If Roe goes, are we ready?
That's the word that I've been hearing from the Lord in prayer for pregnancy centers recently. Pregnancy centers continuously overcome challenges, but if Roe is overturned, it could be the greatest test we've ever faced.
Our life-affirming ministries encounter many myths and challenges every day. Here are just a few that I hear as I speak with hundreds of pregnancy center leaders every year:
- If you don't offer abortion, then you can't really be providing women's healthcare. (False: abortion isn't healthcare.)
- If you explain the risks associated with abortion, then you are untrustworthy/misleading/lying to women. (False: all of the physical and emotional risks of abortion, childbirth, and adoption outlined in Care Net client education resources are accurate and well documented.)
We overcome these challenges with patience, with excellent leadership, and with God-honoring, others-first care for people.
But are we ready for what could be the greatest test of our lifetimes?
When Texas passed health and safety standards that many abortion clinics couldn't meet, these clinics decided to adjust their business model. Instead of offering abortions at many different locations, they closed down some clinics and consolidated their operations in fewer, larger clinics.
But when abortion isn't available on every street corner, it turns out that many women will seek alternatives. As the abortion rate decreased, pregnancy centers in Texas welcomed many more clients. These were clients who faced many pressures to abort. The centers faced the challenge of providing realistic alternatives to abortion and Christ-centered support for these women and couples on a scale they hadn't previously experienced.
I don't know if Roe v. Wade will be overturned. I hope so. I pray so. But if it is, we know that abortion won't go away. In some states, it will be more heavily regulated than before. Sometimes much more. In other states, it will be available on demand, without apology, and at taxpayer expense. And some women will travel between states just to get an abortion.
Other women and couples will look for alternatives, a level of support that will allow them to welcome their child into the world without constant fear for their own welfare and that of the their baby.
Pregnancy centers are doing a GREAT job serving their communities. Yet, nearly universally, leaders I know are concerned that their centers aren't ready for this challenge. Some face internal challenges with conflict between team members. Some wonder what to say when a person contacts them looking for information about abortion. Some are under-resourced -- one paid staff member is worn out with trying to wear all the hats. Others struggle to find the funding to keep the center open.
Whatever happens in the future, we know there will be a great need for the compassion, hope, and help that pregnancy centers offer. And, whatever happens, there is a great need for us to be prepared to meet the needs of even more women and men making pregnancy decisions in our communities.
That's why Care Net continues to release new and updated resources to help your center as you aspire to excellence in every area of operations. Now is the time to get ready for an influx of clients. Now is the time to prepare by getting your center functioning at its highest level.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few tools:
Rate My Center Assessment - Take this assessment and get a new report every year to see how your center is doing across 25 crucial areas of excellence, especially compared to other centers serving a similar demographic.
Caring Foundations - Onboard new volunteers, staff, and board members with this engaging mini-course (4-5 hours) that enculturates them in the mission, vision, and values of healthy pregnancy centers.
BYD: Live - The tablet app ensures your client advocates can focus on making meaningful connections while putting a doctor's explanation of pregnancy and abortion procedures (on video) in their hands. Plus clients can download a free companion app, BYD: Mobile, for their smartphone.
Compassion, Hope, and Help - It's the latest in comprehensive training for new client advocates and pregnancy decision coaches. If you want to prepare your client care team members to serve people making pregnancy decisions with excellence, this is your go-to resource. And the teacher's guide makes facilitating each lesson a cinch.
to learn about these resources and many more