Tag archives: Pregnancy Resource Centers

Connecticut Seeks to Stifle the Voice of Pregnancy Resource Centers

by Mary Szoch

February 15, 2021

Last week, the Connecticut State Senate considered SB 835, “An Act Concerning Deceptive Advertising Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers.” Contrary to its title, this bill is not about deceptive advertising. In fact, there is no substantial evidence that clients seeking services at Connecticut pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) have been or currently are being deceived. No, this bill is about silencing PRCs.

SB 835 singles out PRCs as the only organizations that are required to prevent advertising they know “or reasonably should know” to be deceptive “whether by statement or omission.” The legislation places the pro-abortion attorney general—who testified in favor of the legislation—as the arbitrator of “deceptive advertising,” and gives him the authority to force PRCs to “correct” their advertising and pay a fine.

This bill is a clear violation of the First Amendment rights of PRCs. It makes it harder for women who are unexpectedly pregnant to know what their choices are, and it places the state in the position of promoting abortion over childbirth.

Despite what this bill implies, there are already many generally applicable laws at the state and federal level preventing deceptive advertising. What makes SB 835 unique is that it deliberately—and unjustly—singles out PRCs as the only organizations required to prevent advertising they know “or reasonably should know to be deceptive.” Nothing in the bill prevents abortion businesses from engaging in deceptive advertising practices. For example, Planned Parenthood—whose very name implies that a pregnant woman visiting the clinic will receive balanced information regarding the resources available to her if she would like to parent—is not obligated in any way to clarify in their advertising that their core mission is expanding abortion. PRCs are targeted for one reason only—to stifle their speech.

If this were just another deceptive advertising law, it would not target an ideologically unified group of service providers who take a position on one of the most controversial topics in the country. SB 835’s vague wording—“whether by statement or omission”—allows the pro-abortion attorney general (who is so pro-abortion and anti-woman that he doesn’t think abortionists should be required to have hospital admitting privileges) to decide which words a PRC omitted. Clearly, the attorney general is attempting to bully PRCs into only advertising what he would choose to advertise—which is definitely not help and support for women who feel pressured into having an abortion. This is an intimidation practice with the prevention of pro-life speech as its goal. It is unconstitutional.

In 2018, California passed a law that forced PRCs to 1) advertise that the state offered free abortions and 2) post a notice stating they were not medical providers. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California’s law was unconstitutional and prohibited the state from directly demanding this speech. Although SB 835 is not directly demanding speech from PRCs, through the vague wording “by statement or omission,” it is indirectly attempting to force them to make those same statements. The Supreme Court has already ruled this is unconstitutional.

Singling out PRCs for heavy fines because they do not provide or refer for abortions compels them to advertise in a way that significantly limits their potential clients. Many women who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant feel afraid, alone, and unsure of where to turn. PRCs do not coerce women into giving birth. Rather, they give a woman all the information available to her and allow the woman to make her own decision, knowing that she can always turn to the PRC for support.

Unlike abortion businesses, PRCs do not make money when a client chooses life. In 2019, PRCs provided $270 million in services at virtually no charge, and they provided services to women regardless of whether they chose life or abortion, offering more than 21,000 women post-abortion healing services.

PRCs do not exist to make a profit; they exist because they care about women and their children. According to a Guttmacher Institute study, women most frequently choose to have abortions because having a child would “interfere with a woman’s education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%); that she could not afford a baby now (74%), and that she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems (48%).” The resources offered by PRCs help women rise above and change these circumstances. The support of PRCs empowers women to choose life for their children.

There is no good reason to attack centers that have such a positive impact on society. Doing so places the state in the position of promoting abortion practices—who stand to profit from a woman’s decision to have an abortion—above centers offering women the tools they need to choose life.

The Connecticut state legislature should recognize that SB 835 is an attack on one of the foundations of American liberty—freedom of speech—and as such, it is unconstitutional. More importantly, the state legislature should recognize that SB 835 harms women in need.

They make Mothers Day real…

by FRC Media Office

May 11, 2012

 

This Mothers Day week, FRC hosted a special news program to celebrate the work that over two thousands of Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) do every day around the country. Both those who serve and those served join us to highlight this positive, life-affirming work that benefit mothers, fathers, and children in need.

Now you can watch on-demand this special Mother’s Day webcast highlighting the recently published “A Passion to Serve: How Pregnancy Resource Centers Empower Women, Help Families and Strengthen Communities” and the good work of PRCs around the country.

You will also learn what you can do to help PRCs fend off a wave of legislation that is only designed to hinder their mission.

Program guests include:

  • Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
  • Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio)
  • Peggy Hartshorn, President, Heartbeat International
  • Garrett & Ahna Roney, Former PRC Clients
  • Tom Glessner, President, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA)
  • Karen Snuffer, Executive Director,CareNet PregnancyResource Centers
  • Bishop Harry Jackson, President, High Impact Leadership Coalition
  • Matt Bowman, Legal Counsel, AllianceDefense Fund
  • Jeanne Monahan, Director, Center for Human Dignity, Family Research Council

A Passion To Serve: How Pregnancy Resource Centers Empower Women, Help Families and Strengthen Communities

Please watch and share today!

Heartbeat, International Response to 12th and Delaware

by Family Research Council

August 13, 2010

Earlier this week I blogged on the new, controversial documentary, 12th and Delaware, on an abortion clinic and pregnancy resource center (PRC) located in Ft. Louis, Florida. I have now learned of some excellent resources created by Heartbeat, International, including a viewing guide, and document addressing frequently asked questions (FAQs). Be sure to visit the following link to learn more about the documentary.

12th and Delaware

by Family Research Council

August 10, 2010

In the past few weeks, a number of media outlets have written about a new-ish documentary on an abortion clinic and a pregnancy resource center (PRC) in Ft. Pierce, Florida, “12th and Delaware”.

Featured on HBO on August 2nd, the movie was hailed by groups such as NARAL Pro Choice America, who encouraged its followers to organize 12th and Delaware viewing parties. Although the movie is strongly advocated by abortion-rights groups, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, the producers who also produced the movie Jesus Camp - make the (hard-to-believe) claim that the documentary is neutral and unbiased.

In truth, the movie appears to be another attempt to antagonize and attack the positive and life-affirming work of PRCs. The producers have a strong anti-life agenda and were not honest, nor transparent about their plans with the participants from the Pregnancy Care Center in Ft. Pierce. Reportedly Anne Lotierzo, Executive Director of the PRC that was filmed, was not shown an accurate version of the documentary as was promised, nor was she told that the abortion clinic across the street would also be filmed for the documentary. See Human Life International’s press release for more information

Care Net, a group representing over 1000 life-affirming PRCs issued a release on the movie, including the following quote: if you watch the film, we challenge you to take notes and do your own research. Visit your local pregnancy center and find out about their work for yourself. Perhaps youve been a client of a pregnancy center yourself what did you experience? We encourage you to share your story and let the truth be told.

For the real story behind the heroic work of PRCs, visit A Passion to Serve, A Vision for Life.

Celebrating Mothers Every Day

by Sherry Crater

May 4, 2010

Watching the recent NFL draft, I noticed that emotions ran high and hugs abounded. The athletes were exuberant in expressing their excitement and gratitude to family and friends who had gathered to share the realization of a lifetime dream to play professional football. There were extended and seemingly more meaningful hugs, however, for the mothers of some of the football players. Noticing the long hugs, sometimes accompanied by tears, made me wonder what untold stories these mothers and sons shared.

We have all heard countless stories of young athletes applauding their moms for being the glue in their lives. Often the dad was unavailable, and mom was the one who encouraged them to stay in school, to get good grades, to work hard and hang with good friends. Mom was the one who often worked an extra job or two so her kids could go to college. She was often the provider and the encourager, but she was also the enforcer when discipline was needed. But, pats on the back didnt come until these young people came of age and realized the enormous impact their mother had on their development and character.

Mothers, indeed, have impact. Never to be minimized is a mothers foundational role, that of giving every one of us life itself. Adding to this indispensable role, mothers wear many other significant hats. Teacher, counselor, nurse, chauffeur, cook, nutritionist, janitor, event planner, decorator, accountant, personal assistant, investor, budget analyst and disciplinarian come readily to mind. Voluminous books could be written about the untold stories of a mothers influence.

There is another impressive but untold story about mothers that is finally unfolding. Its the story of a movement that has changed the hearts of millions of women over the last forty years. Families have been restored, deep wounds have been healed and the lives of babies have been saved. Through voluntary and selfless giving, a network of women and men has provided supportive places where pregnant women can discover their options and receive needed care. This assistance includes medical care during the pregnancy as well as post natal advice. The expectant moms can also find referrals for many community programs and services. Material needs for new moms and babies are met as well. Known by various names (e.g., Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRC), Crisis Pregnancy Centers, Pregnancy Support Centers, etc.), all these organizations meet basic needs and provide healthy alternatives to abortion.

More than 2300 pregnancy resource centers across America are providing a lifeline to women who do not want to abort but need community support during a difficult transitional life change. These centers are privately funded and staffed by compassionate and trained volunteers.

This is a story you will not want to miss. Visit A Passion To Serve, and read about those celebrating mothers every day. And, give your mother an extra hug this Mothers Day.

A Passion to Serve, A Vision for Life: Pregnancy Resource Center Service Report 2009

by Moira Gaul

October 2, 2009

Wednesday, September 30th, FRC was very pleased to announce the release of a groundbreaking report, A Passion to Serve, A Vision for Life: Pregnancy Resource Center Service Report 2009 which coincides with the 40-year anniversary of the pregnancy resource center movement (PRC) in the United States. A collaborative project with the three major pregnancy resource center networks Care Net, Heartbeat International, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, and LIFE International the report tells the story of a movement contributing in significant ways daily to the enhancement of maternal and child health nationwide, as well as around the world.

Go to www.apassiontoserve.com to learn more about the PRC movement and the report, view news stories, to order/download a copy of the report, and/or to view the press conference web cast. My remarks from the release Wednesday afternoon at the National Press Club are below:

Comments, September 30, 2009

Good afternoon, it is good to see you all. I am Moira Gaul, fellow of womens and reproductive health at the Family Research Council here in Washington.

The 2,300 pregnancy resource centers represented in A Passion to Serve are affiliated with the three major national networks: Care Net, Heartbeat International and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates. This group of PRCs assist over 5,000 Americans daily with sexuality- and pregnancy-related concerns. Small staffs and the tremendous numbers of trained volunteers and professionals offer a whole person approach whereby - emotional, medical, spiritual, and practical needs are met through tangible help, support for safe and healthy pregnancies, and resources.

The vast array of education, medical, and outreach services PRCs provide, and that we will hear more about today, combine powerfully to enhance womens and maternal health, as well as reproductive and childrens health. Given the thousands of women served daily - this translates into a substantial public health benefit to our Nation.

The compassionate care offered unconditionally through a faith-based setting at PRCs, offers hope and well-being. I witnessed this love in action first-hand while working at the Charlottesville Pregnancy Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, from 2000 to 2002. As client services director, I oversaw outreach to clients including counseling on pregnancy options, education materials, community referrals, and the coordination of medical services offered at the center. Some 2,500 client visits later, no client was turned away by a volunteer each one was welcomed, valued, and cared for. This was faith-based social service shining at its brightest!

More recently while earning a masters in public health, within the maternal and child health track at George Washington University, it became increasingly apparent that the tremendous work and impact of the PRC movement were unrecognized and understudied. For an organized movement of its size and scope, this left a void to be filled. A Passion to Serve aims to recapitulate the extraordinary contributions from what has been characterized as … a quiet campaign …

Let me briefly mention two aspects of this quiet and humble campaign: First, as thousands of client exit surveys confirm, the trust that women place in those who assist them at PRCs is high and a sign of broad acceptance by both women and communities. Because of this trust, PRCs have multiplied in number across the country and they have become an essential link in community networks of care. This report takes a closer look at specific work with underserved and special populations in various geographic locations, from metro-Portland to Coastal Georgia to rural Arizona and beyond. Case studies highlight center outreach to women in prison, youth in communities of crisis, at-risk populations, as well as centers serving Native Americans. Accompanying the case studies are statements of praise from county health departments, social service agencies and other organizations that validate PRC work and echo their respected role as community partners.

Second, following delivery of the baby, PRCs fulfill another vital function. Parenting education has become a core service provided by pregnancy centers, equipping new mothers, and fathers, to be stronger parents and preparing nurturing environments for child raising. Nationally, nearly 70 percent of pregnancy centers offer this specialized education either through direct services on premises or in nearby churches, schools, and other locations. Curriculum topics span child development, safety and injury prevention, and positive discipline strategies.

Classes typically cover life skills to strengthen parental development and resilience. The meetings often provide opportunities for women to connect and grow with other new moms, helping to build a social support network which contributes to positive maternal mental health outcomes.

Were grateful to have such a distinguished and generous panel of physicians, network presidents and past clients — women who will attest to the active and flourishing role of pregnancy resource centers in caring for the whole woman and her unmet needs. Today we are taking a major step toward the awareness that PRCs so richly deserve.

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