GUEST POST: Abortion supporters love to demonize pregnancy resource centers, but anyone who has been paying attention will notice they do a lot of good. From free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds to parenting classes and baby supplies, pro-life pregnancy centers offer families life-saving resources and community.
You don’t have to take pro-lifers’ word for it. We now have statistical proof that pregnancy centers offer superior services at a lower cost than the abortion industry. A new study in the journal Contraception shows that pregnancy centers had shorter wait times and were significantly more likely than abortion facilities to offer same-day appointments. Additionally, the vast majority of pregnancy centers do not charge for pregnancy tests or ultrasounds, while abortion businesses generally do—around $24 for a pregnancy test and $162 for an ultrasound.
The study is robust, including data from all 50 states. Researchers looked at 445 abortion businesses and compared them with nearby pregnancy centers. The data show that 68 percent of pregnancy centers offered same-day appointments, compared with just 32 percent of abortion businesses.
Researchers offered further analysis of pregnancy centers by dividing the data between states deemed favorable to pregnancy centers and those that were not. The study defined states as favorable to pregnancy centers if they provide taxpayer funding, directly or indirectly, of pregnancy centers or have legislation requiring a referral to a pregnancy center. The resulting analysis included 25 states considered supportive of pregnancy centers and 25 states not considered supportive.
The results were eye-opening. In states favorable to pregnancy centers, the abortion industry had improved wait times and decreased prices for services like pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. The competitive pressure from the free and accessible pregnancy centers in states favorable to these resources means that the abortion industry was more likely to improve services for women and reduce prices.
Writing for National Review, pro-life scholar Michael New noted that Contraception is by no means a pro-life journal. He wrote, “Many of the studies they publish have a bias in favor of legal abortion and contraception use.” New noted that the authors are researchers with the University of Pittsburgh and none were associated with pro-life organizations. New concluded, “A liberal academic journal published an analytically rigorous study showing that pregnancy centers offer better and less costly services to women. Overall, this is a great testament to the nearly 3,000 pregnancy help centers in the United States that tirelessly provide life-affirming alternatives to pregnant women every day.”
Pro-lifers should celebrate this decisive study of the effectiveness and necessity of pregnancy resource centers across the country. It should be common sense that the volunteers committed to helping mothers and their babies will offer better services than the industry that exists to prey on vulnerable women and kill their preborn babies.
However, abortion activists are so disingenuous that they continue to accuse pregnancy centers of “torturing” women. And it was not a fringe activist making such a laughable statement; United States Senator Elizabeth Warren made that outrageous claim while demanding a nationwide crackdown on the charitable work of pro-life pregnancy centers and increased reporting requirements. All while the abortion industry still has limited to nonexistent reporting requirement on the number of abortions committed and the complications suffered by mothers who undergo abortions.
While many pregnancy centers do not receive taxpayer funding for their necessary and beneficial services, Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, continues to rake in well over half a billion dollars in government funding. Yet, pregnancy resource centers outnumber Planned Parenthood 14 to 1.
Abortion activists claim to want to help women. Are they helping women by continually attacking the very pregnancy centers that offer accessible, free services? Certainly not, and the latest study from Contraception shows how obvious this is.
Beyond pregnancy services, many pregnancy centers offer free testing for sexually transmitted infections, parenting classes, necessities for babies and toddlers, and a supportive community in which to make a choice to parent or place a child with an adoptive family. If abortion activists actually want to help women, then it is high time they back life-saving pregnancy resource centers that give mothers real choices.
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