NY Times notes growth of crisis pregnancy centers

2500 compared to 1800 abortion clinics

crisis-pregnancy-center-300x225The following comes from a January 4 story in the New York Times.

WACO, Tex. — With free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, along with diapers, parenting classes and even temporary housing, pregnancy centers are playing an increasingly influential role in the anti-abortion movement. While most attention has focused on scores of new state laws restricting abortion, the centers have been growing in numbers and gaining state financing and support.

A truck sponsored by an anti-abortion group in Waco was parked across the street from a Planned Parenthood clinic.

Largely run by conservative Christians, the centers say they offer what Roland Warren, head of Care Net, one of the largest pregnancy center organizations, described as “a compassionate approach to this issue.”

As they expand, they are adding on-call or on-site medical personnel and employing sophisticated strategies to attract women, including Internet search optimization and mobile units near Planned Parenthood clinics.…

Pregnancy centers, while not new, now number about 2,500, compared with about 1,800 abortion providers. Jeanneane Maxon of Americans United for Life estimated that the centers see about a million clients annually, with another million attending abstinence and other programs. Abortion rights advocates have long called some of their approaches deceptive or manipulative. Medical and other experts say some dispense scientifically flawed information, exaggerating abortion’s risks….

The centers defend their practices and information. “Women who come in are constantly telling us, ‘Abortion seems to be my only alternative and I think that’s the best thing to do,’ ” said Peggy Hartshorn, president of Heartbeat International, which she described as a “Christ-centered” organization with 1,100 affiliates. “Centers provide women with the whole choice.”

One pregnant woman, Nasya Dotie, 21, single, worried about finishing college and disappointing her parents, said she was “almost positive I was going to have an abortion.”

A friend at her Christian university suggested visiting Care Net of Central Texas. She met with a counselor, went home and considered her options. She returned for an ultrasound, and though planning not to look at the screen, when a clinician offered, she agreed. Then, “I was like, ‘That’s my baby. I can’t not have him.’ ”

Thirteen states now provide some direct financing; 27 offer “Choose Life” license plates, the proceeds from which aid centers. In 2011, Texas increased financing for the centers while cutting family planning money by two-thirds, and required abortion clinics to provide names of centers at least 24 hours before performing abortions. In South Dakota, a 2011 law being challenged by Planned Parenthood requires pregnancy center visits before abortions.

Cities like Austin, Baltimore and New York have tried regulating centers with ordinances requiring them to post signs stating that they do not provide abortions or contraceptives, and disclosing whether medical professionals are on-site. Except for San Francisco’s, the laws were blocked by courts or softened after centers sued claiming free speech violations. Similar bills in five states floundered. Most legal challenges to “Choose Life” license plates failed, although a North Carolina court said alternate views must be offered.

To read the entire story, click here.


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  1. Good news!!! But of course Rodda will not be able to see this fact.

  2. Life Lady says:

    Thanks for posting this article. The Times article paints pro-lifers in a harsh light, we all understand that the liberal media will do that. It is another battle in the war for life. But I am dedicated to abolish abortion and understanding the enemy of women who are pregnant (Planned Parenthood) is essential to winning the war. I don’t mind it so much. I think the only way to win this war is simply to save the woman in front of you, one woman, one baby at a time. We are not asked to do more than that. So, everyone, please speak up about abortion to others, when the opportunity presents itself. i have witnessed more saves by trusting in God to present His work to me than in my thinking I am the one doing the work. We must be humble, and prayerful in this work because it is not me doing it, it is God calling me to be an instrument of His Grace, to speak for Him, and to love troubled women who are confused about their babies. Pray for the right words, since she is God’s troubled woman, and He will put those words into your mouth. Listen with compassion, and love her, wherever she is in her life, and allow God to lead you. He has never failed me yet.

  3. goodcause says:

    This development is LONG overdue. The best hope for fewer abortions is more educaiton and actively reaching out to the female popoulaon with a probem pregnancy with love, compassion and practical care.

    You can’t do much by picketing and yelling. It’s about time the “we’re here to help women in trouble” solutions amped up. It’s the answer to a prayer.

  4. Abeca Christian says:

    This is great news to read about. I am not surprised because we have met very wonderful and devout holy people who work almost full time for the pro-life cause. I am appreciative also on the Chastity message that is being spread out, we just need it more strongly though….or else we will have more unwed pregnancy situation…it is now the norm sad to say,.

  5. what a nice article.

    making such centers available to pregnant women is just terrific.

    there are indeed some GOOD things happening in our world — rather like hospice, which allows our loved ones to die at home, comfortably, instead of beinng isolated in some hospital.

    and health programs that try to help people (pregnant moms, young people, etc.) get the health treatments they need, rather than only “coming to the rescue” when there is an emergency or health crisis — as one of the hospital ads says…”THRIVE” :)

  6. Our community pregnancy center has everything from free sonograms, clothing, beds, diapers, family help, and even Bible studies for young mothers. It’s definitely an inter=denominational effort and at our annual banquet, we had David Bareitt from 40 Days for LIfe speak. We have couples coming in for support as there as so many out of work, as well as a community ‘access’ program for the homeless where the various churches take turns hosting homeless families for a week. Our little soup kitchen serves over 100 people sometimes. Various churches take one day a week so that every day there is one really good free meal for those in need. One of the truly great things about living in a small town is we take care of our own and the charity here is truly wonderful. Even the homeless cats aren’t euthenized as there is wonderful support for a non-profit shelter for them, and our animal shelter has a ‘no-kill’ policy. We once had a ‘bag lady’ walking down the street with a shopping cart full of her goods, and she was taken care of by the second day…you can’t be a bum around here even if you wanted to. Our resident eccentric used to come and serenade us with his guitar as we went into mass but we haven’t seen ‘Mountain Man’ for awhile. He was given a cozy innerurban train car to live in. Each week our local pastors take turns contributing an essay on faith in the religious section of our local paper. Our tiny little Catholic school was awarded Blue Ribbon school this past fall for their innovative programs and high test scores, etc. The teachers’ salaries are miniscule but they love what they’re doing and there are statues of Mary everywhere in the school. I love living where “Jesus” is spoken !

    • Abeca Christian says:

      I like the Bible studies part too Dana…we need to bring back morals.

      • So true, Abeca, but what an insurmountable task! It seems like we’ve really opened Pandora’s box this time and trying to put back the demon’s in their place will take supernatural intervention! (Deus ex machina, for sure)

        • Abeca Christian says:

          Yes Dana I agree. It will take people of good will to persevere with fortitude and of course with God’s graces to give courage and strength. One person at a time….a lot of praying too.

          Or most likely it will take Jesus to return and punish the wicked and wash away our sins.

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