By: Leslie Bosslet, Students for Life of America’s 2012 Missionary for Life
We all love life, yes? Not necessarily “life” as in pro-life, but we all, or at least the great majority, value living. One reason we enjoy life is to feel good. And one way we do this is to hear about good things that happen to us or even to strangers. We smile when we get that warm and fuzzy feeling. We celebrate our successes and our feats.
Tina, a lovely SFLA staffer, commented recently that heroes are praised quite often for saving lives. You hear on the news that a young adult jumped into a pool to save a drowning child, and the community throws roses at them, figuratively (usually). And this is great! We have communities that rally around courageous people and good deeds. This brings me to my point.
I want to take a moment to congratulate the workers at any and all pregnancy resource centers. Many of these centers are run by majority volunteer peer counselors. People give up their time, unpaid, to counsel women and men who are facing unexpected pregnancies and relationship problems. They go through hours of training and practice sessions. At many of these centers, they pray for their clients regularly. Finally, lives are saved because pregnant women are lovingly given a listening ear and life-affirming choices. They are gently given information on the abortion procedure itself, so that they know the reality of the effect it can have on their bodies. Counselors are trained to be kind, factual, and completely non-judgmental. They tell the truth and they allow women to make their choices.
Incredible things have been done or chosen as a result of this counseling, and lives have been saved. I have been privileged to spend some time interning at a Care Net center. Not only are they truly some of the kindest people I have ever met (I don’t make statements like that often), but they do incredible work. According to Care Net’s numbers from September 2010, there are an estimated 2,300 pregnancy centers in the U.S. and Canada. At Care Net centers alone (there are 1,120 Care Net affiliates in the U.S. and Canada):
- 429,000 clients served every year
- 329,000 Pregnancy tests provided
- 70,000 Ultrasounds conducted
- 305,000 Clients received material resources such as maternity/baby clothes, layettes
- 144,000 Parents received parenting education
- 23,000 Women and men participated in post-abortion recovery programs
- 1,000,000 Individuals were educated about the benefits of abstinence outside of marriage
- 29,000 Volunteers helped in pregnancy centers
- *95% of pregnant women who visit a Care Net pregnancy center decide to carry their pregnancy to term*
In case you missed my little stars, did you catch that last stat? 95% of pregnant clients of Care Net alone chose to give life to their children. Thousands of babies are in the world today in at least some part because of counseling they courageously received. Now if PRC counselors are not heroes, then I don’t know who are.
Let’s applaud them, and if you are inclined, pray for these PRC volunteers. They rescue the lives of babies and distressed women and men from long-term heartbreak every single day. Well done, counselors and volunteers, well done.