Kansas Billboards Help Abortions Decline as Women Given Positive Alternatives

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 1, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kansas Billboards Help Abortions Decline as Women Given Positive Alternatives

by Martha Schieber
April 1, 2010

Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — There is no doubt about pro-life factors influencing the 11 percent drop in abortions for the state of Kansas in 2009. The Vitae Foundation believes it also had an influence in the drop in abortions during the last quarter of 2009.

Vitae ran 105 billboards directing pregnant women to five different pregnancy centers in the greater Kansas City area offering free help. The majority of the billboards were in Johnson and Wyandotte Counties. They ran from October through January, 2010.

“Vitae worked closely with area pregnancy help centers, business, civic and church communities to get pregnant women the help they need,” Anne Carmichael, Vitae’s Vice President, stated. “We knew it was going to be a tremendous campaign when women were canceling their abortion appointments and choosing life!”

Generally almost 40 percent of the resident abortions in Kansas occur in Johnson and Wyandotte Counties. All three surgical abortion clinics in Kansas are located in these two counties. Vitae partnered with Advice and Aid Pregnancy Centers, who have been in Shawnee since 1983 and opened a new Overland Park branch in May of 2009.

“Our new center is just two buildings down from the largest abortion provider in the area,” Barb Gosa, director of Advice and Aid Pregnancy Centers, noted. “And we’re less than a mile from the only other abortion provider in our county. We placed ourselves directly between those abortion providers.”

There are 19 pregnancy help centers in Kansas that offer ultrasound services. Vitae partnered with five of those Centers in the greater Kansas City area in 2009 for its largest media effort there in years. The three Kansas centers included two Advice and Aid Pregnancy Centers and the Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic. The two other centers were on the Missouri side in Independence and Lee’s Summit.

Wyandotte County had the lowest number of resident abortions in more than 10 years in 2009. The drop for 2009 of 12 percent in Wyandotte was considerably more than the previous two years (2 percent in 2008 and 7 percent in 2007) combined. The year prior to those, the numbers actually increased (up by 10 percent in 2006 from 2005).

Vitae’s billboard campaign kept all the partnering pregnancy help centers busy. Advice and Aid pregnancy centers showed a 64 percent increase in hotline calls and a 212 percent increase in the number of ultrasounds from 2007 numbers. In just one year there was a 43 percent increase in the number of pregnancy tests.

“The numbers paint an incredible picture and speak for themselves,” Gosa stated. “Our statistics also reflect that in November and December of 2009, the number of clients we saw who were identified as ‘at risk for abortion’ increased by 60 percent!”

Vitae hopes to purchase more billboards and consider other mediums in the area in 2010.

"Many committed donors answered the call and came forward making great sacrifices to fund the 2009 campaign,” Carmichael noted. “We are hopeful that we can do it again in 2010 with even more support. It always comes down to having the money to make the buy, the pregnancy resource centers to take the calls and the right ad to direct them there."

The mission of the Vitae Foundation is to encourage a culture of life through mass communications. Vitae pioneered the research-based, right-brain focused and results-driven approach using media to address the abortion issue. Its goal is to be in the top 25 media markets. Currently Vitae is present in almost half of them.

Related web sites:
Vitae Foundation – https://www.vitaecaringfoundation.org

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