The abortion industry and its friends begun amping up their attacks on pregnancy resource centers, which provide services to women experiencing unplanned pregnancies completely free of charge — services like pregnancy testing, STD testing, ultrasounds, referrals to other social services, free clothing and other baby items, educational classes, and more. Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry, which have been known to protect child sexual abusers and traffickers, and which have also been known to lie and coerce pregnant women into abortion, complains that these pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) are deceptive and unhelpful to women who are considering abortion.
But is this true?
Live Action News spoke to Jamie*, the director of the ABC Pregnancy Resource Center* in Illinois, for some answers. Jamie stated that they are “very upfront” when women call asking about abortion, telling them, “We don’t perform them, we don’t refer for them, but you have options; we care, and our hope is that you’ll make an informed decision, and we can help you in that process.”
After rape, she was going to abort… until she saw her baby on the ultrasound
Pregnancy resource centers sometimes encounter pregnant women who are victims of sexual assault. Jamie recalled one woman who visited the center, Sally*, who became pregnant after suffering an assault at the hands of someone she knew. “When she came, she was pretty determined to have an abortion,” Jamie said. “She came in, she had a pregnancy test, she knew that she was pregnant. She just really wanted to work through it and we offered to be here for her and just pray for her.” Sally refused an ultrasound offered by the PRC staff.
She left, still believing abortion to be her best option, and scheduled an abortion appointment in Chicago. “She went to the abortion clinic appointment, was on the table, and she asked to see the ultrasound and they refused,” Jamie said. But Sally “was adamant [and] … she said, ‘you have to show it to me.’ She saw her baby, and she said, ‘I knew… I knew I couldn’t do it.’ And she got up off the table and left… and was berated by [the abortion facility staff].” Later, after Sally gave birth, she brought the baby to the PRC to show the staff and volunteers.
This was two years ago, and Sally recently stopped by the PRC again. She’s now married, and her husband has adopted her baby as his own. Jamie said Sally wanted to donate baby supplies to the center, and told her, “I’m so thankful I had this baby and I’m so thankful for you guys. And my life is going really well.”
An ultrasound at the pregnancy center made her say no to the abortion pill at Planned Parenthood
Another client, Gina*, who worked in the medical field, found herself pregnant, and visited the pregnancy center. Gina already had three children at home, and she and her family were getting ready to move. She felt that the timing was just not right to have another baby. “She was so sweet and kindhearted,” Jamie told Live Action News, “and you just knew if she had an abortion it was going to tear her up…. She came here for an ultrasound but just felt like she couldn’t do it. We just prayed and prayed.” But Gina made an appointment with a local Planned Parenthood for a chemical abortion anyway.
Jamie said, “I sent her a text the day of her appointment and told her, ‘I pray that you don’t see abortion your only option but we care about you no matter what you do.'” Gina texted Jamie back saying, “I went to Planned Parenthood. I had the first pill in my hand, and everything you guys had told me — the ultrasound, and everything I saw — I couldn’t do it. I turned around and I walked out.”
After Gina’s baby was born, the director contacted her again after she moved out of state and Gina told her, “This child is just a joy to our entire family, and I am so thankful I decided not to go through with taking that pill.”
She got pregnant as a prostitute, and the pregnancy center helped her get an education
Jamie also told Live Action News about Samantha*, who was earning her living as a prostitute when she became unexpectedly pregnant. At the urging of a friend, she visited the pregnancy center, though she was considering abortion at the time. After receiving an ultrasound, she chose life for her baby, and began attending parenting classes, occasional Bible discussions, and other classes offered by the center, all free of charge. She even met with a professional, licensed counselor. Jamie said Samantha “gave birth to a precious little girl. As time went on, Samantha realized that to support herself and her daughter, she needed to get an education.” Because a donor gave funding to the center specifically for helping clients to continue their education, Samantha was able to receive monetary help in paying for her college classes. The relationship built by the pregnancy resource center volunteers and staff with Samantha continued, and Jamie got to see the fruits of the PRC’s labors:
Six years after Samantha came to the center, I, with great joy, sat at the back of an auditorium and watched as Samantha walked across the stage and received her college degree. She is now working in a job that she loves and is able to provide for herself and her daughter. All of this would not have been possible without the support of churches and countless ministry friends who give so that we can come alongside of women facing unplanned pregnancies with support, encouragement, and Christ’s love and truth.
Area physicians volunteer their time to meet with clients who are very young and/or particularly abortion-vulnerable, to answer any of their concerns. Women first come for pregnancy tests, and if they are seriously considering abortion, they are offered an option to come back and meet with a physician. Samantha was one of those women. “[Samantha] came, met with a physician, had an ultrasound, and was able to talk through her concerns and the option of abortion, and basically came to the conclusion that she could have this child,” Jamie noted.
Clients visiting Jamie’s medical pregnancy center will meet with actual physicians, nurses, and an actual sonographer. “We’ve found molar pregnancies, we’ve found fetal demise, we’ve found twins. And they can talk through anything that concerns them. We tell them, ‘Come prepared, write down your questions… about pregnancy or abortion, anything that you’re wondering…. They’re not going to rush you out of their office; they’re going to take all the time that you want.'”
Along with this, women can “continue coming to classes for as long as they want,” said Jamie, who noted that Samantha continues coming for emotional support to this day, and her child is now old enough to be a part of developmental play groups, which are also offered by various parental education groups and hosted by the pregnancy resource center. When women come to any of the large number of educational classes offered, they receive “care cash” which can then be used to “buy” from the center what they need for their children and households. “If they’re willing to… educate themselves, they can have anything they want from diapers and wipes to a baby bed.” Classes can range on topics such as cooking, budgeting, child safety, personal safety, fire safety, car and home repair, and various issues faced by both single and married parents. Nurses teach classes to expectant parents twice monthly at the PRC.
Jamie added, “We have a whole men’s programming… further developing how to help them to step up and be a dad… how to nurture their children and how to support the mother of their children even if they’re not in a relationship with her any longer…. Even if you’re a good dad already, you can always be a better dad.”
Clearly, pregnancy resource centers help women after their babies are born, despite what the abortion industry claims. “We keep clothing up to size 5 for children, and we have adult hygiene items, and laundry detergent and toilet paper… [and other] necessities,” Jamie told Live Action News.
All of these benefits, of course, are things pregnant and parenting women won’t get from Planned Parenthood or its friends in the abortion industry. Pregnancy resource centers are absolutely necessary and vital for women in local communities who deserve real support during their pregnancies and beyond.
*Due to current threats being made against pregnancy resource centers, this director and center have requested that their real names not be used. The director does represent an actual pregnancy center operating in Illinois. Other names in the story were also changed to protect privacy.