For a mother experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, the idea of raising a child alone or without adequate support can seem overwhelming. They’re thinking about an uncertain future, how can they afford clothes and food, how will they afford childcare, and what about the father of the baby? Will he be involved or not?
These are real concerns that women experience. Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses don’t offer maternal support or life-affirming choices, so that’s where pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) come in.
Through the generous support of donors, these PRCs are strategically placed throughout the country to help meet the needs of local communities. Recently, The Daily Citizen was on the ground at Life Network’s newly opened Colorado Springs Pregnancy Center in Fountain, Colorado where women and men of all ages and backgrounds can come and get support for an unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease testing.
“We love this area and this community, we have wanted to be in the Fountain Valley community for a very long time,” Christine Reyes, Chief Operating Officer of Life Network, said at the Fountain open house. “We know there is a high need here, so we’re very excited, in part, because it’s a beautiful facility. When a client walks into the door, she’s going to feel like we really care about her, we took the time to make this place nice, comfortable, warm and welcoming.
“We want them to be able to sit down and talk with that client advocate and feel like we care about them. That we’re here to listen to what’s going on in her life and see if we can help her walk through this pregnancy journey.”
Christine is a veteran of the PRC world, having served in centers across the country for 39 years, ministering to women, men, couples and families in the midst of a challenging time.
“I started in Florida in my early 20s, and there were some people on the steering committee of a pregnancy center and were interested in having young voices speak into what they were going to be opening,” Christine shares. “This was way back in the beginning with Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop started what used to be Christian Action Council and eventually became Care Net.”
“We didn’t have any idea at the time, that we would be involved in this for our entire lives.”
As part of her involvement, Christine became part of one, if not the first, PRC to open in Florida, paving the way for the over 150 other locations now positioned across the Sunshine State.
“When I was young and early married, we were pregnant with our first child and we read Francis Schaeffer’s book, ‘Whatever Happened to the Human Race.’ I realized I was very naïve about the fact that babies like mine were being aborted every single day. I didn’t really ever think about that, and that book changed my life,” she said.
“I realized it was something I had to stand up and have a voice for.”
Working in a PRC has its ups and downs for sure, with many women choosing life and others who sometimes choose abortion, but the support is there regardless of a woman’s final decision.
“Every single day, we have incredible stories,” Christine shared. “I use the Forrest Gump saying, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates,’ you never know what you’re going to get or who’s going to walk through that door.”
Depending on the situation, a PRC like Life Network could have a high school teen who has an unplanned pregnancy, a victim of sex trafficking or a mother who already has two kids under the age of two and doesn’t think she can support another.
To help navigate these difficult situations, Life Network begins by asking open-ended questions, and really trying to have a conversation and connecting with a woman and learning more about her story. That interaction can be life changing.
There’s one particular story that sticks out to Christine.
“There was a young mom who went through the whole process, after initially considering an abortion. She changed her mind after the ultrasound and was in the Life Steps parenting program, and had her baby,” she shared.
“She had heard about the option for adoption throughout her pregnancy, but she wanted to parent. But after the baby was born reality hit her between the eyes and she went to her advocate at some point and said, ‘I can’t do this. I thought I could be a mother, but I’m not equipped even though I’m in the program. I’m too young and I’m afraid. I would really like to talk with someone about adoption.’”
Her baby was about three months old at the time, but Life Network and her advocate team were her safe place. So, she asked and was connected with an adoption agency. After she had chosen the family she wanted to place her child with, the relinquishment occurred at the Life Network facility where she had been encouraged and loved on.
“So, we were all upstairs crying and praying because we knew what was going on downstairs,” Christine said. “But she felt safe enough to go to someone and say, I thought I could do this, but I can’t. I love my baby, and I want to make a choice for adoption.”
It’s an incredible story, and one the mainstream media is unlikely to share. Instead of championing the tireless work of PRCs across the country, generally the left-leaning press calls them “fake clinics” and encourages women to steer clear. But what’s portrayed by these outlets is not what actually happens.
When asked about how PRCs impact the community, Christine explained: “We have great medical care. We have very excellent well-trained personnel. We have nurses, a medical director and a medical team, and, you know, the truth always wins. I am so confident with what we do and how we work with women.
“If you go online and look at the reviews, you start seeing that our clients are our advocates. We are so busy because our current and former clients send their friends here. This is another sweet story, but a hard story.”
Christine shared, “We had a young woman that came in but she did make an abortion decision. When she initially came in, we worked real hard, we prayed over her that she would make a decision for life, but she didn’t. And the next day when I drove into work, I saw someone sitting on the step, and I look and it’s her. She was crying, and saying, ‘I knew I could come back and talk to you because I knew you cared.’ She made an abortion decision and regretted it immediately. However, she knew that we were going to care for her regardless.
“God gives us free will and she made a choice.”
This is what PRCs do so well. It’s not only that they support a woman during pregnancy and afterwards, women can stay in the program until their child is two at Life Network, but even if they make an abortion decision, the door is always open.
“We do what we do with love and compassion and empathy, because we really care about the client,” she said. “We can pray with them, love on them, and share the truth in love. Ultimately, whether I like it or not, they have a choice and it’s their choice to make. All I can share is truth and love and pray and ask the Lord to intervene.”
Pregnancy Resource Centers are oftentimes looking for volunteers, so prayerfully consider getting involved in your local pro-life ministries.
Also, continue to pray for women facing an unplanned pregnancy, that may find hope and grace in Christ and support through their local PRC.