Report Highlights History of Crisis Pregnancy Centers Helping Women on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 30, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Report Highlights History of Crisis Pregnancy Centers Helping Women on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 30
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — A coalition of national pregnancy center networks and pro-life groups released their report today on the status of the pregnancy center movement. The new report, A Passion to Serve, A Vision for Life, is the first-ever national analysis of the centers that provide women with abortion alternatives.

The report shares the tremendous contributions of pregnancy resource centers since the inception of the movement over forty years ago.

It presents in detail, through statistical summaries, case studies and client stories, the extraordinary social service contributions made by pregnancy resource centers, detailing how centers are meeting the needs of women, youth and families.

Care Net, a participant in today’s press conference unveiling the new report, tells, says it aims to "communicate the work of pregnancy centers to a broader audience, in particular to state legislators, public health officials, and other key leaders, all who may be surprised to learn of pregnancy centers’ vast community impact and rootedness."

"In so doing, we hope to grow the number of people who, regardless of their position on abortion, recognize that pregnancy centers play a critical role in our nation’s communities," Care Net says.

The first pregnancy center network was founded by Birthright in Canada in 1968 and Alternatives to Abortion, the forerunner of Heartbeat International, followed in 1971. Then, in 1980, the Christian Action Council, now Care Net, established its first pregnancy center in Baltimore, Maryland.

The movement has come a long way since then with thousands of centers large and small operating in the United States, Canada, and across the world.

They provide a wide range of services from limited obstetric ultrasounds to counseling, material services to testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

The report talks about the improvements centers have made in both medical and legal areas by becoming more professional, working with medical groups that provide standards of care, and guidelines for providing the best care to clients.

Heartbeat International president Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D, talked with about the new report, which she says "shines a light on the positive contributions of pregnancy centers, maternity homes, adoption agencies, and pregnancy help medical clinics."

"These faith-based community organizations, 40,000 volunteers strong, brighten a woman’s future with the support she needs to bring new life into the world. This is one of the greatest volunteer service movements in the history of our country," she said.

"We are pleased that this report spotlights ten Heartbeat International affiliates through stories that demonstrate sacrificial acts of love and service. These frontline lifesavers are strengthening their communities one heart at a time," said Hartshorn.

Executive director of one of the spotlighted Heartbeat affiliates, Vivian Koob said, "The clients served by Elizabeth’s New Life Center are overwhelmingly young, unmarried, impoverished, under educated, and minority."

"Elizabeth’s New Life Center offers emotional support, medical information, spiritual direction, educational classes, material assistance, prenatal care, and mentoring at no cost to the client," Koob explains.

According to Hartshorn, "The pregnancy resource movement is dedicated to empowering women with life-affirming alternatives so abortion is unwanted now and unthinkable for future generations."

A former client, Kendra Howerton, whose poignant story in the report showcases one of Heartbeat’s Oklahoma affiliates, talks about the need for such centers.

"If it weren’t for Stillwater Life Services, I honestly do not know where I would be today. The staff, board, and volunteers at this pregnancy center invested a great deal into my and my family’s lives. The results of their investments are priceless," she says.

NIFLA also participated in the joint report, which the Family Research Council authored.

Related web sites:
CPC Report –

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