One pastor’s journey from life on the streets to the head of pro-democracy protests
Cynthia Wenz has been an event planner, a wedding coordinator, an accountant, an entrepreneur, and general manager for two of Houston’s largest postproduction facilities. She also had three abortions. She is now president and CEO of The Source for Women, a “holistic reproductive health center” in Houston.
Statistically, doesn’t one abortion often lead to another? If the abortion industry can convince a young girl in her teens to abort, it’s ensured itself some repeat business. I was 15 with an unintended pregnancy. Then I was 19, living life on the wrong side of the tracks. Fast forward, I’m 29 now, and not married. Enter the third procedure. I hate being a statistic.
But then you stopped being a statistic. Two weeks later I go back for the check-up. The doctor looks at me and says, Your uterus is still very enlarged. Your body still thinks it’s pregnant. We probably didn’t get everything. I’m trying to process what she just said: What was left inside of me? By the grace of God my arm went up: Can I see what’s inside of me?
So you went to the hospital for an ultrasound. The technician was scanning and scanning. She gets her supervisor, who says the baby is moving so quickly we cannot get a steady image. The baby? What baby? At that point we discovered a deflated sack to the right, a healthy and intact sac to the left. We discovered I had been carrying twins. What we didn’t get was my son. His name is Roman, for Romans 8:28. God preserved his life and set the course of my journey.
You’re stunned, of course. Then what happens? All that was going through my mind was, you’re pregnant, you’re not pregnant, you were carrying twins, you had an abortion, a twin survived. Complete delirium, and I crashed the car on the way home. My sister’s Infiniti.
But you didn’t crush another life. I knew I could not have a fourth abortion. So I was a single mom for several years. Roman was born two months early, and I did not hold him for a week. I felt worthless, but then I met my wonderful husband. He said you have to get some help; what about that place, The Source for Women? I entered into the facility wanting to volunteer.
What happened? A very wise 24-year-old director said, if you’re to help with postabortive women, you need to go through postabortion recovery. Six weeks into the 10-week program, I broke. I realized I had dismembered children, and there was a second Roman that should’ve been here, and that that was by my hand.
If a woman who has aborted says, I hear about postabortion syndrome, but it hasn’t affected me at all ... I know in my heart she will have a come-to-Jesus moment. It will wake her up in the middle of the night when she recognizes what it was. I would lovingly say to her, Why isn’t it something you can talk about? Let that seed marinate, and see what God does with it.
How did you come to work full time at Source for Women? That was in ’09. My husband was in a commissionable field at the time, and it was a time where he had no commissions. I was the accountant at the church and was offered the job of running Source, but they couldn’t pay me. I went home to my husband and ranted: We have three boys, schools to pay for, so would God really call me to work unpaid as a CEO of a nonprofit? He just let me go on, and as soon as my rant was done he looked at me—he’s such a man of God—and said, that’s exactly when He would call you.
So you leaped and survived. Six months later, once I had come in, settled existing debt, and built a reserve fund, I was thinking YES … and the second largest late-term abortion-providing facility in the country opens 10.4 miles away. How do you fight with a 100-year-old organization that’s seeing hundreds of patients and aborting all the way until the baby’s born? You’ve got this wonderful little clinic, and you’re looking at Goliath.
So what do you do? Snapshot of Jesus and Satan in the desert. Satan knew the truth, but Jesus knew it better. The abortion industry has an ounce of truth in providing services. Women need STI/STD testing and treatment: yes. Underserved women need to be served with cost-effective, reproductive healthcare: yes. There’s the truth, but a portion of it, because I’ll show you the backyard of that preventive care in the front yard. So our job is to do what they do and do it better, with a message of life and Christ.
So you emphasize “preventive care”? We look at the whole picture—mind, body, spirit—and ask, What’s causing you to think abortion is your only option? We want to build relationships: well-woman exams, STD/STI treatment, become the first responder when there’s a problem. Provide facts: One in four sexually active teens will contract an STD.
How does your counseling differ from that of abstinence programs? Our program, called “4 Real,” is abstinence-based and Christ-centered, but if I say “be abstinent” to a 15-year-old girl, is that her language? Teenagers are numb to the word abstinent. Abortion-vulnerable ones often have a family that’s broken apart around them, so we ask: What does a healthy relationship look like? The R in Real. Then we ask: What kind of relationship do you want? They know what they don’t want, because they’ve seen abuse, divorce, decay—but she’s blossoming as a young woman, twirling her hair with her girlfriend, and a guy walks by and says, “Hey.” What little girl doesn’t want to be recognized by the hot teenager?
I have no experience being the hot teenager. But I’ll ask this: How does what you do differ from what most pregnancy resource centers or crisis pregnancy centers are already doing? We were a crisis pregnancy center for 28 years, and I’m grateful for that amazing foundation, but we expanded it into the holistic model—spirit, mind, body—with three advocates: a spiritual mentor, a licensed professional counselor, a nurse practitioner who does well-woman visits.
Adding the medical component especially is expensive. How do you manage that? If you are looking at Coke, you want to be Pepsi. So how do I take market share from the world’s largest abortion provider? We have our holistic care and offer better service. How do I take its revenue stream? We are in the Texas Women’s Health Program, and we are the first Medicaid-providing, holistic reproductive center with life-affirming Christ-centeredness. We take market share, expand in Texas, take it to the nation, go global, welcome Christ’s return, go home.