In an article deemed “news” by Yahoo!, a young woman by the name of Elizabeth Jahr explained to her readers that, in reality, the pro-life movement does not really protect the unborn. Jahr argued that the bulk of pro-life work goes towards legislating abortion out of existence, while pro-lifers ignorantly turn a blind eye to the fact that women experiencing what they perceive to be crisis pregnancies do not have the resources to carry out the alternative, that is, carrying their child to term.
Jahr’s article is ignorant at best, and malicious at worst. A couple of rudimentary Google searches (we’re not talking hours of research or rocket science here) would have fatally wounded her premise, which is essentially this: pro-lifers don’t care about women.
A large part of Jahr’s argument is that the money spent by pro-lifers on political campaigns and rallies such as the March for Life (which she accurately estimates is millions of dollars) to further the legislative agenda of the pro-life movement should be given to pregnant women so that they can have the money they need to raise children. She said:
“Members of the pro-life movement spend countless dollars and hours on rallies and lobbying without providing adequate financial and emotional support for women to actually maintain pregnancies. And the majority of women who have abortions cite not being able to afford a child as one of the main reasons for their decision.”
This is faulty logic at best. Let’s start with pregnancy resource centers (PRCs), or “crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs),” as they have been referred to in the past. PRCs outnumber abortion mills two-to-one in the United States, according to the National Abortion Federation. PRCs are pretty self-explanatory: they provide resources (from the initial pregnancy test to postpartum and beyond) to women who are pregnant, particularly (but not exclusively) to those who have been exposed to the lie that abortion is their only option. Jahr’s accusation that pro-lifers do not protect the unborn entirely failed to acknowledge the work of these four thousand resource centers nation-wide. And that is no small oversight.
The resources provided by PRCs are vast. They include pregnancy tests, counseling and referrals to OB/GYNs in the area (often PRCs have established relationships with OB/GYNs who can accommodate low-income women via Medicaid, etc.). They generously provide baby items ranging from layettes and baby clothes to formula, diapers, furniture and toys. Often they will continue providing these items for one or two years after the baby is born, until it is clear that the mother has established a network of support. They are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to Medicaid, WIC, and other government assistance programs, and they also help women with the application processes for these resources. In the PRCs where I have personally volunteered, employees and other volunteers spend a lot of time with follow-up calls to women who have visited them; after the initial ultrasound, PRCs tend to keep the relationship going throughout the pregnancy, and will even continue to call the mother to see how she is doing postpartum and beyond.
Yes, millions of hours and dollars go into the legal and activism aspects of the pro-life movement. Those hours and dollars are dedicated specifically to seeing an end to legalized abortion in America as soon as possible, and without them the abortion movement in America would be far more advanced than it is today. We cannot and should not underestimate the importance of the work that is being done by pro-lifers who are dedicated to the legal side of pro-life work. However, to proclaim that these legal efforts are being carried out at the expense of human life, while overlooking the entire establishment of the pregnancy resource center network in America , which boasts many thousands of volunteers and employees who work tireless with one purpose alone: to assist the needs of women and babies in turmoil – is nothing short of propagating a lie.