I once heard a pastor say, “I can’t preach about abortion because I might lose too many members.” In response, another pastor answered, “At the rate of over 3,200 children each day, you probably already are.”

October is Pastor Appreciation Month, a time to honor the leaders who toil for the benefit of our souls. Many pastors are great teachers, community leaders and compassionate counselors, providing guidance and encouragement to their members as they deal with life’s joys and challenges. From marriage and child-rearing to doctrine and social issues, millions of Americans depend on their pastors for support and direction.

But what happens when preachers forsake the very foundation of the work they do? Pastoral ministry is based on the fundamental truth that every human being bears the image of God. Yet today, some pastors have accepted the lie that certain people are not worthy of life because they present an inconvenience to others. How can a true pastor care for some people, while condemning others to death because their conceptions were not planned or welcomed by their parents?

Many pro-abortion ministers purport to care deeply about women’s health and the needs of the poor. The plight of the downtrodden is certainly an important cause in Scripture, but as Martin Luther once said, “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.”

Clergy are cowering to political correctness all over America, and far too often in our urban communities where the abortion rate is at epidemic levels. Consider Rev. William Barber—North Carolina’s NAACP president and this year’s recipient of Planned Parenthood’s “No Matter What” award. Barber leads “Moral Mondays” protests at the state capitol in Raleigh, North Carolina, yet he promotes the work of the nation’s largest abortion provider and labels pro-lifers “extremist.” With nearly half of all black pregnancies ending in abortion, how can he possibly justify his complicity in its practice?

Unfortunately, Barber is not unique. In 1939, Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger launched the Negro Project to reduce the population of those she deemed “unfit” people. Her strategy was simple: engage black ministers and make the project seem like their idea:

“The minister’s work is also important and he should be trained, perhaps by the Federation as to our ideals and the goal that we hope to reach. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

Margaret Sanger may be gone, but her organization continues to work toward her original goals. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., once cautioned, “The Negro cannot win if he is willing to sell the future of his children for his personal and immediate comfort and safety.” This month, let’s celebrate pastors who celebrate life. Join me in building a grassroots coalition of ministry leaders who will pray to reverse the curse of high abortion rates in urban communities and throughout America.