America is facing the most horrific crisis since the Great Depression. Not only is the health and lives of millions of Americans at risk during this pandemic, but so is the financial future of millions more.
Lives are at stake. But Americans are rising to the occasion to respond and overcome. Americans are working together to save lives.
A great example of American “can do” determination to overcome harrowing circumstances can be seen in the work of thousands of life-affirming pregnancy centers and medical clinics. Such centers provide essential services to pregnant mothers who are contemplating abortion. Such centers do not offer abortion. Rather, they offer much more – critical services that save lives and essential heath resources to meet needs in communities nationwide.
All services provided by pregnancy centers and medical clinics are free of charge to both the women served and to taxpayers. Resources provided are donated in every community where a pregnancy center exists. In a time when government resources are stretched to the max, the availability of such a network is welcome news.
Karolyn Schrage, RN, BSN and executive director of LifeChoices Health Network wrote that while many health departments are restricting services, referrals from other health organizations are being sent their way. The Missouri Department of Health sent an urgent request asking for help to find and treat a young pregnant mother that tested positive for Syphilis. She needed treatment immediately to avoid deadly complications for her unborn child. Schrage also said the state department’s Senior Epidemiology Specialist wrote to her to express gratitude for her center’s “exceptional efforts” and their partnership which allowed them to get the young mother and her unborn child life-saving medical intervention.
A recent report from the Charlotte Lozier Institute in Washington, D.C. found in 2017 the free services provided by this life-affirming network saved the tax-payers $161 million. The valuable medical services provided include ultrasound confirmation of pregnancy, detection of possible life-threatening ectopic pregnancies, STI testing and treatment, prenatal vitamins, referrals for prenatal care and follow-up well-women visits.
All medical services are provided under the direction and supervision of a licensed physician. In regard to the provision of ultrasound, they abide by national medical guidelines issued by the American Institute in Ultrasound Medicine (AIUM). In addition to the supervising medical physician, the medical staff at many of these clinics also includes Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, sonographers and Physician Assistants. Most of these professionals provide their services on a volunteer basis. Such medical services are clearly essential to women when other medical sources are limited or overwhelmed with a national pandemic.
Non-medical pregnancy centers provide, at no cost, essential resources such as diapers, baby wipes, baby food and formula, prenatal vitamins, clothing for both mother and baby, and referrals for medical help. These material resources are essential during a time of scarcity. They are perhaps more critical to women and children in need than ever before as many face the financial turmoil brought on by the pandemic.
The work of life-affirming pregnancy centers and medical clinics is welcomed and honored in most segments of society except for one – the abortion industry. The business of abortion, funded by both state and federal tax dollars, opposes the work of pregnancy centers for one basic reason. Such agencies do not perform or refer for abortions.
In the present crisis, abortion proponents are screaming long and loud that their elective procedures are essential services and therefore, they must stay open. They scream even louder that life-affirming pregnancy centers are not essential and should be closed. But leaders of pregnancy centers are resisting such demands. Instead, they are adapting their operations to comply with current CDC and federal guidelines so they can continue to serve their communities. The essential work of pregnancy centers offers life and resources to sustain and save lives. Abortion clinics offer death as a perceived solution to a difficult situation.
When in our history have Americans ever asserted that death is preferable over life? America is fundamentally and historically a culture that values all human life. Isn’t it obvious which of these two competing forces should be deemed essential?
In the near future, the COVID-19 crisis will pass. But what damage will it have done to the American soul? Will we be a nation that while facing unprecedented difficulties affirmed the value of life for every citizen—even the most vulnerable? Or, will we choose a darker path that leads eventually to the destruction of our identity and noble ideals as Americans?
When historians report on this tragic time, I hope they mention the heroic work of life-affirming pregnancy centers and medical clinics. In this time of sadness, darkness, and death, these dedicated nonprofits didn’t flinch. Instead, they stood firm to save thousands of lives.