Pro-life Pregnancy Centers Reach Life-Saving Milestone
January 1973 is a month of infamy—the month when a small group of activist judges on the U.S. Supreme Court legalized the killing of preborn children in the United States. In the decades that followed, however, pro-life activists successfully turned January into something else—a month celebrating life.
Thanks to the foresight, ingenuity, determination, and sheer stubbornness of pro-life heroes like Nellie Grey, who founded the annual March for Life in Washington D.C. in 1974, the month of January, and particularly the days surrounding the January 22 anniversary of Roe, became opportunities for the pro-life movement to rally together, educate the next generation of pro-life activists, and to proclaim the pro-life message to millions.
For countless pro-life activists the annual March for Life was both the occasion when they first heard the call to serve Christ in the pro-life movement, as well as an annual opportunity for them to renew the fervor of their commitment, strategize with other activists, and bask in the tangible evidence that the pro-life movement was only growing in strength with every passing year.
From that annual March, and the conferences, demonstrations, and educational initiatives that proliferated around it, the ripple effects have gone out, ultimately turning into a cultural tsunami that resulted in the overturning of Roe five decades later—something that had seemed inconceivable not that long ago.
The life-celebrating and life-affirming qualities of January, and the annual March for Life, have only become all that more pronounced now that Roe is gone.
Pregnancy Center Network Celebrates 1 Million+ Babies Saved
All of this is to say that it seemed fitting to me, when I stumbled across the news a few days ago, that the largest pro-life pregnancy center network in the world has announced that over a million babies have been saved at affiliated centers in the past 15 years!
Care Net is a network of over 1,200 pregnancy care centers in the United States and Canada, served annually by over 18,000 staff members and volunteers. Although the organization has existed since the early 1970s, they only began systematically collecting statistics from their affiliated centers in 2008. In that time, however, they say that a million mothers have chosen life thanks to the support of their centers.
“Reaching this amazing milestone of 1 million lives saved is a testament to the heroic work being done every day by pregnancy centers across our country,” said Roland Warren, president and CEO of Care Net in a statement announcing the news. “They are our nation’s unsung heroes, saving lives, building families, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with millions of women and men.”
Amazingly, centers affiliated with Care Net are only a portion of all the pro-life pregnancy centers in operation in the United States. All told, there are over 2,700 such centers, meaning that the number of lives saved at such centers is certainly much higher. Centers like these can vary from small, local centers staffed by volunteers to large, well-funded facilities staffed by doctors and nurses, and offering high-quality medical care to pregnant moms and their preborn children.
To me, this is one of the most powerful examples of the incredible fruit produced by the determination of a vast network of grassroots pro-life individuals, who refused to let Roe and the abortion movement have the last word.
States Increase Funding for Pro-life Centers
Few things better illustrate the power of ordinary heroism than the often-hidden, humble, self-effacing service of the countless leaders, volunteers and donors who have created and sustained this vast network of life-affirming centers. Every day, far from the spotlight, the lives of preborn children are being saved, and the lives of women changed radically for the better.
The good news is that as this network of centers has grown (not only in the U.S but also internationally), and as the centers have become more professional, increasingly successful, better marketed, and more well-funded, they have caught the attention of pro-life governments who are looking for ways to support women in choosing life. According to Live Action News, at least 16 states are now funding such centers, with at least $250 million expected to go to pro-life pregnancy resource centers from 2023 to 2025! This is a significant increase from previous years.
The President of the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), Chuck Donovan, noted recently that it is more important now than ever to fund such centers. With the overturning of Roe, pro-life laws, including total abortion bans, are sweeping the country. Thus, it is more urgent than ever that pro-life states increase the resources available to help women bring their preborn children into the world free of fear and anxiety.
International Abortion Agenda Funded by Billionaires
Anyone who has worked in the pro-life movement is familiar with the sensation of feeling like David challenging a very large, very intimidating Goliath. On the pro-abortion side, one finds many of the most powerful political and social institutions, and many of the wealthiest, most famous, and most powerful people on the planet.
Numerous national and international governments pour billions of dollars into supporting abortion. In many countries, this takes the form of funding abortion procedures, which are offered “free” to any woman who requests one, under nationalized healthcare systems. In other cases, the money is sent to various pro-abortion organizations, whether domestically or overseas, which lobby for looser abortion laws, or which offer abortion as one of their “services” (as with the U.S. government’s funding of Planned Parenthood).
Then there are the so-called “philanthropist” billionaires, the Warren Buffets and Bill Gates of the world, who pour their wealth into population control measures, including abortion advocacy. As one pro-abortion author wrote in Vox a few years ago, “If you could snap your fingers and rid the world of billionaire philanthropists…in the US, only the rich would have access to legal abortion.”
Funding Disparity Challenges Pro-Lifers
While money isn’t the end-all, be-all, the funding disparity can pose a serious challenge for pro-life activists who are seeking to offer concrete, practical help to women in crisis pregnancies. While there is never any good reason to abort a preborn child, the reality is that many women feel pressured into considering abortion because of very real practical challenges, including difficulties obtaining basic necessities (e.g. diapers, food, essential medical care, etc.).
One of the key tasks for the pro-life movement is to tip the scales, ensuring that there is a strong “pro-life safety net” (as the Charlotte Lozier Institute put it) across the country. This safety-net needs to be highly visible, professionally run, and well-funded with both money and donations of necessary goods.
This is the monumental task that pro-life pregnancy centers have been tackling since the 1970s. And with every passing year, they do it more and more effectively. A survey conducted by CLI of pro-life centers found that such centers provided an estimated $350 million in aid to pregnant women in 2022.
Pro-life Centers Targeted by Pro-Abortion Groups
Ever since the overturning of Roe, pro-abortion activists and organizations have set their sights on pro-life care centers. In a disturbing number of cases, they have resorted to vandalism including cases of destructive arson. In other cases, they have simply focused on propaganda. With the enthusiastic assistance of the mainstream media, pro-abortion organizations have smeared pro-life centers as “fake” clinics that spread “misinformation” about abortion and who don’t authentically care about women.
The irony here is thick. After all, it is the abortion clinics that tell women that their living preborn child is just a “blob of tissue” that can be removed without any serious consequences. It is the abortion clinics that stand to profit handsomely if women believe this lie (whereas the pro-life centers are run largely on volunteers and donations). And it is abortion clinics that are caught, time and time again offering horribly unsanitary conditions, employing abusive staff, failing to abide by basic state guidelines, covering up child rape, and on and on and on.
It is no surprise to anybody who has spent any time researching the state of the abortion industry, that half of the abortion facilities in one state, Pennsylvania, failed safety inspections last year. After all, this is the same state where notorious serial killer Kermit Gosnell operated a filthy, dangerous abortion facility for years, and who was only caught because he was selling opioids from his facility and caught the attention of the state’s drug enforcement agency.
Pregnancy Centers Outnumber Abortion Facilities
With the nation being populated by predatory abortion facilities who hide their murderous, exploitative aims behind cheerful slogans about “women’s rights” and “healthcare,” and which are funded to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in government funding, it is an uphill battle for pro-life pregnancy centers. And yet, an army of committed pro-life heroes have somehow brought us to the point where pro-life pregnancy centers far outnumber abortion facilities.
With more funding, more training, more publicity, and more pro-life laws on the books, these pro-life centers will increasingly “outcompete” these predatory abortion facilities. Already, they are doing so in many individual cases, reaching abortion-bound women before the abortion clinics can, and showering them with love, truth, and practical help. The consequence is millions of living, breathing human beings who are alive today.
As Andrea Trudden, vice president of communications and marketing for Heartbeat International, another pro-life pregnancy center network, put it recently: “The one thing that we strive [for] within the pregnancy help movement is to really reinforce the fact that whether abortion is legal, whether you’re in a life state or an abortion state, no matter what your views, our goal is to be there for that woman who is waking up today and she feels scared and alone and that she might be pregnant and doesn’t know what to do. So, whether abortion is here or not, we are here to serve her.”
That’s the truly pro-woman mission of pro-life pregnancy centers.
You Can Help Women Choose Life!
This January, as we celebrate the overturning of Roe, let’s also celebrate the heroic and miraculous creation of a vast network of these life-saving, soul-saving institutions, which are primed and ready to receive the women who are now looking for alternatives, due to laws that protect the life of their preborn child.
Human Life International (HLI) supports pregnancy care centers around the world, recognizing their irreplaceable role and powerful witness to the incomparable value of human life. If you aren’t already donating to HLI or to your local pro-life center, why not take a moment, right now, to donate. Or look up where the closest pregnancy care center is, and either sign up to volunteer, or sign up to make a regular donation (or even both!)? Warren Buffet or Bill Gates or the federal government might not support pro-life centers, opting instead to fund Planned Parenthood; but an army of pro-life heroes like you can make up the difference, and ensure that the pro-life safety net becomes larger, and saves even more lives.
As president of Human Life International, Fr. Boquet is a leading expert on the international pro-life and family movement, having journeyed to nearly 90 countries on pro-life missions over the last decade. Father Boquet works with pro-life and family leaders in 116 counties that partner with HLI to proclaim and advance the Gospel of Life. Read his full bio here.