The end of 2023 lies on the horizon. Doesn’t it seem like the year just started?
A lot transpired this year in the pro-life world, in the pregnancy help arena in particular. As we approach Thanksgiving, let’s reflect on some of wonderful work of centers, maternity homes, adoption programs, and other pro-life work.
Catholic Charities of Eastern Tennessee (CCETN) began a new adoption program late last year, expanding its help to pregnant women through this service. Even though only about one percent of pregnant, single women choose adoption as an option, staff with CCETN believes weaving this service into their mission and within their other programs, including operating several pregnancy resource centers in Tennessee, will improve that percentage, at least in the state.
Several pregnancy centers affiliated with Heartbeat International expanded their work to include maternity homes. Two such pro-life centers are Vida in Wisconsin and Cradle of Hope in Iowa, with Cradle opening its doors for its first Mother’s Home resident just last month. Love and security for women, providing them an alternative to living on the streets, out of their cars, or couch-surfing from friend to friend, allows women to grow in confidence and provides safety for them and their children.
“We have seen a 16-percent increase in our maternity housing affiliates since the overturn of Roe v. Wade,” Valerie Harkins, Maternity Housing Coalition director and Housing specialist with Heartbeat International, told Pregnancy Help News earlier this year.
Not only has there been an increase in the number of maternity homes, but Heartbeat welcomed about 200 new pregnancy resource and pregnancy medical centers into its affiliate program during the past year, a growth of 12 percent, according to Tracie Shellhouse, Heartbeat’s vice president of Ministry Services. Two such centers are located in Manvel, Texas, and in Phillips, Minnesota, which was vandalized by pro-abortion advocates in March. During the past three years, the number of new pregnancy help organizations steadily increased: 23 in 2020, 27 in 2021, and 38 in 2022, according to the latest Life Trends Report from Heartbeat International.
Additionally, more than 950 organizations outside of the United States in 89 countries and territories now affiliate with Heartbeat, and many centers throughout America expanded facility size and/or added a new location. For example, South Texas Pregnancy Care Center broke ground in 2023 to build a larger facility, and Heartbeat of Miami opened a medical resource center in Homestead, Florida, the fifth center operated by Heartbeat of Miami in as many communities.
Many pregnancy help organizations took on abortion clinics directly, setting up locations near abortion providers, implementing Sidewalk Advocates and 40 Days for Life programs, or both. True Care Women’s Resource Center in Casper, Wyo., opened a second location in the community after an out-of-state group opened an abortion facility on a major street in town. First Choice Pregnancy Services, a Las Vegas pregnancy medical center that offers Abortion Pill Reversal, sits near a late-term abortion clinic, and Boulder Pregnancy Resource Center in Colorado is located in the same town as well-known late term abortionist Warren Hern. True Care trains volunteers through the Sidewalk Advocates for Life program, and community supporters of First Choice help direct women to the pregnancy center for free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds as well as information on all three pregnancy options for women.
This fall’s 40 Days for Life campaign recorded more than 460 lives saved from abortion. Since the campaigns began in 2007, approximately one million people have volunteered, 20,000 churches have participated, and more than 9,200 local campaigns have been implemented.
These numbers show the dedication of pro-life individuals, churches, and organizations. They are giving people, giving of themselves to help women, babies, and families. They give of their time, talent, and treasure, giving to their communities and to the Lord.
Pro-life work is difficult and often underappreciated. Insults. Firebombs. Graffiti. Vulgarity. Violence. All endured for the sake of life.
Still, it is applauded by others who view life as precious. And blessed by God, for His call is for life. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” and “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Pro-life workers, volunteers, and prayer warriors do God’s work in tandem with His guidance.
During this Thanksgiving season, we give thanks to God for the work He is doing through pregnancy help and to all those who follow His lead in the work for life.
A blessed and happy Thanksgiving to all!
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Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network (APRN) and Pregnancy Help News.