believes that supportive programming like that offered at Care Net can help expectant mothers to make a better choice for themselves and their unborn babies.
He warned, “We shouldn’t criminalize the abortion for the birth mother because most people who made that decision made it out of a deep, deep sense of confusion and chaos and often were talked into the decision to have an abortion and maybe didn’t feel that there was an option.”
“There are really two victims with every abortion. One is the obvious victim of the baby, but the other victim is often the mother. No one told her she is going to experience intense guilt and a deep sense of shame that may not occur for 15 or 20 years after she’s made the decision,” continued Huckabee.
That’s why organizations like Care Net are so important, according to Huckabee. “They give women an opportunity to take an option other than abortion, and they do it in a loving and caring way. They provide real assistance to that mother. There is a real network and a resource there for her so that mother doesn’t feel like she’s all on her own.”
Huckabee recalled that evangelicals were not all that interested or involved in pro-life issues in the early 70s. “It was left up to our Catholic brothers and sisters. Thank God for them. Their consistency and advocacy eventually rubbed off, and more and more evangelicals began to see that this was not just a Catholic issue. This was a fundamental human rights issue that should transcend everybody’s particular doctrine.”
Huckabee said that he hopes his visit to Vero Beach for the Care Net fundraiser will “remind people that we’re not asking everybody to be a three-day a week volunteer at Care Net or to go to medical school and deliver babies. But if you can pray for the people who have been called to that ministry and if you can generously contribute so that they can have ultrasound machines and they can have the facilities, and they can even have the ability to give diapers and formula and baby clothes, you’ll be saving lives. I can’t imagine that there’s any Christian alive who would not want to save a life.”
Care Net is committed to providing compassionate help and practical support for those facing unplanned pregnancies and post-abortion care.
“We offer hope and help to all those who visit through our free services, including pregnancy testing, ultrasound, counseling, family and parenting education, a baby boutique, and Surrendering the Secret, a post-abortive counseling program,” shared Bonnie Martinelli, executive director. “We come together as a group of brothers and sisters to help these women and men make a choice for life. And the Center needs the support of our community to do that.”
“We have much more that we want to do, but our present facilities are at or over capacity,” noted Kriss Morris, board president. “We are looking beyond our present location to find a newer, multipurpose facility. We need a location with 4,500 to 5,500 square feet to provide needed space and operational flexibility. Besides helping to fund daily operations, we hope this event will raise awareness of our need for additional funding toward a newer facility in the near future.”
The Care Net Pregnancy Center of Indian River County is located at 1503 24th Street in Vero Beach. “We help women and men make informed decisions regarding their pregnancy,” said Martinelli, noting the focus is on the importance of a child’s first 1,000 days – from conception through birth to its first two years of development.
“These first 1,000 days are the most critical time in life. We help parents with their new roles as parents. All this is done through the lens of our God,” said Martinelli.
Care Net rejoices that the former governor will talk about his views and support at Care Net’s 37th annual fall fundraiser – Wonderfully Made at the Indian River County Intergenerational Center on November 9.
The evening will begin with an exclusive VIP Meet and Greet session followed by a dessert and coffee program with special presentations from Care Net and Governor Huckabee.
Proceeds from the fundraising event support the Christ-centered ministry’s mission that builds upon the Biblical principles of the sanctity of human life, sexual purity and adoption. For information or to purchase tickets, call 772-569-7939, visit carenetchampions.org/events, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.