Cover Feature: Phaedra T. Anderson on Purpose, Purity, and Preservation of Life
COVER FEATURE INTERVIEW WITH PHAEDRA T. ANDERSON
Phaedra T. Anderson is a native of the urban streets of Philadelphia. She considers herself a social introvert, but closely knit to her family who she loves to create memories with. She is a strong believer in purity and abstinence before marriage. She believes that sex should only be had within the confines of marriage, and that it is important to wait until you know someone well enough to make sure you want to spend the rest of your life with them. She also believes that once you marry, sexual relationship should only be between husband and wife. She stands firm on her pro-life beliefs. She believes that life begins at conception and that no matter what circumstances a child comes into existence in, they still deserve to live.
LITOMag: What sets you apart from others that are in your field and do what you do?
Phaedra Anderson One thing that sets me apart the most is my appearance. I am not the typical face of one that’s out there publicly defending the sanctity of life or that is advocating for the unborn. It is a shock factor to many when they hear that I work at the Pro-life Union of Greater Philadelphia.
Unfortunately, when you think about the faces of those that are Pro-life you mainly associate those faces with older, Catholic Caucasian men or Caucasian women whom have been on the frontlines for decades fighting against abortion.
Now are there others out there like myself? Absolutely. If I had to name one off of the top of my head it would be Ms. Marlene Downing, but we are far in between. But I believe that God has called me to shift that dynamic and to bring awareness about the many truths and the cruelty of abortion to the Black community and to this generation. Another thing that sets me apart is that I see the importance of Post-abortion care and I am not afraid to create platforms that begin to open these much needed discussions. This care is needed mentally, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.
Abortion is not just a simple procedure, as the devil presents it to be or as the industry markets it to be. Many women and men are not prepared for the emotional side effects that often follow an abortion including post abortion trauma. Which includes depression, emotional numbness, increased substance abuse, excessive guilt and excessive shame just to name a few. Many people are suffering in the world and in the church from the pulpit to the pew, due to unresolved issues related to past abortions. And it is GOD'S desire that people are set free, healed and
delivered. So I say “Keep no more secrets with the devil. Let’s talk. Let’s repent and let healing and deliverance begin!”
LITOMag: Do you have any mentors or is there anyone who has inspired you?
Phaedra Anderson When it comes to purity there was one person that inspired me. Almost 20 years ago the church that I once attended taught a series on “Purity.” One of the speakers gave their testimony on how she and her husband did not have their first kiss until their wedding day and how they refrained from having sex until they were married.
To be honest, I was about 25 years old at that time and I had never heard of anyone living like that in that day and age. I knew that it was in the Bible, but I didn’t know anyone that actually lived a chaste life. Hearing her story gave me options. It made me to know that I had an alternative and not only did I have an alternative, but it was one that provided me safety. I didn’t have to continue living a life of fornication.
"I gave the devil back his cards and I made the choice to live a life of chastity." - Phaedra T. Anderson
Phaedra continues: Her story made me to know that I didn’t have to continue playing the devil’s deck and that anytime I could give him back his cards and stop playing his game and it was at that moment that I chose purity. I gave the devil back his cards and I made the choice to live a life of chastity. Throughout the years I have learned that purity is far bigger than the “sex box” that we have put it in, but it’s a lifestyle. It’s a matter of the heart.
The ministry for the unborn was birthed in prayer. The only one that I could say inspired me was Holy Spirit. I never knew that this ministry existed, but when you stay in prayer long enough you begin to pick-up the burdens of the Lord. Last year I had the honor of attending Dr. Alveda King's discussion, on "Preserving the Sanctity of Life" from the Womb to the Tomb into Eternity and it was AMAZING. That was the first time that I had heard a black woman lead the discussion as an anti-abortion campaigner. She is the niece of the Late great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As I sat in the auditorium of a Catholic Church filled with brothers and sisters that I did not share the same skin color, but were all eager to hear and listen to this woman of God as she shared the position of the church in a post Roe vs Wade world, it may me to know that as unpopular as it is, this is exactly where I needed to be. It was exactly where I was called to be for her message was bigger than pro-life. It was advancing the cause of Christ.
"I have learned that purity is far bigger than the “sex box” that we have put it in, but it’s a lifestyle. It’s a matter of the heart." - Phaedra T. Anderson
LITOMag: Looking back at your life do you have any regrets or is there anything you would have done differently?
Phaedra T. Anderson I can honestly say that I wish that I had waited to have sex until I was married. Having morals, values, "respect for life". let alone your own body was not on the teaching agenda for the many girls and women in my community. Neither was having SEX RESPONSIBLY. Those lessons were totally left-out. Unfortunately many grew up using abortion as birth-control, because we were never taught that SEX WAS a RESPONSIBILITY. Nor were we taught how to utilize our power to control the choices and circumstances in our lives.
I can’t change the past, but what I can do is pray that we can DO SOMETHING DIPHERENT and contribute to raising a generation of girls and women that have sex responsibly and that says ”No" to pre-marital sex. “No” to sexual diseases. “No” to teenage pregnancy. “No” to unwanted pregnancies. “No” to abortion as a form of birth-control. “No” to sleeping with another woman's husband. No” to one night stands. “No” to promiscuity! “No” to having sex before marriage! And a hard “YES” to RESPECTING LIFE and KNOWING THEIR WORTH!
LITOMag: You once posted on social media “Purity is an answer to abortion, but NOBODY is putting it on the table, because there's no money in PURITY.” With so much sexual immorality in the music, television, all forms of media, do you feel it’s a hard seed to plant within our youth to abstain and to wait and what have been some of your challenges?
Phaedra T. Anderson Dr. Alveda King once said "The best way to reduce abortions among black women is to dissuade more of them from premarital sex"; So is “Purity” an answer to abortion? Absolutely. Is purity popular? Absolutely not, but is purity possible? Absolutely. But it’s all in your approach to teaching purity. I find that if you teach one the benefits of purity they are more inclined to listen. Why? Because when it comes down to anything all people want to know is “How does this benefit me?”
So if I explain to a young woman in Philadelphia that 1 out of 4 people in Philly have HIV; that there was 18, 301 cases of gonorrhea in Philadelphia and that Philly has the 3rd highest STD rate in the nation….that young woman would be more inclined to listen when I say that one of the benefits of purity is protection from sexually transmitted diseases. We live in the age of technology and social media. So when I talk to women about the hurt that they have felt after they’ve been “ghosted” after having sex with a man that they’ve met in their DM. She’s more inclined to listen and change her course of action when I share with her how purity protects her from that kind of pain and rejection. Teaching the many benefits of purity has allowed me to plant seeds in gardens that were never properly cared for or that were abandoned all
My biggest challenge has been getting people to see that PURITY is BIGGER than just SEX! If we can just get our hearts right, we can cancel this culture of death and begin to rebuild the FAMILY and ECONOMIC STRUCTURE! Because believe it or not, PURITY protects us from poverty too.
LITOMag: Tell us about your work with maternity homes and why they are so important.
Phaedra T. Anderson I have the honor of serving at Guiding Star Ministries (GSM). Which is a maternity home for women and children. Many women choose to have an abortion due to homelessness. Which is a decision that no mother should ever have to make. Here at Guiding Star Ministries we house pregnant, homeless women that choose life. Our maternity home provides a friendly environment for single, pregnant women and their children. With an atmosphere of love and support provided by our staff these mothers have the ability to thrive in our home and beyond.
One resident shared with me that she named her baby “Chance” because her mom took her to get an abortion, but she changed her mind. Once she changed her mind, her mom put her out on the streets and she became pregnant and homeless, but it was that same change of mind that led her to GSM. Where she had her baby and lovingly named him “Chance” as a reminder of the chance that she gave her unborn child to live. Maternity homes are so important, because they preserve life!
LITOMag: What do you see in the future for yourself and your personal brand and ministry? What are some dreams that have yet to come to pass?