Home Christian News Despite Attacks, Christian Pregnancy Centers Poised to Expand as Roe Falls

Despite Attacks, Christian Pregnancy Centers Poised to Expand as Roe Falls

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Vandalization to the Mountain Area Pregnancy Services property in Asheville, North Carolina, June 7, 2022. Courtesy photo

(RNS) — One Tuesday in early June, Kristi Brown, executive director of Mountain Area Pregnancy Services in Asheville, North Carolina, arrived at work to find shattered windows, a broken door and red, spray-painted text scrawled across the sidewalk. “If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you,” the graffiti read.

A month earlier, Politico had published a draft majority opinion in the Mississippi abortion rights case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, showing that the Supreme Court had voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. Since the draft opinion was leaked, at least a dozen pregnancy centers like Mountain Area have suffered attacks, many of which have been claimed by what appears to be a radical abortion’s rights group called Jane’s Revenge.

“You hope it’s never you, but you know it’s always a possibility,” said Brown.

With the formal announcement of the Dobbs decision on Friday (June 24), pregnancy centers in Lynchburg, Virginia, and Longmont, Colorado, were vandalized or set ablaze, just as centers braced for the influx of clients they expect in a post-Roe world.

Crisis pregnancy centers do not support or offer abortions. Instead, these organizations, most of them sponsored or run by Christians, offer free parenting classes, pregnancy tests and post-abortion counseling, hoping to give clients the option to carry their pregnancies to term. While most are not licensed medical facilities, some offer ultrasounds to confirm pregnancies or testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.

While the centers believe they embody Christ’s love by serving what they nearly uniformly call “the unborn,” they have been long criticized by abortion rights advocates, who say the centers intentionally mislead women. Offering “pregnancy services” or “free pre-termination evaluations,” they draw women who may think the centers provide abortions. Ultrasound images are often used to help dissuade women from seeking abortion.

Planned Parenthood calls crisis pregnancy centers “fake clinics” and says they aim to “scare, shame, or pressure you out of getting an abortion” while withholding “honest facts about sexual health and your pregnancy options.”

James Harden. Photo courtesy CompassCare

James Harden. Photo courtesy of CompassCare

But crisis pregnancy centers already outnumber abortion clinics, even before some clinics began shuttering across the country in the wake of the Dobbs decision, and some pregnancy centers are moving to expand their role.

Post-Roe, pregnancy center directors say their organizations will have a better chance of reaching clients before they access abortion clinics.

“For pro-life pregnancy centers, we for the first time have the opportunity to compete head-on with this billion-dollar abortion business,” said James Harden, CEO of CompassCare, a Christian pregnancy organization in upstate New York.

Mountain Area Pregnancy Services, a faith-based organization that partners with over 100 local churches, often refers clients to an adoption agency it partners with and soon hopes to support a local foster care program, said Brown.

“If we do get an influx, we are then prepared to add staff and to add machinery, whatever we need to do,” added Brown, who said the vandalism at the center hasn’t deterred the staff.