Robert Knight, One of the most dishonest attacks on the pro-life movement is the charge that pro-life people care only about the baby in utero – not about the mothers or their delivered babies.
In 2019, the latest year tabulated, about 2,700 pro-life pregnancy centers nationally served nearly two million people. The combined services had an estimated value of nearly $270 million.
This included distributing more than two million baby outfits and nearly 1.3 million packs of diapers to needy parents. At virtually no charge, clients receive counseling before and after births, various tests including ultrasounds, and information about alternatives such as maternity homes and adoption.
In addition, women who have had abortions are able to receive post-abortion counseling and assistance for medical complications.
“Pregnancy centers exist to serve and support mothers in the courageous decision to give their children life, even under the most difficult circumstances,” said Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI).
The Institute was launched in 2011 by the Susan B. Anthony List, a national network of 900,000 pro-life Americans “dedicated to ending abortion by electing national leaders and advocating for laws that save lives, with a special calling to promote pro-life women leaders.”
“This report calculates the impact of their mission of love in concrete terms,” Mr. Donovan said. “Thousands of centers around the country provide a multitude of free services for millions of women, as well as tens of thousands of men, saving communities millions in tax dollars annually. Eight in 10 people involved at pregnancy centers are volunteers, an extraordinary example of igniting points of light in the darkness.
“Thirty-five years have now passed since the introduction of life-revealing and life-changing ultrasounds into pregnancy centers, and their medicalization continues to grow and thrive. All Americans benefit from these resources in communities everywhere across our national landscape.”
In addition, a growing number of centers offer sexual risk avoidance presentations to youth, STI/STD testing and treatment, childbirth classes and breastfeeding consultations.
To commemorate the 48th Annual March for Life (which was held virtually on January 29), the Institute released a new video “highlighting the extraordinary medical, education, support, and material service contributions of pro-life pregnancy centers across the United States.”
The written report is based on data provided by the major pregnancy center networks — Care Net, Heartbeat International and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates – and many smaller networks.
Written by CLI Associate Scholars Moira Gaul, Mai Bean, and Jeanneane Maxon, the report “features an historical overview of early medical care established in pregnancy centers 35 years ago, emerging areas including outreach to victims of human trafficking and abortion pill reversal, high standards of care as a centerpiece of services, continued care at maternity homes, estimated total value of services, physician spotlights, and powerful stories of individuals and families the centers have helped.”
Here are the report’s key findings:
– Some of the vital services typically provided at virtually no charge:
– Almost 732,000 pregnancy tests
– More than 486,000 free ultrasounds
– 160,200 STI/STD tests
– More than 291,000 clients attended parenting and prenatal education programs
– More than 21,000 clients received after-abortion support
– More than 881,000 students attended sexual risk avoidance education presentations
– Nearly 1.3 million packs of diapers
– More than two million baby outfits
– 68,832 workers serve pregnancy centers, including nearly 3,800 licensed medical staff (25% of paid staff)
– Eight in 10 (53,855) of these workers are volunteers, including more than 6,400 licensed medical volunteers (12% of total volunteers)
-Over 10,000 licensed medical workers provide care, as staff and volunteers
Percentage of centers offering the following services:
– Material items – 94%
– Parenting/prenatal education – 86%
– Ultrasound – 79%
– After-abortion recovery – 72%
The next time you hear someone insist that pro-lifers care only about stopping abortions, not about the people involved, it might help to point them toward this report.
And it wouldn’t hurt to let them know that God Almighty is obviously pro-life:
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them. (Psalm 139, 13-16)
I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: Therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. (Deuteronomy 30:19)
(Robert Knight is a writer for Timothy Partners, Ltd. He is a regular weekly columnist for The Washington Times, Townhall.com, OneNewsNow and others. His latest book is “Liberty on the Brink: How the Left Plans to Steal Your Vote.”)