Can Pro-Abortion and Pro-Life People Agree on Anything? Here’s One Thing They Should Agree On

Opinion   |   Tom Glessner   |   Dec 31, 2018   |   5:32PM   |   Washington, DC

Christmas has come and gone, but its message of peace and goodwill toward all human beings continues to resonate. Our hearts yearn for peace, but turmoil and conflict continue. America is more divided now than ever.

Nowhere is this division more evident than on the issue of abortion. There is no peace because we are polarized on the most fundamental of all human rights — the value of every human being. Political battles pitting pro-life against pro-choice advocates are fought at all levels.

Can Americans come together and support the value of human life at all stages even while political battles continue to rage around abortion? I believe we can.

Such unity can be achieved through the support of all Americans for the inspirational work of pro-life pregnancy centers, regardless of political thoughts about the legality of abortion. These small, faith-based ministries of compassion exist in every community across the nation. They provide vital resources to mothers contemplating abortion and empower them to choose life. Medical services include ultrasound confirmation of pregnancy and testing for sexually transmitted infections; material assistance includes baby clothes, diapers, prenatal vitamins, adoption referrals, and maternal housing.

A recent report from the Charlotte Lozier Pregnancy Center provides compelling evidence that the work of pregnancy centers is critical. America’s pregnancy centers provided 2 million people with free services in 2017, saving taxpayers an estimated $161 million. Two-thirds of the centers are medical facilities staffed with licensed medical professionals providing free services, including ultrasounds worth $114 million.

If the right to choose means anything, multiple options must be available. By providing the support and resources that make choosing life possible for the abortion-vulnerable, America’s pregnancy centers provide a real choice — an alternative to abortion.

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In fact, many who identify as pro-choice support the existence of options that make it possible for mothers to choose life. For example, “If I would not have found the center, my life would have been a disaster,” Christine Hurtado stated in one of many positive pregnancy-center client testimonials. “I came to the center looking for a pregnancy test and I found so much more.”

Women served by these centers are clearly glad that such resources exist, and they express overwhelming gratitude for the support they provide. So why can’t all Americans get behind the work of these life-affirming agencies?

Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and other groups have attempted to thwart the work of the centers, calling them deceptive. Abortion advocates have advanced that false narrative for decades, in an attempt to destroy pregnancy centers and protect the abortion industry’s profit margin.

Those efforts reached fever pitch in 2015 when the state of California passed AB 775, a law mandating that pregnancy centers advertise to their patients the availability of state-funded abortions. In NIFLA v. Becerra the Supreme Court ruled that the state of California was in effect compelling speech and violating the First Amendment. The abortion-industry initiative to eliminate pregnancy centers was dealt a serious blow.

Perhaps the industry will never stop in its quest to destroy its competitors. The rest of the nation, however, including millions of pro-choice Americans, can unite around the positive work and impact of pregnancy centers.

The work of pregnancy centers will continue as communities come to fully understand their value and appreciate the many benefits they provide. Because of pregnancy centers, mothers will have more resources and opportunities to choose life. And so the number of abortions can be reduced regardless of the legal status of abortion on demand.

The life-affirming work of these charitable organizations is something we can all support, not just at Christmastime but also throughout the year. This can be made a reality only if Americans set aside political differences and, with open hearts, come together to support the selfless work of pregnancy centers.

After all, isn’t life the best choice? The fulfillment of this New Year’s wish is my fervent prayer for our nation as we enter 2019. Note: Tom Glessner is a pro-life attorney who is the president of NIFLA, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates. NIFLA is an organization with more than 1,200 affiliated pregnancy centers that provides legal, medical and practical help for pregnancy centers across the country.