In an episode of Focus on the Family’s See Life series, pregnancy resource center workers discussed the multiple ways in which they help women experiencing unplanned pregnancies. In the video series, Toni Clarke of Assure Women’s Clinic noted that the very first goal is to be “a warm presence” for those in difficult situations, to “make it very clear to her, no, you have more than one option.”
Clarke also makes a point that is often misunderstood. The real goal is “not just, ‘let’s rescue this child’,” but to “be alongside her for anything that she needs.” Clarke says in the video:
If she’s got crucial needs in her life, we’ve got to address those. We want to make sure, whether you decide to carry a baby [or] whether you decide to abort, is the information that she needs. It’s the truth. We don’t force anything. We don’t have to. The truth stands on its own.
Clarke tells the story of a young pregnant woman who came in with her cousin. The center did a free ultrasound, and when they saw the screen, both girls began to cry. They realized they’d been lied to. Pro-choicers had told them a preborn baby was just tissue or cells, but now they knew the truth. This was enough to convince the young woman to choose life.
Nancy, who works at a pregnancy center in Florida, describes her center’s philosophy. “[W]e love them, we’re there, we support them,” she says. “We always like to say, part of our secret sauce is compassion.”
Like all pregnancy centers, Nancy’s center also provides help to women if they choose abortion:
We really care for any of the women who come through our doors, including those who may choose abortion even after abortion has been discussed and the risks have been discussed. Sometimes they still choose abortion. That doesn’t mean we don’t love them and open our doors back to them should they want to come back and talk about the trauma that they’ve experienced.
Sarah, another Florida center worker, explains what makes her center different from the average clinic for women:
This facility is different from other facilities for women, I would say mainly because of the hope that they feel and the security that they feel when they walk in the door, just the way that they feel comforted, and they can open up and be free and say whatever it is they need to say. And it’s a secure place for them. And they feel loved, ultimately.
Jor–El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International, a worldwide network of pregnancy resource centers, describes the organization’s philosophy. “We call it the love approach. We really want to walk with them so that no woman ever finds themselves so alone or desperate that the only choice they can imagine is terminating the life of their child,” he says.
Aside from emotional support and making the women feel loved, pregnancy centers offer a great deal of material support.
At Secular Pro-Life, pregnancy center volunteer Kristin Monahan writes:
[W]e provide all services for free. They are for low-income pregnant and parenting women. We have free baby clothes, toddler clothes, shoes, maternity clothes, pregnancy tests, breast pumps, nursing bras, diapers, baby wipes, bottles, baby/toddler dishes, formula, food, toys, books, car seats, strollers, cribs, cradles, jumpers, and any other pieces of furniture or big toys when we get them. I have seen pretty much anything you can think of that deals with pregnancy or parenting, come into the clinic…
We don’t make them pay a single cent, unlike places like Planned Parenthood.
She discusses how abortion supporters, many of whom are financially comfortable, actually harm poor women and families when they try to shut down pregnancy centers:
Taking clinics like this away from all the people we have serviced or trying to make it harder for us to provide these free items, is a gross attack on lower-class people, especially since places like Planned Parenthood don’t bother to give *any* of these baby/toddler/maternity items to needy women.
It takes a ton of privilege to be able to tell people that because you want every clinic that helps women to provide abortions, poor women aren’t allowed to have free baby supplies.
Pregnancy centers exist to provide women with emotional and material support, despite the abortion industry’s claims that pregnancy centers only exist to deceive women into choosing life for their children. As former industry workers have claimed, the abortion industry views pregnancy centers — which provide women with real choices — as their business competition, even though pregnancy centers do not charge for services and receive nearly all of their financial support from donations.
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