By Jor-El Godsey
Not long ago, women seeking help at a local pregnancy center in Asheville, North Carolina, faced a frightening message graffitied on the wall of the clinic: “If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either.”
Like the thousands of pregnancy centers and maternity homes around the country, this pregnancy center provides necessary support and countless free resources for women in need who are facing unexpected pregnancies. But because the clinic doesn’t support or perform abortions, it was targeted by extremists who claim that women need abortions to succeed.
The vandalism and threats in North Carolina have been replicated by pro-choice activists across the country in anticipation of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. But their alarmism over a post-Roe world fails to appreciate that the pro-life movement has offered not only options but hope and support to millions of women for decades. This work will only continue and increase if Roe is overturned.
Even before Roe v. Wade was imposed across the nation in 1973, it was clear that women needed life-affirming places to turn should they discover they were pregnant and believe abortion was their only option. Pregnancy help organizations have existed for decades to meet this need so that no woman ever feels so alone, coerced, or helpless that she thinks abortion is her only option.
The work of such organizations is even more vital today, considering that nearly half of pregnancies in the United States are unintended. Women facing difficult or unexpected pregnancies need to know where they can turn. The nearly 3,000 pregnancy help organizations nationwide have stepped in over the years, providing consultation and resources so women can learn about all their options and be equipped and empowered to make their own decision free from pressure and coercion, knowing there is a support network for them if they choose life. Data from 2019 show that pregnancy centers served close to 2 million people that year, with services and material assistance totaling over $266 million — a number that has already and will continue to increase regardless of what the Supreme Court does.
Heartbeat International is the largest network of pregnancy help in the world, working tirelessly since 1971 to offer hope and support to women and families experiencing unexpected pregnancies. Unlike the abortion industry, which profits from the crises women face, our worldwide network of over 3,000 life-affirming service providers is there at a pivotal moment in a woman’s life, providing comprehensive pregnancy help and free resources to support a woman in need, wherever she is on her pregnancy journey.
From free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds to teaching parenting classes and even providing housing, this network of pregnancy care exists to show women they can continue chasing their dreams while being mothers. There are a wealth of opportunities and options beyond abortion.
We have witnessed firsthand the countless ways the pregnancy help network has uplifted communities. During the pandemic , pregnancy centers hosted “diaper drive throughs” so that parents did not lack basic sanitary products for their children. As Ukrainians fled their homes to foreign countries, pregnancy centers opened their doors to provide food and shelter. And during our current nationwide formula shortage, pregnancy centers are sharing their resources with families to ensure their babies have the nutrients they need.
Every woman deserves love and support during an unexpected pregnancy and beyond. This should not be controversial, nor should it be threatened. Yet despite the resources that pregnancy help organizations offer, attacks like the one in North Carolina have surged, including harassing calls, fires, costly vandalism, and threats against the centers’ safety.
Ironically, the very women that pro-abortion radicals claim to champion are hurt when pregnancy care centers are targeted with such violence.
No matter what the Supreme Court decides in Dobbs, we will continue to assist women in need and provide life-affirming options and care. We will continue this important work despite unjust vandalism and threats from our opponents. As long as there are women in need, we will be there, because all women should know there is hope and somewhere to turn in their time of need.
Editor’s note: Jor-El Godsey is president of Heartbeat International. This article was published by the Washington Examiner and reposted with permission at Pregnancy Help News.