Analysis

What women need to know about pregnancy resource centers

pregnancy resource centers

Pregnancy resource centers are life-saving places where women experiencing unplanned pregnancies can turn for help. But you won’t likely find accurate information on PRCs in the media. On April 8, John Oliver, host of “Last Week Tonight,” tried to paint a humorous picture of PRCs. It was both humorless and deceptive. According to Roland Warren, President of Care Net, the show’s producers reached out to his organization for background, but producers didn’t use it. (Apparently, Oliver’s show also contacted pro-lifer and former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson for comment, and producers neglected to use her statements as well.)

As Warren so aptly notes, Oliver “should seriously consider doing the same [critquing] to the abortion industry,” particularly when it comes to:

  • Raising the alarm over some states publicly funding PRCs, while ignoring how Planned Parenthood is federally funded, and funded in most states
  • Suggesting PRCs come close to breaking the law, while ignoring how Planned Parenthood has been documented breaking the law
  • Expressing concern for PRCs having supposedly “intercepted” Internet searches, while failing to acknowledge that PRCs have been censored by Google
  • Ignoring the safety concerns of abortion, while repeating the myth that childbirth is more dangerous
  • Referring to PRCs as “disingenuous and predatory,” which could be truly said about Planned Parenthood when it comes to their treatment of victims of sexual assault and sex trafficking, and according to testimony from former employees and former clients

Here are five worthwhile facts — things John Oliver didn’t report — about pregnancy resource centers:

1. PRCs provide services free of charge

Unlike Planned Parenthood, pregnancy resource centers do not have an interest in selling services for profit. “Care Net affiliated centers provide all their services completely free of charge–we have no financial interest in any one choice over another,” Warren said.

PRCs exist because they want to help and love women, and their babies. PRCs do not commit or refer for abortions. But there are plenty of long-term and life-affirming resources they provide for pregnant and parenting women, through material aid, follow-ups with a pregnancy center employee, and referrals.

Adoption.com mentions how these centers “have a lot of resources to offer,” and refer to how their services “can be really beneficial,” noting that “there are numerous services to be taken advantage of at zero cost to [the woman].”

2. PRCs can provide or refer for a free ultrasound

For those pregnancy resource centers which perform ultrasounds, Americans United for Life notes that centers “that offer ultrasounds and/or other medical services use medically trained staff and comply with state and federal regulations regarding licensing and certification.”

These ultrasounds are a chance for the woman to see her baby. It’s an exciting, empowering, and life-changing moment for the mother. Seeing an ultrasound image encourages some women to choose life.

State health departments have advertised PRC services, so that women may be more aware of these free ultrasounds.

In contrast, Planned Parenthood gives women ultrasounds only if they plan to abort:

3. Women are happy with their experiences at PRCs

Of the women who filled out written exit surveys about their Care Net experiences, 97 percent of surveys had a positive experience, according to Warren.

Those women, families, and children who have been helped by PRCs also attend Babies Go to Congress events, organized by Heartbeat International, as personal testimonies of their positive experiences.

You can read more about non-judgmental PRCs in this op-ed.

4. PRCs offer an array of options

Pregnancy resource centers offer another option besides parenting, though they will assist women with that. Many centers offer adoption referrals. Adoption.org notes that:

a crisis pregnancy center may be an excellent resource for you. Their counseling practices often center on helping you give birth to your child and setting you up for success after delivery, whether that be through parenting or adoption… If you’re thinking about adoption placement, you can learn more about what modern adoption looks like at a CPC. They can also help you find out more about adoption resources or give you referrals to recommended agencies.

PRCs, like Care Net, also have clear standards when it comes to adoption.

These PRCs do more than adoption services or referrals for mothers who choose life. “If you need to find local resources to help you parent your child, a CPC can help get you in touch with the right people and help explain what’s available to you. That way, you can come up with a plan that makes you feel more in control,” Adoption.org noted.

In an interview with FaithWire, Virginia Davison Madden spoke about interning at the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center. “Women are invited to come back at a certain point before the baby is born for clothes, diapers, formula and food. Many also take supplies for their older children. There are maternity clothes as well to choose from,” she said.

Then there is the emotional support:

The centers also provide opportunities for counseling. Some come monthly, Madden said, while others check in more often, finally filling what was once a void of healthy relationships in their lives. Even if women had been to the center months or years prior for supplies, Madden explained, she might still call back for emotional support, after recalling a previous positive experience she had with the center.

5. PRCs care for women even if they choose to abort

These life-affirming centers do not refer women for abortion, and they make that clear while going over the various risks of abortion. But this does not mean a woman isn’t free to make her own decision, or that she’s less likely to be helped at a PRC.

When it comes to information and discussions about sex, this is done “in a helpful and informative way, but with women making decisions for themselves, rather than the pregnancy center telling women what they should do,” Madden also said.

Post-abortive resources are offered at many pregnancy resource centers. Warren put it simply but best when he said that “even if a woman decides to abort, we will love her and support her nonetheless.”

Isn’t it worthwhile to get the real picture about PRCs from women who have actually been there and turned to them? In doing so, it paints a beautiful, and hopeful picture in complete opposition to the lies of the abortion industry.

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