I remember the first time I met Roland Warren, President and CEO over Care Net, one of the nations largest networks of pregnancy centers. While attending Care Net’s annual conference I saw him in the hallway and eagerly approached him. To my delight he was engaged, caring and humble. His passion for healthy families, devotion to his Christian faith and zeal for life were evident.
Recently I had my second interaction with him over the phone for this interview. Before our call I was at an inner city health fair working a booth for my pregnancy center. At the fair I met a pregnant young woman who told me she was going to get an abortion or choose adoption. I listened to her story and let her know I’d connect her with an adoption agency. When I told Warren about that conversation I sensed his genuine concern for this woman. When I shared that the woman didn’t care about her boyfriend’s desire keep the baby he challenged me to consider if that was true in light of the fact that she wasn’t obligated to tell him she was pregnant but did so for some reason.
Warren empathized with this couple because he knows what it’s like to be in their shoes. While students at Princeton University, Roland Warren and his girlfriend Yvette had an unplanned pregnancy. Even though they were offered an abortion, the two decided to parent their child and get married. Yvette finished college, became a doctor and their choice for life impacted the course of their lives.
Warren is now what he calls “pro-abundant life.” He works to see babies saved and in the last 7 years Care Net centers have recorded 462,089 preborn lives saved from abortion. He believes that saving lives is just the beginning of what it means to be pro-life. His desire to be “pro-abundant life” is rooted in a scripture from the Bible (John 10:10) in which Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Warren’s commitment to being pro-abundant life has 4 main principles. The first principle is living by what Christians refer to as the gospel or good news. Care Net is faith-based Christian organization. He encourages efforts to help fathers and mothers making pregnancy decisions hear the good news of Jesus’s love. Care Net centers don’t impose their beliefs on those seeking services, but they offer a source of hope in a time of need for those who desire. It’s amazing how many women express gratitude for being in an environment where they can receive prayer and encouragement in their faith.
The second principle of being pro-abundant life is encouraging marriage whenever it’s reasonable for those facing unplanned pregnancies. In an article for the Huffington Post, Warren shared that nearly 15 million American children live in families earning below the poverty line of $22,050 a year for a family of four. A study by the Brookings Institution showed that if more families were composed of married parents these poverty rates could fall by as much as 20% percent. In reference to marriage he once said:
“Marriage is the best societal “glue” we have to connect fathers to their children – heart to heart – and to the mother of their children for the long haul. Its unique and distinctive purpose is to align the interests of fathers and mothers in the best interest of their children. It is designed to make responsibility “personal” and lasting.”
Encouraging fatherhood is the third principle in being pro-abundant life. Warren knows what it’s like to grow up without a father and he wants fathers to feel welcome at Care Net pregnancy centers. Pregnancy centers provide resources for a limited time to aid women and children but fathers have a longer lasting impact. Warren shared that the legalization of abortion has allowed women to become mothers at conception but men to become fathers at birth. Fathers should be encouraged to fight for the lives and well being of their children.
The last principle of being pro-abundant life is overturning Roe v Wade in our hearts. Warren is committed to working to eliminate the desire for abortion, by reaching out to men and women facing pregnancy decisions with a positive alternative.
It’s an absolute honor to work for a Care Net-affiliated center under the leadership of Roland Warren. He is a kind-hearted, strong leader whose vision for building up strong fathers and pursuing abundant life is helping to transform countless families.