Something that will go down in pro-life lore will be the silent but mighty life-saving legion of pregnancy resource centers. Here is a bit of interesting history. Dr. Marvin Olaskey, editor in chief of WORLD Magazine, dean of World Journalism Institute, university professor and provost, as well as author of more than 20 books, did some fascinating research.
He found that in the late 1800’s, abortion was just as prevalent per capita as it is today. What brought the numbers down to an all time low in 1910, was the help and support for pregnant women in need, offered by the women’s groups, and organizations like Salvation Army. Those numbers remained low until the 1960’s (article: Lessons From The Past, Pro-lifers in the 19th century overcame staggering abortion rates and saved lives; here’s how they did it ). The groups that helped the women with a crisis pregnancy back then were the pregnancy centers today.
Heartbeat International, provides some history that begins in the 1960’s. These early pregnancy centers were often times converted from donated residential property. They sprung up quickly in all 50 states after Roe vs. Wade was handed down in 1973. In 1984 the first ultra sound was introduced into the pregnancy center setting to confirm the pregnancy.
In the mid-to late 1990’s as these centers now were nearing 1,500 in number, and ultra sound technology was now utilized in several of the centers. This is what thrust them into the front lines and able to begin competing nose to nose with the abortion industry. By 2000 they were now a force of 2,300 centers nationwide. That same year, the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, claimed there were 1,819 abortion providers. It was at this point that the pregnancy centers now outnumbered the abortion clinics in the country. While these centers grew, abortion clinics began closing. In 2019 ABC News reported there are only 344 left in the U.S.
Recently, the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), released the findings of a robust study of approximately 2,700 U.S. pregnancy centers.
The new report, “Pregnancy Centers Stand the Test of Time,” the second in “A Legacy of Life and Love” report series, is based on national survey data provided by major pregnancy center networks. It includes an historical overview of early medical care established in pregnancy centers 35 years ago, and the more recent areas including outreach to victims of human trafficking and abortion pill reversal, high standards of care as a centerpiece of services, continued care at maternity homes, estimated total value of services, physician spotlights, and powerful testimonies.
- 2,700 pro-life pregnancy centers nationwide served almost two million people in 2019, at an estimated value of nearly $270 million.
- Free Services
- 732,000 pregnancy tests
- 486,000 free ultrasounds
- 160,200 STI/STD tests
- 291,000 clients attended parenting and prenatal classes
- 21,000 clients received post-abortion support
- 881,000 students attended sexual risk avoidance classes
- 1.3 million packs of diapers to clients
- 2 million baby outfits
- Personnel facts:
- 68,832 workers serve pregnancy centers, including nearly 3,800 licensed medical staff (25% of paid staff)
- Eight in 10 (53,855) of these workers are volunteers, including more than 6,400 licensed medical volunteers (12% of total volunteers)
- Over 10,000 licensed medical workers provide care, as staff and volunteers
- Percentage of some of the most common services offered:
- Material items – 94%
- Parenting/prenatal education – 86%
- Ultrasound – 79%
- After-abortion recovery – 72%
Centers enjoy an extraordinarily high rates of client satisfaction too. That’s why Global Life Coalition gives them the GLC Quality Assurance Award.
The quiet legion of life is the best front line defense in this effort to make abortion unthinkable. They brought abortion to an all time low in 1910 and they are doing it again. Abortion numbers in the US are now half of what they were 30 years ago when they hit the all time high of 1.6 million. Global Life Coalition’s goal is to offer fortification to them here in the US and around the world. Help us help them reach women first.