by Jeanneane Maxon
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, we in the pro-life movement have a massive responsibility on our hands.
It’s time for us to deliver—again.
No group is better equipped to support women facing unintended pregnancies than pro-life Americans who’ve labored for more than 50 years to create a life-affirming safety net for all pregnant women across our nation.
This safety net is vastly different from the “net” that pro-abortion groups have been weaving. Theirs is a tangled web of deceit and lies that leads only to death.
Incredibly, in the weeks leading up to last Friday’s Supreme Court decision, Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, adopted a new approach by hiring “patient navigators” to assist women in obtaining abortions. They described their strategy as “a big spider web that’s being built throughout the country.”
Whether Planned Parenthood intended it or not, this creepy description is revealing of the nature of the deceptive abortion industry—a vicious, unforgiving organism that, just like a spider, captures its prey in its web and devours them.
The pro-life movement, on the other hand, describes its strategy as a safety net.
The difference? A spider’s web means allurement and death. A safety net means salvation and life.
For a half-century, pro-life Americans have been carefully sewing their safety net of care. Within this safety net are four major categories of what we call pregnancy help organizations.
These include pro-life pregnancy centers (also known as pregnancy resource centers, pregnancy care centers, crisis pregnancy centers, pregnancy medical clinics, or simply, pregnancy centers), maternity homes, adoption agencies, and life-affirming social service providers.
Across the U.S. in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., there are nearly 3,000 pro-life pregnancy centers that in 2019 provided services to around 2 million clients at little or no cost—an estimated $266 million worth of care.
Their vital health services, supported by 10,200 licensed medical professionals, include ultrasounds, sexually transmitted infection/sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, Pap tests, and well-woman exams. They also provide counseling, parenting education, fatherhood programs, baby supplies, and post-abortion recovery support.
Pro-life pregnancy centers routinely report through-the-roof client satisfaction rates of 97% and above. All of this is made possible through the sacrificial efforts of pro-life Americans. In fact, 8 out of 10 pregnancy center workers are volunteers.
Maternity homes, which started in the U.S. in the late 1800s, became so valued that in 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created its Maternity Group Home Program to encourage expansion of the maternity home network. Today, there are at least 400 maternity homes across the nation—and the number is increasing.
The pro-life movement is also focusing on promoting adoption. It’s estimated as many as 2 million couples in the U.S. are waiting to adopt a child right now. There are approximately 3,000 adoption agencies in the U.S., and Americans are increasingly supportive of adoption as an alternative to abortion.
Positive public opinion of adoption has increased, particularly as it relates to foster care. Additionally, women choosing adoption for their child have more options when selecting a home in which to place their baby.
‘Caught in a Trap’
In 2002, the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute released a study indicating reasons it believes women “want” an abortion. The reasons included “interference with school or career,” “unreadiness for a child or another child,” “financial difficulties,” “single motherhood and relationship problems,” “completed childbearing and responsibility to dependents,” “fetal and personal health,” and “[negative] opinions on adoption.”
The pro-life community responded to the Guttmacher Institute’s “reasons to have an abortion” with a seven-pronged plan of care. Pro-life advocacy organization Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America launched its “Her PLAN” initiative with seven programs to empower women to choose life over abortion—mentorship, health and well-being, financial assistance, work/education, material/legal support, recovery and mental health, and prenatal/child care.
Perhaps the most exciting development is the mushrooming number of life-affirming social service providers across America ready and willing to help women facing unintended pregnancies, including attorneys, health professionals, mental health providers, domestic violence shelters, and many others.
You see, while Planned Parenthood has been busy spinning its dark web, pro-life groups across America have been busy knitting together a safety net of compassion and care. Just since 2016, more than 800,000 lives have been saved through the community-based care of pro-life pregnancy centers.
We’re ready to give women the support they need to choose life for their unborn baby.
With Roe v. Wade now in the history books, we’re ready to deliver—again.
– – –
Jeanneane Maxon, J.D. is an associate scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute. She is a nonprofit law and compliance consultant based in Dallas, primarily serving pro-life clients and pro-life pregnancy centers.