The violence we’ve seen at our pregnancy centers hurts the women who need our help the most
By Andrea Trudden
Abortion is a hot topic in our nation, there is no denying that. But to assume that all women facing unexpected pregnancies want an abortion is plainly wrong. These women need a place to go because no woman should ever feel abortion is her only choice. That’s where pregnancy help organizations come in.
Heartbeat International—the nation’s largest association of pregnancy help organizations—equip and resource a vast network of pregnancy resource centers, medical clinics, maternity homes, and non-profit adoption agencies. We’ve helped millions of women, from the first flutter in their belly to after that tiny new human is learning to say “mama.”
Pregnancy centers served close to 2 million people with free services and material assistance valuing over $266 million according to data from 2019. And on average, 99% of clients reported having had a positive experience at their local center.
Despite this marked benefit to women, there has been an alarming increase in attacks against life-affirming pregnancy help organizations since the Supreme Court leak occurred on May 2 that indicated a potential overturn of the Roe v. Wade decision.
This anger is completely misguided as these pro-choice vigilantes claim to be standing up for women while simultaneously obstructing women from receiving the pregnancy care they seek.
From harassing calls to death threats, nationwide we at Heartbeat International have heard numerous accounts from more than two dozen organizations in 20 states. Some of these attacks are published, some are not out of fear of retribution.
According to a recent survey, since the leak one in six organizations reported that they have experienced targeted harassment ranging from fake online reviews to vandalism, including the destruction of property.
Written in red spray paint in more than one location is the saying, “if abortion isn’t safe neither are you.” This makes no sense as a response to an unconfirmed decision by the Supreme Court of the land. Much less so for life-affirming pregnancy centers that have been helping women for free throughout the time of Roe and before. These organizations are only targeted because they do not refer for nor provide abortions, a fact they state upfront on their websites.
If something isn’t done now, I fear the violence and rage will only intensify during this time of turmoil, frustration, and anger on both sides of the issue. Yet the ones being hurt most are the ones needing the most help—pregnant mothers.
Every woman deserves compassionate care and support when facing an unexpected pregnancy. Channeling anger toward pregnancy help takes essential care away from these women.
The time the centers must close to clean up paint or replace broken windows is time now that they aren’t able to serve women and families. The women these vandals claim to care about are now being denied care due to what amounts to a dangerous temper tantrum.
All in the name of abortion, these people dismiss the needs of women. The woman who thinks she is pregnant and needs a free pregnancy test to confirm now must wait another day. The woman who had scheduled an ultrasound to confirm how far along she is in her pregnancy must reschedule for another day. The woman who was coming to pick up the diapers she earned by attending parenting classes to help her be a better mother must come back another day.
Don’t these women matter?
Andrea Trudden is Vice President of Communications at Heartbeat International.
This article has been reposted with permission.