More pregnant and parenting mothers are turning to pro-life organizations for help since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
Currently, 15 states protect unborn babies by banning or strictly limiting abortions, and eight more are fighting to do the same. These states have hundreds of charities that offer free assistance to families in need, including pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes.
In Texas, ProLove Ministries has received nearly four times as many calls for help since last year, executive director Pam Whitehead told NPR in a new interview. The pro-life organization provides financial assistance, counseling and other support to pregnant and parenting mothers and runs a maternity home near Houston.
“We were preparing for this in advance. We knew this was coming. We anticipated it. And we knew that we needed to prepare to be able to serve women,” Whitehead said.
These include women like Samantha, who escaped from a ex-boyfriend who was pressuring her to abort her son, Benji. According to NPR, Samantha moved into the maternity home in May after traveling from another state, and gave birth to her son just a few days later.
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Samantha said she developed preeclampsia, which can be life threatening, and had to give birth to Benji prematurely.
“And by the grace of God, Benji was born 4 pounds, 6 ounces, 16 inches long via C-section,” she told NPR. “And Pam was in the room with me. She was holding my hand. Yeah. It was the scariest ’cause he’s so little. He’s way too early. But he’s doing amazing now.”
The maternity home is full of moms and babies like Samantha and Benji who often do not know where else to turn for help. NPR reports Samantha has found compassion and support from the pro-lifers at ProLove Ministries even though she identifies as “pro-choice” herself. She told NPR that she feels thankful “for the help and especially the housing, which she’d struggled to find because of a criminal conviction in her past.”
Many pro-lifers who run these charities understand the difficult and often traumatic circumstances that women come from because they themselves have faced similar struggles. Whitehead said she was abused as a child and spent time in foster care; she was raped and had an abortion. As an adult, she said she struggled with drug and alcohol abuse. Eventually, however, she said God changed her life, healed and forgave her.
Now, she has dedicated her life to serving women and children in need.
Her organization is one of approximately 3,000 pregnancy centers and maternity homes across the U.S. that serve millions of women and families, providing counseling and support, shelter, food, pregnancy tests, diapers, formula, clothing and more.
Others are expanding, too. The Trotter House in Austin, Texas recently opened a new location, despite being vandalized by pro-abortion activists earlier this year, according to Pregnancy Help News. And in Argyle, Texas, pro-life advocates are working to open a maternity ranch for single mothers.
Through these and other expansion projects, pro-life advocates will be able to help even more mothers and babies each year.
According to an analysis by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, pregnancy resource centers have helped save more than 800,000 unborn babies from abortion since 2016. The research found U.S. pregnancy resource centers served about 2 million people in 2019, providing more than 730,000 pregnancy tests, nearly half a million ultrasounds, 1.3 million packs of diapers and more than 2 million baby outfits, all for free. Many offer post-abortion counseling as well.