Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Care Net Announces the Release of First-Ever In-Depth Report On Pregnancy Center Movement


Today, at 1:00 pm Eastern time, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Family Research Council, along with Care Net and other national pro-life groups, will release a groundbreaking report, A Passion to Serve, A Vision for Life, which shares the tremendous contributions of pregnancy resource centers since the inception of the movement over forty years ago.

The event will be broadcast live on the web at at 1 pm Eastern time. Later this week, the report will be available on this same website for order or to download a copy. Order one for your nearby pregnancy center to help them spread the word about their work in your community!

The report represents a year-long, combined effort by Care Net, Heartbeat International, NIFLA, Life International, and Family Research Council. The report was featured at the Care Net National Pregnancy Center Conference in September and is a key component of Care Net’s current communication strategy to assist pregnancy centers in sharing their work with a broader audience of state legislators, media, public health officials, and others in key positions.

At the press conference Wednesday, Care Net President Melinda Delahoyde will join a panel of speakers including physicians, clients served by the centers, and presidents from Heartbeat International and NIFLA representing, together with Care Net, more than 2,300 cross-affiliates in all 50 states. The news conference will address the impact of pregnancy resource centers on women’s, adolescent, maternal and child health and how the movement’s growth is driven by the public’s desire to support abortion alternatives.

Care Net’s Melinda Delahoyde said this about this first-ever report:

“Having been involved with this incredible movement for decades, I can tell you just what an historical moment the release of this report is in our history. Pregnancy centers have grown tremendously over the past four decades to become one of the most critical and reliable non-profit organizations in communities across America.

“This report tells the untold story about the vast, beneficial impact of pregnancy centers, which are helping to improve maternal and child health and well being, saving taxpayer dollars, and partnering with hundreds of agencies to provide a web of support for women facing unplanned pregnancies.”

The following speakers will present at the press conference:

Joxel Garcia, M.D., Former Assistant Secretary of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Freda McKissic Bush, M.D., Former Member Presidential Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS; Sandy Christiansen, M.D., Member Christian Medical Association; Margaret Hartshorn, Ph.D., President, Heartbeat International; Melinda Delahoyde, President, Care Net; Thomas Glessner, J.D., President, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates.

Please pass the word on about this important webcast and share with others the impact of pregnancy centers as portrayed in this new, groundbreaking report!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

750 Miles to Care Net Conference: We are Inspired!


Picture this: six cyclists (and one driver) arriving at the Care Net National Pregnancy Center Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, completing their 750 mile trip from Grand Rapids, Michigan, a cheering crowd of conference attendees, big smiles, exhaustion and satisfaction in an amazing journey well done!

Mark Congrove, Executive Director of the Lakeshore Pregnancy Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan had a wild idea. Bike to the Care Net conference in Baltimore, raise awareness about the plight of women facing unplanned pregnancies and the compassionate work of pregnancy centers along the way, and make pit stops at various pregnancy centers for publicity and refreshment. It was a vision that many responded to, including Rep. Peter Hoekstra who apparently biked part of the way with them!

Their blog followed their bike ride – wherever they could find Wifi:

“What is done here at Lakeshore Pregnancy Center is so much more than simply preventing abortions or showing students why God's truth makes sense in their lives. LPC is playing a vital role in restoring men, women, children, and families to God, His truth, and the blessings that come with that.” Read more…
Please join us in congratulating the Bike for Life team from Michigan! We know that their efforts will be fruitful not only in their own lives but in the lives of their community that will continue to be impacted by their devotion and efforts!

Send a congrats to Director Mark Congrove at

If you want to plan out next year’s bike ride, the 2010 Care Net National Pregnancy Center Conference will be in Grapevine, Texas (near Dallas)! Go for it!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Study Shows Recession Making Women Think Again About Pregnancy


Several sources have recently covered a survey conducted by AGI, a former Planned Parenthood affiliate, which found that because of the current economy, many women want to delay pregnancy or limit the number of children they have. The poll showed that sixty-four percent of women agreed with the statement, "With the economy the way that it is, I can't afford to have a baby right now."

It's easy to see how this thought could cross the minds of couples in today's culture. "How could we care for a child in this economy when things are so unstable?" "Would we be wise to think about starting a family when the economy is in shambles?" It's funny how the voice of uncertainty can slowly creep in and start taking over.

You see, the truth of the matter is, the economy is not really the culprit here. I have heard this concern voiced to me many times...even when the economy wasn't in this shape. As young couples are just starting out, trying to "make their way in this world," they are constantly bombarded with the world's view of the proper order of things: get your life together completely, and don't have children until you have enough money and resources saved to support an entire village. If you mess up this order, you will be deemed a bad parent forever!

What IF you become pregnant and you don't have your life together by the world's standards? This particular survey was conducted of women who were conscientiously deciding that the economy was the deciding factor of whether or not to have children right now. If that's the case, what happens when they get pregnant anyway? Their minds are already made up that they can't handle it. So where do they go?

Many women who walk into pregnancy centers everyday are facing similar financial burdens. Before their visit, they are often not aware of the resources around them that can help - churches, day care co-ops, adoption support, community-based agencies, and free pregnancy center services offering parenting support and material resources - cribs, clothing, diapers, etc. Unfortunately, the lie that has been sold to them is, "You're all alone. You're weak - you can't do this. There is no help out there for you." And tragically, some women tell us later on that believing those lies caused them to choose abortion.

This is the time for pregnancy centers to step up their efforts in reaching, educating, and connecting with women in this economy. The lies are just that - lies! Women aren't alone, there is help for them out there, and they can be good parents, even in a bad economy.

So my message to the women surveyed is this: Do not be afraid! If you are pregnant, and you still have doubts and fears, find your local pregnancy center. They exist to provide free services to women and men facing unplanned pregnancies. And finally, remember that "The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him." (Nahum 1:7)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What Two South Dakota Care Net Pregnancy Centers Can Teach Us All


Last week I joined a pro-life friend for dinner at the Old Ebbitt Grill across from the White House in Washington DC. As I devoured a Rueben sandwich and fries, I passively mentioned the increased attacks facing pregnancy centers from NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and other pro-abortion organizations.

Her response did not surprise me. I’ve heard it time and time again—But no one really wants to attack pregnancy centers do they? Why would anyone oppose the work of centers? I knew what was flying through her mind—Aren’t pregnancy centers uncontroversial, unthreatening, meek, and passive? Don’t they “fly under the radar?” Why would anyone want to attack sweet little center workers and volunteers passing out diapers and baby cribs?

The truth is that pregnancy centers are a significant, if not primary, target of America’s largest pro-abortion organizations. Centers are more than providers of baby goods. They are dynamic, vocal, involved, effective in reducing abortions, and avid defenders of women. There is no better example of this than the recent action of two Care Net pregnancy centers in South Dakota.

On August 20th, a federal judge struck down a portion of a pro-life law in South Dakota mandating that women seeking abortions be informed that abortion increases the risk of suicide, and that women have legal relationships with their unborn children. Rather than passively accepting the judge’s decision, the Alpha Center in Sioux Falls and the Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center in Rapid City joined a lawsuit appealing the judge’s decision to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Joining a lawsuit of this magnitude naturally brings increased criticism, scrutiny, and publicity attacks against these centers, not to mention personal attacks against the centers' executive directors. But, these centers, like all pregnancy centers, daily see the pain and hurt caused by abortion as they provide compassionate care to the thousands of women who undergo post-abortion healing in pregnancy centers each year.

When it comes to defending women and providing the truth about abortion, centers are not willing to just sit in the shadows.

While I burst with admiration for the stand made by the South Dakota centers, I can’t help but think that these courageous centers are merely doing what we should all be doing—daily defending women and speaking the truth about the horrors of abortion. It is not as hard as it might seem. Even the U.S. Supreme Court (yes, the very court that gave us Roe v. Wade) has publically recognized that abortion hurts women in a recent majority opinion.

What are you willing to do? What have you done today? Not sure where to start? How about sharing this blog with a friend!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Newsweek’s ‘Competing Emotions’ on Abortion


Newsweek writer Sarah Kliff visited a late-term abortion clinic in Omaha, Nebraska and said that her reaction surprised her. It wasn’t watching the abortion that unsettled her (she observed a first-term abortion), it was interacting with women and men in the waiting room and observing their emotional angst:

“But there was a discomfort I hadn’t expected, my emotional reaction to watching abortions. It happened when I watched a married couple, in their mid-30s, the husband squeezing his wife's hand, stroking her forehead. Another woman, a single mom with a 10-year-old daughter, started crying when we talked about abortion. ‘I think it’s OK,’ she told me, ‘but it’s hard to see everyone doing it, there’s so many. I’m not mad at them at all. It's just like, wow, there are so many people. There are seven or eight babies out there [in the waiting room].’” Read more.

Kliff is disturbed by what she sees and observes the same emotional conflict and ambivalence among fellow Americans. She points out that while a majority may support Roe v. Wade, many are still uncomfortable with what abortion really is – the taking of human life (or “the potential for life”, she says).

Unsettled feelings about abortion are a sign that it is not a morally neutral medical procedure.

Nevertheless, our feelings should not ultimately dictate our position. Even though we have compassion on a woman considering abortion in the hardest of circumstances, abortion is never the most loving answer.

The best response is to offer compassionate support and practical help to help her carry to term.

Find out how you can get involved in this critical work today by volunteering at a local pregnancy center in your community.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Why the Media Silence on Murder of Pro-Life Demonstrator?


On Friday, Sept. 11th, in the middle of the Care Net national conference, we were contacted by our pregnancy center in Owosso, Michigan about the terrible shooting that had occurred earlier that morning. Care Net sought to provide some comfort as well as guidance regarding media interviews, assuming that as a leading pro-life organization in the community, they would soon be contacted and that the story would quickly hit national news.

Much to our surprise, there was near silence from the national media. This wasn’t just a small town happening, this was a nationally significant story. The lack of appropriate news coverage regarding the murder of pro-life demonstrator Jim Poullion raises a question that deserves a national discussion:

Is our culture coarsening to the reality of abortion or is the media just obsessively politically correct?

In so many areas, we see reason for encouragement as tens of thousands of people volunteer every year to reach out with help to women facing unplanned pregnancies. But when something like this happens, it can be devastating or frightening to those volunteering in pro-life causes.

This is not a time to shrink back, but a time to press forward in positive, compassionate ways to educate, support, and care for those considering an abortion. Pray for healing in our country and for the protection of all human life – both the unborn and those that defend them publicly.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Our Comment Policy

Care Net and the Inspire Life team wishes to engage in an open dialogue with you about the Inspire Life campaign. We're particularly interested in hearing about how you are "inspiring life" in your own community!

Comments are moderated and may take some time to appear. Obscenities and spam—including bashing, solicitations, repetitive or fraudulent comments, and comments that are irrelevant to the post under which they are written—will not be published.

Grammy Award Winner Rebecca St. James Screens New Film at Care Net Conference


Hundreds of attendees at the Care Net National Pregnancy Center Conference and our Inspire Life team members were blessed to have an opportunity to preview “Sarah’s Choice”, a new film about a young professional woman considering abortion. It was so powerful!

Grammy Award winner and lead actress Rebecca St. James shared with conference attendees about her experience in the film. What a lovely, gracious woman! She performed a few songs for us, including one that she wrote for the film, “My Little One.”

We love the compassion “Sarah’s Choice” shows for women facing an unplanned pregnancy.

How this film inspires life:

  • It’s an honest portrayal of how a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy wrestles with her relationship with God.

  • It shows how important it is for a woman considering abortion to get accurate information about fetal development and compassionate, nonjudgmental support from friends and family.

  • It’s a dialogue about how God doesn’t always make sense and answer prayers the way we expect or want, but He is still good and loving.

  • It reminds us that women facing unplanned pregnancies need support, encouragement, and hope, not judgment, legalism, and despair.

  • It follows the life and feelings of her boyfriend too and suggests that men appreciate being challenged to do the hard thing.

  • It shows that abortion hurts women - for years - but healing is possible!

We applaud Rebecca, PureFlix Entertainment, and everyone involved in the making of this film. It comes out on DVD on Nov. 17th. Join the film group on Facebook to get the inside scoop!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Welcome to Inspire Life!


All of us at Care Net could not be more excited about our new Inspire Life campaign! Our mission is to mobilize the pro-life movement to reach out with compassion and support to women facing unplanned pregnancies. We particularly want to build this movement online – will you help us? As a result, we hope to see thousands of lives saved and hearts touched!

We’re kicking off the campaign this week at the 2009 Care Net National Pregnancy Center Conference with more than 900 people in attendance from across North America!

We invite you to join the campaign! Partner with us and thousands of pregnancy centers across the nation that are reaching out with compassion and hope to those facing an unplanned pregnancy.

One person, no matter their gifts, skills, or abilities, can have a tremendous influence. Consider the long-term impact that your involvement could have on generations!

We know that while there are limits to what the pro-life movement can do to build a “culture of life” on legal and political fronts, there is no limit to what one person can do to inspire life, one person at a time.

There are many ways to get involved! Check out the Inspire Life website for details! We pray this blog will be a fantastic source of information and motivation for you in the days ahead!