Are Pro-Life Centers Harmful?

article by site founder, Connie Rice

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and Casey, our nation has seen pro-life centers being attacked both verbally and criminally. Influential leaders have accused pro-life pregnancy centers of being deceptive and harmful. As someone who has been personally involved as a volunteer and financial donor for two different pro-life crisis pregnancy centers in two locations over the last 25 years, truth and honesty compel me to speak up. Pro-life crisis pregnancy centers receive no government monies (unlike Planned Parenthood). They are supported by donations from people and organizations that recognize the value of human life as made in God’s image and strive to support women and protect the lives of the most innocent and helpless among us who have no voice of their own – the unborn human. I make that distinction because animal rights proponents recognize that protecting the eggs of endangered birds protects the endangered birds, but have you heard anyone arguing that the egg isn’t worthy of protection because it isn’t yet a bird? Instead, there are laws that protect those eggs from anyone who would intentionally harm them. Aren’t unborn humans worthy of protection against intentional harm? Weren’t we all at one time an unborn human? A short video from “Welcome to Truth” explains the humanity of the unborn: “The Unborn is FULLY Human – PROOF in 6 Minutes”.

Before I explain what motivated me personally to begin volunteering and donating to pro-life centers, let’s look at the facts of what these centers actually do – all at no charge to their clients (due to the generosity of their donors) and almost all through the efforts of trained volunteers who are dedicated to helping moms and their babies:

  • Pregnancy decision coaching by trained advocates
  • Free pregnancy tests
  • Information about pregnancy options
  • Material resources (maternity clothes, diapers, infant clothing & supplies, etc.)
  • Post-decision support (including parenting classes and abortion recovery groups)

In some centers (true of the two I’ve been involved with):

  • Consultation with a licensed medical professional
  • Limited ultrasound for pregnancy confirmation
  • Testing for sexually transmitted infections and diseases
  • A medical doctor is available (some volunteering their time)

The most often heard claim made by proponents of abortion is that women have the right to control their own body – an old argument that denies the biological facts that should end abortion altogether:

  • Life begins at conception at the moment the sperm fertilizes the egg – a unique individual with its own DNA is created; nothing else happens beyond this point except time to develop, nutrition, & shelter – the same as other humans in later development stages also need (ie. a newborn, toddler, preschooler, or the infirm (none of which could survive without care).
  • Recent technology confirms the humanity of the unborn fetus (prenatal surgeries, 4-D ultrasounds, etc.)

Is it ever a person’s right as the stronger and more powerful person to deprive a weaker person of their right to live? Is it ever right for someone to choose to kill a child in a later developmental stage because they are inconvenient or expensive or stand in the way of what might be perceived to be more important? I do not stand in judgment of others here because I myself believed the culture’s lies regarding abortion and took the life of my own child in the first trimester. It remains my biggest regret in life, but it took many years before I understood the extent of the damage it had wrought in my own life. Even though God calls the taking of an innocent life an abomination, He offers mercy, forgiveness, and healing to those who have experienced abortion, but repent and cry out to Him for forgiveness (whether it’s the mom or dad or a grandparent or whoever else might have pressured the mom to have an abortion, or the person who performed it).

In my case, I had been married for 7 years but was given an ultimatum by my then husband to abort our child or he would leave. He had decided that he didn’t want children at all. Thinking marriage was forever, I went through with it – hoping all along that he would change his mind. I even asked the clinic worker if it was a baby because if it was, I didn’t want to abort. She said it wasn’t a baby yet – just blood and a clump of cells. She was just repeating the lies she had been told. I realized years later that the reason the doctor said he had to go back in when I thought the surgical abortion was over was that he hadn’t been able to account for all of my baby’s body parts. I was horrified and wept bitterly while again crying out to God. When I consider that, my heart just breaks for the women and teens who have been sent home with a pill to pass their tiny dead baby on their own. Women deserve better than abortion. My husband at the time left anyway soon after the time our baby would have been born. There were no pregnancy care centers at the time of my abortion to offer encouragement and material support if I had my baby – I support them so other women won’t have to go through what I have. What can we do now?

  • Correct false information about the Supreme Court decision and state laws:
    • Supreme Court decision did not outlaw abortion; it simply sent the decision back to the states and the people.
    • None of the states prevent treatment for ectopic pregnancies (not considered an abortion).
    • None of states prevent treatment if the mom’s life is in danger.
  • In listening to some of the people who are upset with Roe v. Wade being overturned (even though that decision was an act of judicial activism at the time and not supported by the Constitution), you would think that pregnancy just happens to women – like an airborne illness. We all know that sex if required and that people who don’t engage do not become pregnant. Pregnancy is a natural consequence of sex between a man and a woman and all choices have consequences. Our culture seems to try to minimize or eliminate the consequences of “sexual freedom” rather than making different choices which would minimize or eliminate those same consequences.
  • As a culture, we need to stop lying to women that “sexual freedom” is helpful to them. A natural consequence is the creation of a human life, so we should only engage intimately with a person who is committed to us for a lifetime (exhibited through marriage). This would eliminate the vast number of “unplanned pregnancies”.
  • Abortion has actually been a friend to irresponsible men who want to be sexually active, but seek to avoid any responsibility resulting from their pleasure seeking. It also increases the exploitation of women and girls as sex abusers and sex traffickers push them into aborting children that are conceived to keep their dark deeds secret or in the case of traffickers, to keep bringing in money.
  • For those who have serious financial concerns, pro-life centers can provide needed support both before birth and afterward. As Christians, we all need to step up and help here – with our time, our money, and for some, as adoptive parents.
  • Women have been created to nurture and protect their children (you see this clearly even in the animal world); abortion turns this reality upside down to the detriment of women’s emotional health (even when they don’t consciously recognize it). It was years before I was able to see the connections:
    • extensive depression when my next child was born, preventing healthy bonding between us and hindering her ability to learn to communicate her emotions effectively
    • difficulty in marriage and other relationships caused by my insecurities and feelings of unworthiness as a person
    • as a parent, fought feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness to be a mom
    • recognizing that I had prevented my girls from having an older brother (which I had always wanted as a child)
    • before accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior and experiencing His amazing forgiveness, I had a deep, but silent fear of His judgment because of my abortion
    • considering how old my first child would be and wondering who he would have become (during the healing study I took, God revealed to me that my child was a boy)

Once I experienced God’s forgiveness, I rejected going through a post-abortion Bible study because I didn’t think it was needed. However, because I wanted to volunteer to help other women, I took part in one – I never dreamed that God had such a deep level of healing and restoration for me to experience through it. Now I help lead other women through the same kind of healing study that God used to bring me to a place of complete freedom – through a local pro-life crisis pregnancy center. What many may not know is that some of the most dedicated pro-life people are women who have experienced abortion.

There are so many stories of people whose moms chose life and the blessings that come from that decision. Some you may recognize – Tim Tebow, Kanye West, Nick Cannon, Greg Stier (founder of Dare 2 Share) – see a list of 23 celebrities at “Welcome to the Truth”. How many people with various talents and much to offer have been prevented from being born? We will never know what contributions they would have made – whether they would become celebrities or be less well-known, but equally valuable, members of society.

Abortion providers do not offer true choices and they do nothing for free – abortions are a big revenue source for them. States that created laws limiting abortion are revealing this truth. Abortion centers are closing because that’s the only choice they offer. One answer to a situation is not a choice. Crisis pro-life pregnancy centers offer real choices and real support for women who are struggling with life-altering decisions. Every year, I hear testimonies from pro-life center clients who have chosen life for their babies, and they are so glad they did. For more detail of what pro-life centers do, check out the article by “Life News”, “Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers Helped 2 Million People, Provided $266 Million to Help Women. In Just One Year”

So – are pro-life pregnancy centers harmful? Absolutely not! They were started and are maintained by people who truly care about women and their unborn babies. They put their time, money, and efforts where their mouth is. They do not benefit from their involvement – it is truly a labor of love. Those who attack them speak out of ignorance. If you’re still not sure, visit one for yourself.

© Constance Rice 2022

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