Friday, October 30, 2009

Help Care Net Protect Pregnancy Centers in Maryland!


A Call to Action - Vote Expected on Monday, Nov. 2nd!

Over the past few years, attacks against pro-life pregnancy centers have grown in frequency and intensity, most notably in Maryland. In 2008, Maryland pregnancy centers were under legislative attack at the state level, but with strong opposition from Maryland Right to Life, Maryland Catholic Conference, Care Net and local pregnancy centers, those bills were defeated.

An attack has now come in the form of a Baltimore City Council Bill which would require pro-life pregnancy centers to post signs in their waiting room disclosing the services they do not offer. This is information that Care Net already requires its affiliated pregnancy centers to disclose prior to a client receiving a pregnancy test or counseling. This bill is unnecessary and a form of harassment which discriminates only against those with a pro-life viewpoint.

According to Nancy Paltell of the Maryland Catholic Conference, Council Bill 09-0406 is a “stepping stone to passing even more onerous measures against crisis pregnancy centers.” If this bill passes it will be promoted in other cities and counties within Maryland and has potential to spread throughout the entire nation. Get the lowdown on the situation in this great video from MD Catholic Conference:

Care Net is urging pro-life friends in Maryland to take action immediately! Without the support of pregnancy centers in Baltimore, thousands of women every year would have nowhere to turn for such services. The City Council committee is expected to vote on this bill on Monday, Nov. 2nd at 3:30 pm! Visit the Care Net website for information on how you can voice your support for the pro-life work of pregnancy centers.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Feminist Group Plans Halloween Attacks on Pregnancy Centers


When you sign up to volunteer at a pregnancy center, there are a few loud voices in the community who are not going to like it. These folks are generally active in groups like the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), NARAL, and the National Abortion Federation.

For years, groups like these have made accusations of pregnancy centers as scare tactics to keep women from visiting our centers for help. This year, the FMF has launched a video contest to see who among their members can make the most damaging video attacking the work of our nation's pregnancy centers. In addition, they are fired up about a Halloween week of ghoulish activities like staging a protest at a nearby pregnancy center and hosting "a haunted clinic -- instead of ghosts and gouls, emulate what goes on inside a creepy CPC." Read more.

Some may read this and think it's sounds so outlandish, it's almost laughable. Seriously. Think of the tens of thousands of volunteers (yes, volunteers) across the country who are serving in these pregnancy centers, providing free, compassionate help to more than 5,000 women every day. Think of the hundreds of thousands of lives that have been saved over the years. These hardworking pregnancy centers are serving our communities well, and, as so eloquently stated in the latest national report, A Passion to Serve, A Vision for Life, helping to improve maternal and child health, saving taxpayer dollars, and providing abortion alternatives. Who doesn't support this?

Nevertheless, the reality is that pregnancy centers are facing these type of tactics from abortion advocacy groups across the country.

So, how should one respond? The most compelling response is simply to hear the stories of women who have been helped by a pregnancy center. Let the women speak!

Truly, when you see the happy faces of those who chose to carry to term and the joy of new life in their arms, everything else seems to fade away. Life isn't easy for them, but they've chosen a healthy path without regrets.

Just last week, I received an incredible story from a former pregnancy center client who emailed me to share some exciting news in her life - she's engaged! From Pittsburgh, Megan and her story are featured in the new A Passion to Serve pregnancy center report. [Once on the report's website, scroll down to Megan and Ava's story on the home page.] You can also hear Megan share her amazing story on the Youtube video: "Care Net: Chaging Hearts, Saving Lives." In a nutshell, Megan was scheduled to take the abortion pill RU 486 until she saw a bus ad for a pregnancy center, made an appointment, and, together with her boyfriend, viewed little Ava on the ultrasound.

Megan gave me permission to share with you how she's doing today:

Thank you so much for your note and the link to the video and report!! It would be great to see you and others at Care Net in the future!! I have such a warm spot in my heart for Care Net and still think to myself sometimes that I should apply for a job there!

Ava and I are doing great. She just turned 5 (wow!!) and is in kindergarten. I can hardly believe the past years have gone by so fast. And, I'm engaged!! We are planning a May 14, 2010 wedding, and are very excited.
Check out our pictures! I'm still in graduate school. It seems like it's taking forever, especially because for the past couple of semesters I've only been taking one class but I'll finish eventually. I'll eventually have my Masters of Public Administration and really do enjoy the program. So, things are busy!!

Hope all is well with you. Thanks so much for keeping in touch!!

Take care,

Is this not an inspiring story? What would Megan's life have been like had she decided to end her pregnancy with RU 486? Did being a mom stop her from pursuing her dreams? Absolutely not!

And just think! There are thousands of Megan's whose lives are touched in just the same way every day.

So remember, when you volunteer, know there will likely be curmudgeonly critics, but the joy you will receive from your service will be well worth it!

Visit the Inspire Life website today to find out how you can get involved in a local pregnancy center or simply to thank your local pregnancy center for all they do in the community!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Make Your Voice Heard: Abortion is Not Health Care


Care Net and the Inspire Life team would like to bring you up to speed on the Health Care Reform effort and how the abortion issue is playing out. We've been informed that abortion is still very much a part of the health care bills going forward. In addition, there are other pro-life concerns that are not being thoroughly addressed, such as the right of conscience for pro-life healthcare professionals and end-of-life care policies.

Our friends at Americans United for Life have provided some in-depth updates about these concerns on their blog. Also, our pro-life contacts on Capitol Hill provide this helpful overview. We encourage you to check it out! We also are asking you to action...

Now is the time to make your voice heard in this critical health care debate! Care Net has provided an "action kit" of pro-life materials that will help you voice your values in your own community - letters to the editor, sample emails to friends, and directions on how to contact your elected officials. We've specifically spelled out the concerns for pregnancy centers and the ongoing provision of free, compassionate, life-affirming care to women facing unplanned pregnancies.

The topic of health care reform can be a confusing one for many of us. The key thing to remember is this: abortion is not and never will be health care in any sense of the word. Secondly, it is critical that pro-life individuals speak up and take part in this debate. Pro-life leaders have forecasted that health care is becoming an increasingly important issue in which pro-life individuals should be thoroughly engaged. Stay tuned and make your voice heard!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Do Faith Communities Somehow Breed Teen Pregnancy?


Part of promoting life is to lead people to a lifestyle of healthy relationships. Having said that, there has been some talk about a new study that was posted in Christianity Today and elsewhere suggesting a correlation between teen pregnancy and conservative religious beliefs. This study states:

“With data aggregated at the state level, conservative religious beliefs strongly predict U.S. teen birth rates, in a relationship that does not appear to be the result of confounding by income or abortion rates. One possible explanation for this relationship is that teens in more religious communities may be less likely to use contraception.” Read the full study published in the journal, Reproductive Health.

Here are a couple of the ultimate questions that this study raises:
  1. Is a good approach to prevention of unplanned pregnancy the teaching of condom use?

  2. Is Abstinence Education a failed approach just because many who teach abstinence education are from faith-based organizations?
In response to question number one…Are condoms the healthiest choice for our teens? No. They’re not 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, but even if they were, the question remains whether their distribution is an approach that truly protects the future of our teens. Working more pro-actively than re-actively with our youth will produce more long-lasting and protective measures than simple condom usage programs could dream of.

In response to question number two… First of all, this study appears to be an attack on the Christian faith, which, in contrast to the assumptions made in the study, empowers individuals to live healthy, whole lives when sex is enjoyed within the context of marriage. While some abstinence educators in schools come from this faith perspective, their programs are based on the most protective and effective public health measures for young people, not religious viewpoints.

Secondly, it is easy to see where confusion may enter in when there is not enough information given on what abstinence education really is. The article in mention refers to abstinence education as “abstinence only” which implies that abstinence education is a “just say no” program. Most abstinence educators would not think to refer to their curriculum as “abstinence only”. This statement could not be farther from the true description of abstinence education. Abstinence educators pride themselves in the variety of subjects that they cover. Some of the main topics of abstinence education include:

  • Healthy Relationships
  • Avoiding compromising situations [to include: drugs/alcohol, being alone with significant other etc.]
  • Settings Goals and protecting your future
  • Maturity
  • Refusal Skills
  • STD/STI Education and Statistics
  • Condom Statistics
  • Intimacy
  • Love vs. Infatuation
  • Steps to Sexual Progression
  • Starting Over
These are just a few of the many subjects that abstinence education covers for our youth. The point is that abstinence education is instrumental in helping our teens make an informed decision.

And how do teens respond to such a message? Abstinence educators describe countless young people that have come up to them after presentations and say, “Why has nobody else told us this before?” or “It is so nice to know I am not the only one that is not doing it… I thought everyone else was.” Our youth are more intelligent than many are willing to give them credit. They have intellectual choices to make… not instinctual.

[For more information on the effectiveness of abstinence education in our nation, read the latest information from the Institute for Research and Evaluation.]

Pregnancy centers have a unique opportunity to get involved pro-actively with the teens in their communities to teach ways to avoid compromising situations that lead to sex. As we purpose to inspire life, let’s remember to teach our teens to make healthy lifestyle choices in every area of life!

Toneia Mayes is a Care Net Regional Consultant and a consultant for Community Based Abstinence Education grants. She can be reached at

Monday, October 5, 2009

New Report on PRCs Hitting the Blogosphere


We've been so INSPIRED to see the number of bloggers rallying behind the new report A Passion to Serve, A Vision for Life! Check out the latest from Professor Michael J. New on National Review Online (NRO):

"...the testimonials in FRC's latest report are evidence of the positive impact of the life-affirming options offered by many pregnancy-resource centers. As such, it is not surprising that activists for abortion rights feel threatened." Read the full article.

Professor New is responding to a vitriolic attack on the report that was published by RH Reality Check website. While this attack is rife with inaccuracies and is overwhelmingly meanspirited, you should know that this type of information is out there on the web. We need your help to get out the truth! Let's start a virtual rally! It's so important that women who need the help of pregnancy centers know about their critical, helpful, and compassionate services!

Please post a link to this new report from your blog or website and encourage people to support and volunteer at a local pregnancy center!

Here's a shout out to the bloggers who have already posted on our report - we thank you!