Part of the Giving Women Choice: What’s New with Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers? Series
In the midst of an unplanned pregnancy, pro-life pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) support women by providing them with support, information and encouragement. At the centers, women can receive ultrasounds, STD testing, parenting classes, counseling, and an unprecedented level of support. In addition, most PRCs are also connected to church ministries. Three of the largest PRC organizations are Care Net , Heartbeat International and NIFLA (National Institute of Family and Life Advocates).
Why do women go to PRCs?
When a woman has an unexpected pregnancy, she is looking for hope. She isn't seeking medical care (at first) or a political agenda—she's looking at an uncertain future. Planned Parenthood offers women no real options other than abortion, which often leaves women more broken physically, spiritually and emotionally than before. An abortion is seen and portrayed by abortionists as an "easy" fix, but it is not a solution nor does it give hope. PRCs exist in part to give women an alternative to Planned Parenthood and counter the abortion business' message of death, self-indulgence and lack of accountability.
What are Their Experiences?
In a moment of fear and anxiety abortion might seem like the right and logical decision for many women. Concerns over paying bills, medical expenses, caring for other children and intimate relationships could make giving birth seem like an impossible and irresponsible option. PRC's help women see that despite their current situation—they are able to continue their pregnancy. Here are some stories of women who have had their lives changed by the caring medical staff and non-medical volunteers at PRCs:
- Angela is a young woman who already had one abortion when she found herself pregnant again and went to a PRC. The center supported her during her pregnancy, prepared her for motherhood, reconnected Angela with her mother and helped her get treatment for drug addiction.
- Krystal found out that she had an unexpected pregnancy and was considering adoption. The pregnancy center assisted Krystal and helped her find a family to adopt her child.
- Stephanie was in an abusive relationship and had an abortion. Eventually, Stephanie received post-abortion counseling at a PRC and hopes to share her story with other women.
- Shalane and her husband discovered that their preborn baby had Trisomy 13, a severe physical and developmental disorder, and their doctor encouraged abortion. The couple contacted a pregnancy center where they received counseling and were connected with another couple that had a similar experience. The support helped them give their child life.
Do PRC's have a spiritual component?
When a woman is facing an undesired pregnancy, the nature of the decisions that she has to make can feel overwhelming. The culture's celebration of abortion is oftentimes persuasive to a woman who feels like her options are limited. PRCs help women by providing a biblical perspective on pregnancy and life, giving women the opportunity to know the Christ's love for them and their child. Many PRCs also hold Bible studies that the women can attend both before and after birth. This gives women a strong spiritual foundation, and often a network of dedicated volunteers who can act as mentors and sometimes as a desperately needed support system.
What about the men?
Pro-life pregnancy centers know that fathers play a critical role in a child's life, and want to give men the best tools possible to lead their children and families. Men are encouraged to attend appointments and classes with their pregnant partners to help prepare them for fatherhood. This is unlike Planned Parenthood, where women are not allowed to have the baby's father accompany them to their abortion appointment. PRCs help teach and encourage young fathers to get involved in the lives of their child and/or children.
Why are PRCs a Threat to the Abortion Industry?
When it comes to unplanned pregnancies there are options besides abortion, but abortion sellers want to promote abortion rather than parenting or adoption. Pro-abortion groups have crafted a complex propaganda campaign aimed at women claiming that their lives are more important, and the child they are carrying is merely a speed bump on the road to success that can be removed and forgotten.
But an unexpected pregnancy doesn't mean that a woman can't achieve her dreams. An example of this is Briana Williams, a single mother with a 13-month old daughter. Although it is not known if she visited a PRC, Briana made the brave decision to keep her child and give birth while attending Harvard Law School.
In a viral Instagram post, Briana shared what it was like to go to one of the most prestigious law schools in the country as a single mother. "So I'm going to be honest with you guys…I didn't think I could do it. I did not think that, at 24 years old, as a single mom, that I would be able to get through one of the most intellectually rigorous and challenging positions in my life. It was hard. It hurt." She then pens a note to her daughter, Evelyn, "They said that because of you I wouldn't be able to do this. Just know that I did this BECAUSE OF YOU."
Briana's story flies directly in the face of the propaganda of Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the media and many abortion activists. It shows that a baby does not destroy a woman's life if the timing isn't right. Despite the many challenges of childcare and finances that Briana faced, she graduated from one of the best law schools in the entire country. Having a baby didn't seem to take anything away from Briana's life—it added to it and encouraged Briana to continue with her education.
How You Can Help
Focus on the Family's Option Ultrasound program works with PRCs across the country to provide ultrasound equipment to help women see their preborn baby for the first time and make informed decisions about their child's future. Since 2004, Option Ultrasound has helped save an estimated 415,000 babies through birth and adoption. Learn more about Option Ultrasound and how you can help by clicking here.
For a woman, an unplanned pregnancy can be a source either of despair or hope. It depends on the help she seeks. Women often want to keep their children, but don't feel like they have the resources or support they need, and abortion sellers such as Planned Parenthood reinforce those fears. That's why PRCs are so important, and so opposed by the abortion industry. The testimonies of women who visit PRCs throughout the country show that the encouragement and love they experience isn't about politics or ideology, it is about them and their babies. In a dark time, pregnancy resource centers offer women light and hope.