By Dave Andrusko
It’s not often that groups that offer resources to help young women carry their babies to term get good press. Usually, all you read is, for example, that pregnancy help centers practice “deception” and spread “misinformation.” Etc., etc. etc.
But a story today in the Minot Daily News opens with a promising headline: “Post-Roe, North Dakota puts resources into abortion alternatives.”
There is, of course, the required infusion of pro-abortion spite and hate but that doesn’t take away from the largely positive profile of Saint Gianna & Pietro Molla Maternity Home.
North Dakota is a pro-life state. “Although abortions-rights advocates haven’t given up the fight, abortion opponents are moving ahead with the restrictions and placing a heavier emphasis on supporting new mothers through legislation and services, such as maternity homes for pregnant women and teens,” Morgan Fischer reports.
Indeed, many pro-life states are looking to ways to help pregnant women and women with newborns.
“Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican, signed bills this year that eliminated taxes on diapers; expanded Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits for pregnant individuals; and provided additional funding to the alternatives-to-abortion program, which gives funds to child-placement agencies, anti-abortion counseling centers and maternity homes – including Gianna & Pietro,” writes Fischer
Mary Pat Jahner is director of Saint Gianna & Pietro Molla Maternity Home in the small, unincorporated community of Warsaw. “The home serves young pregnant women – most from nearby Native American reservations,” writes Fischer. “In addition to food and shelter, the facility provides counseling services, clothing, job skills and parenting classes to mothers.”
“Our main purpose is just to provide a choice for moms who …might need a place to stay or might need a family,” Jahner says.
Gianna & Pietro, which is a nonprofit organization, receives the majority of its funding – about $500,000 to $600,000 each year – from individual donors, but it also has received funds from the state’s alternatives-to-abortion program.
In this year’s bill, about $100,000 was earmarked for the home; Jahner said the money will go toward updating vehicles and other needs.
In the nearly two decades of the home’s operation, more than 300 people have lived there, and more than 100 children have been born as part of the program.
The story includes a very sympathetic look at the Red River Women’s Clinic which operated in Fargo and was the only abortion clinic in the state for over two decades. It moved a few miles east to Minnesota where abortion is legal throughout pregnancy.
“We didn’t want to give up on North Dakota. We didn’t want to leave,” Tammi Kromenaker, the facility’s director, told the Minot Daily News. “But our hand was forced.”
Now, more than ever, many unborn babies are in different hands in North Dakota, hands that extend outward in love.