By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. This delightful story appeared in NRL News last year. I hope you agree a second look is warranted.
As much as they may not wish to draw attention to the thousands of Pregnancy Help Centers, CBS News, like many others of the legacy media, can’t resist the urge to see for themselves the impact of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade on the work of the alternatives to abortion wing of the Movement.
Her story takes place in Mississippi because the Dobbs decision was in response to a Mississippi’s ban on post 15-week abortions.
Actually, she does. Quinn lays out what she calls by a name not used much anymore—crisis pregnancy centers—beginning with a truth: “they vastly outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities.”
The centers, many faith-based, offer pregnancy tests, counseling and resources like clothes, diapers and parenting classes. Some provide limited medical services such as ultrasounds. And since the high court’s conservative majority struck down Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that legalized abortion nationwide, the pregnancy centers — particularly in Republican-led states — have seen an uptick in interest from their communities and an opportunity to grow their resources.
Quinn quotes Karen Sims, executive director of Hope Clinic in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, who tells her “We need to make our presence even more known.” She adds, “If it’s our responsibility and important for us to encourage people to continue their pregnancies, then we need to be there and provide what we can, to eliminate as many obstacles as we can.”
Quinn lays out how they’ve “seen an increase in calls from neighboring states and more interest from first-time donors looking to fulfill either material needs — diapers, formula, wipes — or give money.
“We want to grow the practical resources that we provide and educate her more, but also be there to help her look at the obstacles in the way and help be part of eliminating and working through those obstacles,” Sims said.
Of course there are the usual complaints from abortion supporters: these women-helping centers are deceptive, not really medical facilities, etc., etc. They hate it when women and their babies escape their clutches.
Quinn tells us there are states providing funding for these women-helping services. She cites two:
In addition to receiving funding from private donors, lawmakers in some Republican-led states have directed funding to the centers. In May, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, signed into law a measure that provides tax credits to businesses that donate to pregnancy resource centers or crisis pregnancy centers. Texas awarded more than $46 million to four service providers, which work with 177 locations around the state, for its Alternatives to Abortion program for fiscal year 2021, according to a December report from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
Quinn, to her credit, does not neglect the violence against crisis pregnancy center that has taken place since the Supreme Court’s June 24th decision.
But amid the [pro-abortion] backlash to the Supreme Court’s decision, which began after a draft opinion was leaked and published in early May, pregnancy centers have also been targeted by abortion-rights advocates. In Florida, an anti-abortion pregnancy center was defaced in late May, with the words “If abortions aren’t safe then neither are you” painted on its exterior. Centers in Texas and Wisconsin have also been vandalized.
Brittany Sherman, executive director of Choices Clinic of Laurel, told CBS News her Mississippi center has experienced fake calls and a flood of online contact-form submissions, which she believes is intended to crash the site.
All in all, a decent story about the saintly work of Pregnancy Help Centers. As Sara Smith, executive director of Center for Pregnancy Choices in Meridian, Mississippi, told Quinn
“We don’t want women to think abortion is the only solution to unplanned pregnancy,” Smith told CBS News. “That’s a real message that’s being shared, ‘how to make it easier for people to get abortions.’ It’s not the only option they have.”