HomeoldA pro-life pregnancy center saved me from a life of human trafficking

A pro-life pregnancy center saved me from a life of human trafficking

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In a recent event, I appeared before the Vermont Senate to present my experience as a human trafficking survivor and to discuss my role as the inaugural Black female director of a pregnancy center in the state.

I was requested to provide testimony against a bill that sought to regulate pro-life pregnancy help centers, which falsely claimed that we “mislead” the public about our services.

However, my experience challenges this narrative and substantiates the intrinsic value of our work. Pregnancy centers demonstrate a profound commitment to the men, women, and children in our communities who require our assistance. We are aware of the transformative impact our assistance can have on the lives of those in need.

From the age of two to 29, I was subjected to human trafficking in 33 states. I endured a series of traumatic experiences, including sexual abuse, rape, and even attempted murder at the hands of various pimps. I was heavily dependent on illicit substances, including methamphetamine and cocaine. Eventually, I reached a point where I deliberately sought to end my life by overdosing.

Despite the weight loss resulting from the drugs, my abdomen continued to expand, and I subsequently discovered the pregnancy that would ultimately prove to be a life-saving event.

I reacted with disdain to the news, and my pimp demanded money. When I informed him that I was no longer willing to be his slave, he attempted to shoot me. Given the circumstances, I was forced to flee my previous residence, which I had considered my only known home.

Despite my despair, I had few options available to me, given that I had only $1.38 to my name. After numerous attempts to contact the relevant authorities, I finally reached a woman at a domestic violence shelter in New Hampshire who agreed to assist me. She transported me to the facility and facilitated my connection with a local pregnancy center, where a woman named Phyllis played a pivotal role in my recovery. She provided me with reassurance through a single gesture and the words, “I know a man named Jesus who can assist you.” The warmth of her hands imparted to me a sense of encouragement and hope that I had never previously experienced. In that moment, despite my previously hardened heart, I made the decision to abandon my former life forever.

The pregnancy center provided me with a range of free resources and support to care for my son. Additionally, I was able to achieve goals that I had previously considered unattainable, such as earning a college degree. I was employed by the pregnancy center to work with families and subsequently secured a position at a local hospital.

Subsequently, I applied for the position of Executive Director at Branches Pregnancy Resource Center in Vermont. I have held this position since last December.

My role has been to raise awareness of the services we provide to the local community. I fostered a robust relationship with the town manager with the objective of addressing a significant homeless issue in the region. Currently, Branches is engaged in the provision of care and connection to resources for those experiencing homelessness.

The CEO of one of the largest hospitals in Vermont recently requested to collaborate with us. Furthermore, we are instructing the local police department and local schools on the identification of human trafficking and the rescue of victims of the industry. My role is highly gratifying.

Without the intervention of Phyllis and the pregnancy center, I would have perished. They were instrumental in my survival. My son was instrumental in saving my life. It is now my turn to defend the very cause that saved me.

The bill in question was signed into law in May. Consequently, if our advertising is deemed to be “misleading” by Vermont’s pro-abortion rights attorney general, we may be subject to fines of up to $10,000 for each violation. However, the legislation is somewhat ambiguous. For instance, one witness at a legislative hearing asserted that even naming a pregnancy center “The Women’s Center” would be in violation of the law, on the grounds that a name like that is too neutral and therefore implies that abortions are available there.

Additionally, the legislation prohibits our staff members who are not state-licensed medical professionals from distributing health-related information. However, the legislation only applies to pro-life pregnancy centres within the state. Abortion businesses are permitted to distribute informational materials about abortion, whereas our staff members are not.

The state of Vermont has taken the position that pregnancy help centers should be shut down because they do not align with the state’s extreme abortion agenda.

Consequently, last month, we initiated legal proceedings to challenge the constitutionality of the aforementioned legislation. My pregnancy center, Branches, in conjunction with Aspire Now (another Vermont pregnancy center) and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, is represented by Alliance Defending Freedom. The case makes it clear that the government has no right to shut down our lifesaving work. Pregnancy centers should be permitted to serve their communities without fear of arbitrary and unjust government punishment.

Our work demonstrates the efficacy of providing assistance to individuals in need, regardless of the circumstances that have led them to seek our services. These circumstances may include human trafficking, homelessness, abuse, or abortion. Pregnancy centers such as Branches are established to provide assistance to those in need.

The vitriolic narratives that malign pro-life pregnancy centers would have some believe that I was “victimized” by their work. In contrast, my liberation was made possible by their efforts.


Chelsea Garcia is a political writer with a special interest in international relations and social issues. Events surrounding the war in Ukraine and the war in Israel are a major focus for political journalists. But as a former local reporter, she is also interested in national politics.

Chelsea Garcia studied media, communication and political science in Texas, USA, and learned the journalistic trade during an internship at a daily newspaper. In addition to her political writing, she is pursuing a master's degree in multimedia and writing at Texas.

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