Guest Column

New York pregnancy resource center set to launch despite attacks and opposition

pregnancy center

(Pregnancy Help News) Pregnancy help organizations in the United States and worldwide provide life-saving services and support to women facing unplanned pregnancy, delivered with compassion and at no cost to the women in need.

The pregnancy help community served two million people in the U.S. with free services in 2017, saving communities $161M that year, according to research from the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI). A review of the CLI data confirms the many ways that pregnancy help centers are good for America and her residents. The centers not only afford women the ability to choose life, they support families in myriad ways through material assistance, classes, resources and community referrals. And further, a multi-year survey involving hundreds of thousands of actual pregnancy help center clients revealed a 99% satisfaction score.

Nonetheless, zealots opposed to this care and support appear bent on defaming and impeding pregnancy help outreach, at times misrepresenting the life-affirming services or those who provide them. details some of the more common claims made by abortion advocates about pregnancy help centers, and then factually debunks themVaried pro-abortion groups and others persist in waging a campaign to portray pregnancy help centers as dishonest and medically unreliable based upon the debunked assertions – despite the fact that pregnancy centers have prevailed in court more than once in disputes involving truth in advertising.  

A current push to disrupt efforts to help women facing unplanned pregnancy is occurring in New York state, with some individuals lobbying the Village of Saranac Lake to rescind its approval of plans for the Adirondack Pregnancy Center (APC), a forthcoming pregnancy help center affiliated with Heartbeat International.

READ: Catholic leaders urge New York lawmakers to reject anti-pregnancy center bill

The opposition argument largely mirrors the pro-abortion mantras set straight by PregnancyCenterTruth, and includes inauthentic claims regarding the APC, pregnancy centers across the board and Heartbeat made in letters to the local newspaper. At one point it resorted to false assertions generating from pro-abortion sources previously answered by Heartbeat.

The destructive campaign has also entailed one individual misrepresenting himself to Heartbeat International as being associated with the APC to gain access to the center’s materials, and another dodgy inquiry made to the APC posing questions about whom they may or may not opt to serve based upon a client’s life situation. Individuals seeking to stop the APC’s opening voiced such at a July meeting of the Saranac Lake Village Board of Trustees and the claims were repeated at a public hearing this week convened by the Saranac Lake Planning Board, at which a board member indicated he’d been receiving numerous emails expressing the same.

Steadfast in serving women facing an unplanned pregnancy

Despite the opposition, the staff and board of the APC are unwavering in their dedication to serving women in need in the Saranac Lake community through the center.

“We remain steadfast in committing to opening our doors to welcome women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy,” Board of Directors Chair Jennifer Hunt said, “providing them with accurate information about all their options and walking alongside them regardless of their decision.”

The unfounded assertions made in letters to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and elsewhere include targeting, coercion and lying to women, aspersions toward pregnancy help services as not medical, and claims that centers cease to serve women and families once a baby is born.

“Utter nonsense”

The assertions rely on sources that similarly denounce “crisis pregnancy centers” – a term that has largely fallen out of use in recent decades, and something which the APC has not claimed to be. Claims have gone so far as to say the center will harm women and perpetuate racism, and that it will neglect some segments of the community because of Biblical principles.

Heartbeat affiliates abide by a Commitment of Care and Competence that ensures clients are served without regard to age, race, income, nationality, religious affiliation, disability or other arbitrary circumstance. Heartbeat and its affiliates serve clients without judgment and with full regard for their human dignity.

Heartbeat and its affiliates do not promote or refer for abortion, or promote birth control, and these policies, along with the fact that all Heartbeat policies and material are in accord with Biblical principles, are clearly stated.

Hunt dismissed the idea that APC would withhold services from clients. “Utter nonsense,” she said. “Our center doors are open for anyone who wants to walk through them to acquire our offered services.”

“None of our services has anything to do with the race of the women who walk through our doors and every woman is free to choose what is best for them,” stated Hunt. “Our focus will be placed on meeting a woman’s need, in her unplanned pregnancy, in which most instances are faced alone. We will provide non-judgmental support to women, regardless of a woman’s decision when she leaves the APC.”

The APC will not be a full-service women’s reproductive clinic, nor has it ever been advertised as such, said Hunt. Hunt listed the APC’s services: consultation and education on all pregnancy options; pregnancy testing; limited obstetric ultrasounds (conducted by a certified ultrasound technician under the supervision of a board-certified medical doctor will serve to confirm pregnancy and gestational age); practical material support (diapers, clothes, baby items); community referrals and advocacy; and post-decision support (parenting classes, adoption and post-abortion).

Fostering life

Through Heartbeat’s more than 2,800 affiliated pregnancy help locations in 60-plus countries around the world, some 1.5 million clients are served each year and 300,000 mothers are enabled to choose life.

The Adirondack Pregnancy Center is an approved participant of Heartbeat International’s Life Launch Grant Program. The grant supports new pregnancy help center start-ups with training, resources and matching grants – focusing on providing pregnancy help in under-served communities.

The APC will be among the one-dozen and growing Life Launch pregnancy help centers across the U.S. to serve women and save lives because of the Life Launch Grant program.

READ: Ohio pregnancy center supports moms during pandemic with ‘blessing bags filled with love’

As Life Launch Grant Program Specialist for Heartbeat, Sara Littlefield has walked with the APC through the process of being approved for the grant program. Their center, being in an underserved community which was also targeted by the abortion industry, was qualified and ultimately accepted into the Life Launch Grant Program in the winter of 2020 as an approved awardee, she said. The APC’s projected open date was originally set for October 2020 but has since been postponed due to construction delays.

“We continue to stand with the Adirondack Pregnancy Center every step along the way,” Littlefield said. “In my time working with the Adirondack Pregnancy Center team, I have known them to be compassionate, devoted individuals,” she said, “united by the desire to offer the best care and support they can for women and families in need.”

“I have no doubt that any community would be blessed by a team like theirs,” added Littlefield.

“We pray for those who have declared themselves to be our enemies”

“We pray not only for unborn at-risk babies and their moms and dads, but also pray for those who have declared themselves to be our enemies,” Hunt stated. “We commit to always treat women with love and compassion, free of judgement regardless of what their decision is.”

“We continue to move forward with our mission unintimidated, unthwarted,” she added, “and resolved with God’s help to soon be offering all of our planned services to help meet the needs of women throughout our region who are facing unplanned pregnancies.”

PHN Editor’s note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News. 

LAN Editor’s Note: This article was published at Pregnancy Help News and is reprinted here with permission.

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