The Family Research Council announced on Monday the release of a new report showing the impact Pregnancy Resource Centers make in local and national communities.
According to the report, titled "A Passion to Serve: How Pregnancy Resource Centers Empower Women, Help Families and Strengthen Communities," PRCs helped reduce the rate of repeat abortions which, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, account for at least 36 percent of abortions." Approximately 50 million abortions have been performed in the U.S. between 1973 and 2008.
Jeanne Monahan, director of the Center for Human Dignity at FRC, said at a pro-life FRC conference Monday that the report "quantifies the impact pregnancy centers are making." The authors of the study estimate PRCs save taxpayers at least $100 million a year.
The study also found that most pregnancy centers use funds that are raised locally and less than 10 percent of the income of the nation's PRCs comes from governmental sources. More than 80 percent of the centers examined in the report receive no public funding at all.
Every day in the U.S., "PRCs assist an average of 6,500 Americans, female and male, young and old, with sexuality and pregnancy-related concerns," the report said. In 2010, PRCs served over 2.3 million people with pregnancy assistance, abstinence counseling and education, community outreach programs and referrals, and public health linkages.
Serrin M. Foster, president of Feminists for Life, told The Christian Post that PRCs are "essential guides for women through the maze of services available." They don't just collect resources like diapers and maternity clothes, but also provide information and services.
PRCs also provide pregnancy tests, ultrasound and medical services, abstinence education, consulting and education, as well as parenting and childbirth classes. These resources are generally provided at little or no cost to clients because of charitable donations and volunteers.
Pregnancy center networks like Care Net, Heartbeat, and NIFLA together rely on more than 70,000 volunteers who do fundraising, center refurbishing, bookkeeping, and counseling. Oftentimes even the medical personnel who help in centers are volunteers as well.
In recent years, organizations like NARAL Pro-Choice America have introduced legislation against PRCs. "The abortion industry clearly seeks to thwart the life-saving work of PRCs," the report states.
The bills introduced by NARAL would force pregnancy centers to post signs in their waiting rooms and in advertising, indicating that they do not perform or refer for abortions.
But these bills have been defeated in Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington. In Virginia, the bill was withdrawn after the doctor testifying for it said the NARAL study used in the bill had "methodological flaws and was biased."
Researchers compiled information from more than 2,000 pregnancy centers affiliated with Care Net, Heartbeat International, and NIFLA. Other sources used include public reports filed with the Internal Revenue Service by PRCs and data from Focus on the Family's Sanctity of Human Life Division.
On the Web: http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF12A47.pdf