Last week, Live Action hosted a webcast focused on how pro-lifers can help pregnancy resource centers (PRC) around the country during the coronavirus pandemic. The webcast — Pregnant in a Crisis: How to Support Families During The Coronavirus — revealed that different centers have different needs during this challenging time, as each state has its own rules and regulations in place. While some centers are able to remain open, others are conducting telemedicine appointments and some are delivering baby items directly to clients’ homes.
“What we have seen is that the abortion industry is very aggressive in staying open and in making sure that women have abortions in this crisis,” said webcast host Joanna Hyatt, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Live Action. “So while they are taking advantage of a crisis, we want to do our best to offer hope and to offer resources.”
Savannah Marten from the Pregnancy Center of Toledo said her center has seen a 200 percent increase in the baby items it is giving out now compared to last year at this time. That includes diapers, wipes, and formula. Marten has also seen a 33 percent increase in women who are at risk for abortion coming to the Pregnancy Center of Toledo for assistance. She explained that the center is open and is following the recommended guidelines and has even begun delivering items to the doorsteps of their clients. While there have been a lot of generous donations coming in, including 10,000 diapers, the PRC is looking at how life may look six months to a year from now for these women and their babies. More donations of baby items will be needed. Even once businesses begin to reopen and life returns to somewhat normal, these families will still need help.
Astrid Bennett Gutierrez of LAPS in Los Angeles agreed that essential items such as formula and diapers are needed by PRCs. Women also need hope, and seeing the generosity of others can offer that. She explained that just one mile outside of Los Angeles is an abortion hot zone. Abortion businesses are there, she said, to prey on the minority and immigrant women who live there.
“Abortion centers are jampacked. […] Women are telling us they’re being told to rush in to get their abortion before [the abortion businesses] are forced to shut down,” she explained. She said that adds an extra level of panic for these women, who are now feeling increased pressured to abort.
But unlike abortion businesses, pushing women into abortions they likely haven’t had time to fully consider, PRCs offer women peace of mind.
“Our purpose is to provide hope for women,” said Allison Millet of Woman’s New Life Clinic in Louisiana. “[…] It’s about saving women’s lives and making sure that she is heard. It’s not about us pushing our agenda on her. It’s about listening to what her needs are and helping her any way we can.” Millet said their call volume has gone up during the COVID-19 crisis. As the number of COVID-19 cases increased in the state, the PRC switched gears to offer HIPAA compliant and licensed counseling through a telemedicine platform.
Martha Avila of the Heartbeat of Miami PRC in Florida explained that the center is still open and providing ultrasounds to abortion-minded women. She said Heartbeat of Miami is also offering phone counseling, parenting classes over Zoom, and has set up a drive-by pickup for diapers and formula.
She explained that women are “tormented by fear” because of COVID-19, and wonder if their babies will be okay. She shared the story of one couple who thought abortion was the best choice during the pandemic. However, after the mother took the first of the two-dose abortion pill regimen, she regretted it. That night she dreamed of her baby crying — and the next day she contacted Heartbeat of Miami, and they were able to help her reverse the abortion. Ultrasounds at six and seven weeks revealed the baby still has a heartbeat and is now eight weeks. “All they need is someone to encourage them and someone to build them up and tell them it’s okay,” Avila explained.
In order to continue to provide hope and essential products, she stressed that financial donations would greatly benefit the center so they can continue to pay the electric bill, the rent, and employees.
PRCs in the United States are working hard to ensure their clients receive the resources that they need so that every woman feeling pressured to abort has the opportunity to choose life. Hyatt encouraged pro-lifers to reach out to their local pregnancy centers to see what they need and how they can help women and families in their local areas, despite COVID-19.
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