When plans to open a new pregnancy help center next to a proposed abortion facility were vetoed this spring, Jenny Hunsberger, vice president of Women’s Care Center in South Bend, Indiana, promised to keep serving the community anyway.
“We are sad that care for women and families in South Bend got caught in politics,” Hunsberger said at the time, referring to Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s decision to veto a rezoning bill that would have allowed the pro-life pregnancy center to open.
“Although this is a setback, Women’s Care Center continues to serve,” Hunsberger said. “The 73 women in this community who walk through our doors today will receive compassionate and skilled care without judgment.”
Now, Women’s Care Center is making good on that commitment in an even bigger way, with plans to finally open a new location by the end of 2018. Even better, the new location is right across the street from its original destination and right across the street from the same proposed abortion facility.
To the gratitude of the Women’s Care Center team, in the days after South Bend Council failed to override the mayor’s veto, the organization was offered the perfectly zoned property by a local businessman.
Ann Manion, president of Women’s Care Center, shared the story in a press statement:
“In 34 years with Women’s Care Center, I have been blessed to witness what I believe are miracles. And one incredible example is the unsolicited offer we received just days after the last council meeting. You may recall that dozens of immediate neighbors expressed their strong support for our new location at 3527 Lincolnway West. And one of those, who has a business right across the street, stepped up and offered his perfectly zoned property at 3530 Lincolnway West. At this new site, without any impediments, we can immediately go to work retrofitting the site, and hope to be serving moms and babies on the westside by year-end.”
Manion says the new location is the product of not just one donor’s generosity, but that of an entire community of supporters.
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“Many have asked about the ‘donor’ who made the expansion possible,” she writes. “It is important to note that it’s not just one. There are dozens who stepped up to support this project in a significant way and hundreds who make our mission possible every single day. Over our history, our donors have always been generous. This is because they care deeply for the women and children we serve.”
According to Manion, two out of every three babies born in the city of South Bend now start with Women’s Care Center. Right now, 1,449 babies are expected to clients in St. Joseph County.
For Manion, these babies represent the “choice” many women would lose if their only recourse in a moment of desperation was to go to the proposed abortion facility.
“Many have asked, ‘Why locate on Lincolnway West?’ The simple answer is that our presence provides women choice,” she writes. “With 29 centers in 10 states, we have seen time and time again, that next door saves lives. In an environment of peace and safety, many more women are likely to more fully explore their options, come to our center for help if they need it, and ultimately choose life.”
LifeNews Note: Katie Franklin is managing editor for Pregnancy Help News and content writer at Heartbeat International. She previously served as director of communications for Ohio Right to Life and is a graduate of Denison University where she earned a B.A. in history in 2013. Katie lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Miles and daughter Elizabeth.