Pregnancy Care Centers Effective, Change Abortion Outcomes, Opposition Study Admits — Part One

Part II

Part III

By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D. NRL Director of Education & Research

Editor’s note. This appeared in the August digital edition of National Right to Life News. Part Two appears in Thursday’s NRL News Today.

For years, pro-lifers have asserted that given realistic alternatives to abortion, many women will choose life for themselves and their unborn babies.  Now there’s a study, done by abortion advocates, that proves this is true. 

A woman who visits a Pregnancy Care Center (called crisis pregnancy centers in the study) is considerably more likely to forego an abortion and decide to give birth to her child than a woman who does not.  Women choose life when there is a real choice to do so.

Naturally, the researchers raised the usual pro-abortion charges of “false information” or “inaccurate information,” but that is par for the course. And these slurs don’t change the outcome: Pregnancy Help Centers are very effective.

Study and results

The study, “Pregnancy outcomes after exposure to crisis pregnancy centers among an abortion seeking sample recruited online,” was published July 28  in the online journal PloS ONE. The pro-abortion researchers come from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) and the University of California – San Francisco.

They described themselves as being “ interested in the association between exposure to a CPC and pregnancy or abortion outcome.”

Between August 2017 and May 2018, researchers recruited, identified, and surveyed nearly 1,500 pregnant women from all fifty states who were searching the internet considering or seeking an abortion.  Of those, over a thousand participated in a follow up study. Four weeks after their initial contact, once those who miscarried, gave birth, turned out not to have been pregnant, or didn’t fully respond to survey questions were eliminated, 857 remained for analysis.

Four weeks after the initial survey, nearly a third (30.3%) reported having visited a “crisis pregnancy center” (CPC). However some of these weren’t sure and some even gave the name of the abortionist as the place where they got their pregnancy assistance. 

After eliminating these erroneous or ambiguous responses, researchers were left with 13.1% of respondents confirming that they had indeed visited a pregnancy care center–112 women of their original sample. 

At the four-week point, 50.5% of those who did not visit a CPC reported having had the abortion they were seeking. An additional 31% said that they were “still seeking” abortions.  Just 18.5% in that group were planning to continue their pregnancies.

However, for those abortion seeking women who did visit the pregnancy care centers, the outcomes were much different. Less than a third (29.5%) of those had abortions at the four-week point. 

Over a quarter (26.8%) were then planning to bear their child. While 43.8% indicated they were still seeking abortions, this means there was still a possibility that the mother would accept the center’s help and the child would survive. 

What made a tangible, measurable difference for a significant percentage of these moms and their babies? Visiting the pregnancy care center, receiving support and encouragement, obtaining information about their baby, being offered practical help and assistance, perhaps receiving parenting or financial training, or just finding people who cared. 

Even the researchers, long-time abortion advocates who made clear that they were no fans of pregnancy care centers, had to admit that these findings were significant. After all, those pregnant women who visited pregnancy care centers were twice as likely to still be pregnant and still be planning to continue the pregnancy as those women who had not.

Pregnancy care centers work. They save lives.