Promoting and supporting the development of pregnancy centers in underserved communities
Currently, a vast majority of all abortion providers are located in metropolitan areas. Many of these providers are in predominantly minority-populated communities, thereby contributing greatly to the disproportionate impact of abortion on minorities. A tragic illustration is the District of Columbia, where the population is 55% African American and abortions now nearly equal the number of live births.
Nationally, of the more than 1.2 million abortions performed in the United States each year, statistics show that while African American women represent 13% of the female population, they undergo 37% of the abortions. Hispanic women represent 14% of the female population and undergo 22% of the abortions. Combined, African American and Latina women account for only 27% of the female population in the U.S., yet they undergo 59% of all abortions.
Currently, a small percentage of all Care Net pregnancy centers are located in urban communities. In many urban communities, abortion providers outnumber pregnancy centers by a ratio of five to one. Without access to the important resources provided by pregnancy centers, many women in urban communities are heavily influenced by a devaluation of the life of their unborn child and a perceived lack of support should they choose to give birth. Everywhere they turn, they receive the message that abortion is an equally positive option when choosing how to respond to a crisis pregnancy.
Based on this troubling reality, Care Net launched the Urban Initiative in 2003. This initiative focused on developing partnerships and planting pregnancy centers in urban communities. Through this Initiative, we have played a role in the development of 15 centers in 13 cities.
Care Net pregnancy centers offer what other social service agencies or reproductive health clinics do not -- they address the woman’s physical condition and her spiritual need. They express the love of Christ in word and deed as they provide practical support to the mother which inspires and empowers her to preserve the life of her unborn child. Pregnancy centers are also uniquely equipped to offer women and men who have experienced abortion healing from the trauma of that loss.
In 2009, Care Net renamed the Urban Initiative to “Underserved Outreach Initiative” to reflect our focus on reaching communities that are underserved as evidenced by their high abortion rates and limited access to pregnancy centers. While there are many areas lacking pregnancy centers, we are first seeking to serve the community with the highest abortion rate – African Americans. The successes and lessons learned in engaging the African American community (albeit a different culture) will be beneficial as we expand our efforts to reach another underserved community -- Hispanic women.
HOW IT WORKS
Training and Equipping
Care Net equips centers and community leaders to generate awareness in the African American community about the impact of abortion by offering culturally relevant training and marketing resources. We provide workshop tracks at our national conference to equip Care Net centers to effectively minister to African American clients. We develop client brochures and other materials that appeal to urban communities. We also host meetings with African American pastors and community leaders to discuss the detrimental impact of abortion on the community and strategize on ways to effectively educate the broader community.
Care Net partners with existing urban ministries to empower them to expand their ministry to include a pregnancy center. A recent example would be the partnership between Care Net and People For People, Inc. (an outreach of Greater Exodus Baptist Church) to open the Hope Center in Philadelphia in 2008.
Care Net also partners with community leaders who are committed to developing a center in an underserved area. An example would be the development of the Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center of Atlanta, which opened in 2008.
LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE
The Underserved Outreach Initiative is making steady progress across the United States. We are currently partnering on the development of a new pregnancy center in Washington, D.C., home of the nation’s highest abortion rate. Through continuing partnerships and the generosity of supporters like you, Care Net is hopeful that one day underserved communities will be a thing of the past and pregnant women in every community will have access to the life affirming resources and the message of Jesus Christ provided by pregnancy centers.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The success of pregnancy centers relies on the volunteer efforts of supporters just like you. Visit Option Line, to locate a center near you.
As with all initiatives, Care Net knows that prayer is vital to the success of the Underserved Outreach Initiative. Please pray for the development of pregnancy centers and resources in these critical areas.
Your generous support is needed. To make your contribution to the important work of Care Net including the Underserved Outreach Initiative, click here.
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