Pregnancy resource centers save lives
Mallory Hitt could have been aborted after her mother was raped but
instead was placed for adoption because her mother chose to go to a
pregnancy resource center. Now she is a dean's list student hoping to
achieve a law degree.
Hitt shared her story at the National Press Club, where the Family
Research Council released a new report detailing the impact of
pregnancy resource centers nationwide in curbing the abortion epidemic
and improving the lives of pregnant women in need.
"Had my birthmother not turned to the pregnancy center for help, I
might not have left her womb intact. I am glad to be alive and feel an
obligation to let people know that pregnancy centers are good for
America because they really help women and children," Hitt, a student
at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., said.
The FRC report, "A Passion to Serve, A Vision for Life," is available
at www.aPassionToServe.org and includes information on how pregnancy
resource centers in the United States and worldwide have made a
difference. Release of the report coincided with the 40-year
anniversary of the pregnancy resource center movement in the U.S.
With more than 2,300 U.S. centers affiliated with national
organizations, pregnancy resource centers assist about 5,500 Americans
daily with concerns related to sexuality and pregnancy, in addition to
serving in more than 40 countries, according to the report, which was
released Sept. 30.
"This report lays out the untold story of centers that provide caring
and compassionate services to at least 1.9 million people each year at
little or no cost to the clients and the taxpayers, in large part
thanks to private charity and the high proportion of trained volunteers
who work at the centers," Tony Perkins, FRC's president, said.
One way some pregnancy resource centers assist pregnant women is by
providing free ultrasounds. Women who are at risk to have an abortion,
the report said, are twice as likely "to express their intent to carry
their baby" to term if they receiving counseling and an ultrasound than
if they only receive counseling.
Another way pregnancy resource centers assist women is by connecting
with them online, the report said.
The 24/7 Option Line contact center, a website that assists people with
pregnancy-related and abortion-recovery needs, is operated by Care Net,
a nonprofit organization that supports a large network of pregnancy
centers, and joint venture partner Heartbeat International, an
association of such centers, the report said.
"The Option Line is giving us the opportunity to reach 93 percent of
those women, our youngest demographic, who will only go online to find
their answers, to connect with a real person and get them in a door
where the loving care and support is there for her," Melinda Delahoyde,
Care Net's president, said at the news conference.
Pregnancy resource centers help women attain better health for
themselves and for their children by providing abortion alternatives
such as pregnancy support and adoption, Freda McKissic Bush, medical
advisor for Heartbeat International, said.
Among services provided by many pregnancy resource centers, according
to the report, are pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, prenatal care,
childbirth classes, testing for sexually transmitted diseases,
abstinence education, post-abortion counseling and material assistance.
Pregnancy resource centers not only provide for needs from resources
within the centers but by connecting women to free clinics, community
health centers and other services, which usually result in positive
maternal and child health effects, the report said. Examples of
community, social and support agencies are listed in the document,
which is available for download at www.aPassionToServe.org.
Sandy Christiansen, national medical consultant to Care Net, said she
has performed hundreds of ultrasounds at pregnancy resource centers.
"I never tire of observing the look in that woman's eye or the man's
eye ... when they first see that baby.... When they see a flickering
heartbeat, they make a connection," Christiansen said.
Only 13 percent of counties in the United States have an abortion
facility, but 65 percent of all U.S. women live in those counties,
Margaret Hartshorn, president of Heartbeat International, said.
Although pregnancy resource centers make positive contributions in
their communities, the centers face challenges.
"Any health care reform, any public policy that inhibits the centers is
undercutting the wellbeing of mothers, babies and families," said
Charles Donovan, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation's
DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society.
In addition, an FRC staff member said the Obama administration sees an
unborn child as a commodity for use in embryonic stem cell research.
FRC, an organization that promotes marriage, family and the sanctity of
human life in national policy, rejects such a view, said Rob
Schwarzwalder, FRC's senior vice president.
"The Obama administration has made a very studied and deliberate choice
in the use of the term the 'need for abortion,' implying that such a
need ever exists," Schwarzwalder said.
Date: October 19, 2009
to this article.
to a friend.
The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in
Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state
coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of
Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our
society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political
persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic
backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has
been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the
human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that
every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is
dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection
for the disabled and the elderly. Click here to learn more about the IFRL.