Since the leak of what became the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision in May, pregnancy help centers — crisis pregnancy centers that help pregnant women with free medical care, ultrasounds, counseling, personal support, maternal and job training, adoption referrals, and sometimes even free room and board — have come under two forms of attack.
The first has been violence from domestic terrorist groups and pro-abortion vigilantes, as several across the country have been firebombed, had windows shattered, plastered with graffiti from groups like Jane’s Revenge and Ruth Sent Us, and otherwise vandalized. Jane’s Revenge has claimed responsibility for various arson attacks, threatening if pregnancy help centers did not close voluntarily, it would be “open season” on them, threatening measures worse than those that can be “easily cleaned up as fire and graffiti.” They’ve left menacing messages on various centers: “If abortion isn’t safe, then you aren’t either.”
The second attack has been verbal assaults from abortion promoters like Senators Elizabeth Warren (D- Massachusetts), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), who have accused them of deception and torture and introduced federal legislation to try to empower the Federal Trade Commission to regulate and levy draconian fines against them.
“In Massachusetts right now,” Senator Warren said earlier in July to a Boston television station, “those crisis pregnancy centers that are there to fool people who are looking for pregnancy termination help outnumber true abortion clinics by three to one. We need to shut them down here in Massachusetts and we need to shut them down all around the country.” She added, “You should not be able to torture a pregnant person like that,” loathe to use the word woman but not to insult Pro-Lifers, women and men.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey joined the seemingly coordinated effort, tweeting out a danger alert on July 6, stating, “Beware of crisis pregnancy centers that try to prevent people from accessing abortion care,” complete with a scary “Warning!” meme emphasizing the point.
According to 2019 data from the Charlotte Lozier Institute surveying 2,132 Pregnancy Help Centers nationwide, these centers served close to two million people with free services and material assistance valued at more than $266 million. Altogether they offered 967,251 free consultations, 486,213 free ultrasounds, and 731,884 free pregnancy tests. 291,230 clients attended free parenting and prenatal education classes and 21,698 attended free after abortion support and recovery sessions. 810 centers offer free STD testing, 563 free STD treatment onsite and 305 free abortion pill reversal treatment. Nearly every location offered free material assistance like diapers, baby clothing, car seats and strollers. They’re staffed by 14,977 paid employees (25 percent of whom are licensed doctors and nurses) and 53,855 volunteers (12 percent licensed doctors and nurses).
Though not included in the Lozier Institute data, many also offer free job training and referrals, help with their medical appointments throughout pregnancy, and even, when needed, access to shelters where they can stay during pregnancy and for the first several months after their baby is born.
So why are they being attacked? Jane’s Revenge says it’s because pregnancy help centers “impersonate healthcare providers in order to harm the vulnerable.” Senator Warren has said because they try to “fool” people with lies, “misleading statements related to the provision of abortion services,” “disinformation,” and because they somehow “torture” “pregnant persons.” Attorney General Healey said it was because they “prevent people from accessing abortion care.”
What are they talking about? They claim pregnancy help centers’ billboards, Internet ads, and telephone book entries saying things like, “Pregnant? Need Help?” or “Considering abortion? Need help?” are misleading, because, we can assume, they believe the only help a pregnant woman, including one thinking about ending the life of the baby boy or girl growing within her, needs is the bloody end provided by Planned Parenthood.
They also complain that some pregnancy help centers use the similar color schemes to Planned Parenthood, leading some women, they say, to think that pregnancy help centers are franchises of the nation’s largest abortion provider, as if the baby colors that Planned Parenthood uses to mask its baby destruction chambers should not be used by centers that actually cherish babies and want to help them come safely to birth and life.
Similarly they are outraged that when pregnant women go to most pregnancy help centers, they receive ultrasounds, which show that what is growing within is not an infection, a wart, a clump of cells, or baby orangutan, but a human being, their own flesh and blood, at the same stage of existence they themselves once were in their own mom’s womb. Studies show that 90 percent of moms who see the sonogram of their child choose life. If women are thinking about abortion, they also normally receive information about the health consequences of abortion, from the psychological trauma many women experience after abortion, to scientific studies about the link of abortion and breast cancer and other health consequences, truths that the abortion industry tries to pretend don’t exist or are fabrications, much like the abortion industry tries to pretend that what abortions are is healthcare rather than the ruthless, deliberate destruction of a human life.
The real reason why pregnancy help centers are so opposed by abortion zealots is because they expose the lies and disinformation of the abortion industry. One of the most common mendacities is that Pro-Lifers only care about the baby in the womb, not the mother, and stop caring once the baby is born. Pregnancy help centers — which obviously will become even more needed after Dobbs, when thanks be to God it will be more difficult for women in many locations to make the choice to end the life of their developing baby boy or girl — show the many ways that Pro-Lifers love both mom and baby not only during pregnancy but long after, especially women in financial difficulty, or who have suffered rape, incest, human trafficking, abandonment by boyfriends and family members and other horrors.
Another reason why many are opposed to pregnancy help centers is because some people think abortion is not only a good choice for individual women but, like the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, has a good eugenic outcome for society in eliminating those children that are socially unwanted. The success of pregnancy help centers, of the ultrasounds they offer, of the Good Samaritan care they give for both mother and child, all lead to more “undesirable” babies being born and fewer pregnancies ending in death. Therefore some, with fanatical zeal, believe that abortion is simply a good thing — good for our “planet,” for our cities, for our economies, for “pregnant persons,” and even for the victims. And they can’t stand the existence of institutions that recognize that abortion is the greatest human rights abuse of our day and are trying to work to save and help both vulnerable mothers and endangered children.
That’s why it’s necessary for us, in the wake of Dobbs and in response to the physical, verbal, and governmental threats and attacks they are undergoing, to defend pregnancy help centers, support them, expand them, volunteer at them, and help vulnerable women find them and have recourse to their free, life-saving, compassionate and long-term care and concern.