Connections: Cindi Boston
Jan. 19, 2014
Changing Lives for Moms and Kids
Cindi Boston is chief executive officer of the Pregnancy Care Center in Springfield, Mo., which opened under her leadership 14 years ago. In that span, Boston, 51, has become a national voice on the pro-life scene, lobbying state and federal lawmakers, and serving on the Heartbeat International board of directors. Pentecostal Evangel News Editor John W. Kennedy recently sat down to talk to Boston, who attends Central Assembly of God in Springfield.
evangel: How has the pro-life movement changed since the early years when Roe v. Wade made abortion legal throughout the nation?
CINDI BOSTON: The baby-focused strategy of the 1980s and the early 1990s wasn’t necessarily effective in changing the hearts and minds of women. The Christian community had to begin prioritizing the extraordinary needs of the expectant mother. As we become more women-focused, we can save the lives of their children. They haven’t claimed their natural maternal instinct when they enter our doors. Pregnancy centers must be about the individual woman — and man — involved in an untimely pregnancy.
evangel: Why must a pro-life view encompass more than wanting to prevent abortion?
BOSTON: We must talk about more than abortion to open the minds of women at risk for termination. If all we’re talking about is abortion, the door is closed.
More than 40 percent of American women have an abortion in their lifetime. With the guilt and despair that accompanies that decision, there is a walking-wounded population that doesn’t want to talk about abortion because they haven’t received recovery services. We must give them the tools to rebuild their lives.
evangel: What are some ways pregnancy care centers help expectant and new mothers?
BOSTON: Preparation before birth is crucial, urging an openness to a change of lifestyle as well the direction of life goals because of the responsibilities faced by these women. During an unplanned pregnancy, many of these women face their chaotic lives for the first time.
Before birth, we begin with healthy pregnancy classes, healthy relationship classes, parenting classes, how to get legal system help, how to work on budgeting.
Support by pregnancy centers also continues after the birth. We can provide a social worker/counselor for clients with transition issues, such as going back to school or gaining adequate employment. Classes are designed to help young parents move forward in a positive and healthy way.
evangel: Regardless of what happens politically, why will pregnancy care centers be needed in the future?
BOSTON: Even if abortion goes away nationally, the issue will revert to the states, and many will keep abortion legal. Pregnancy centers will forever be needed because unplanned and untimely pregnancy will always be with us. Pregnancy centers are an amazing conduit for hurting women and men to connect with the church, and the church can be an amazing safety net of support.
evangel: Why do churches and individual Christians need to be involved in the cause?
BOSTON: Every church and every individual should invest in life issues at some point every year, whether in time, talent or treasure. With 56 million abortions in this country since Roe v. Wade in 1973, we should be asking ourselves what we can do to prevent hurting women from terminating their pregnancies. Since the Pregnancy Care Center opened, we have seen 7,000 high-risk women choose to carry their babies to term after initially wanting termination.
Churches and individuals can get involved in dozens of ways at the national level through groups such as Heartbeat International or at the local level through a center. Every center director is ready to show pastors how they can help affirm life in their community.