Yesterday I wrote about the chilling threats that one pro-abortion group, Jane’s Revenge, has issued against pregnancy centers.
“From here forward, any anti-choice group who closes their doors, and stops operating will no longer be a target,” the threat read in part. “But until you do, it’s open season, and we know where your operations are.”
If you think that pregnancy centers are allowing threats like these to keep them from (literally) doing the Lord’s work, you’ll be surprised at their courage. I spoke with the director of a pregnancy center in Georgia and received some quotes from the chaplain at a center in Ohio. I think you’ll be encouraged by what they have to say.
Note: In both cases, I’ve chosen to keep the names of individuals and centers anonymous for the sake of protection.
I began my conversation with the Georgia pregnancy center director by discussing the lay of the land when it comes to the forthcoming Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
“I think the Court is going to go the way of life and overturn Roe,” she told me. “Roe is an obsolete ruling that doesn’t function or work. We’re not living in 1980; today’s pregnancy tests can give women an accurate and positive result at three weeks of pregnancy.”
We talked about the fact that overturning Roe will return the issue of abortion to the states. She reminded me that, in the case of Georgia, legislators wrote the law compassionately, the General Assembly passed it, and the governor signed it into law. It’s currently facing court challenges, but the Georgia pregnancy center director told me that the next battleground is personhood laws.
“Personhood laws will make everything else obsolete because they’ll address the questions of when life begins and ends,” she told me. “It’s not just about babies in the womb but about the elderly as well and about quality of life. Look at how Iceland has claimed to eliminate Down syndrome, but it’s because they’ve aborted all of them. They’re missing out on the joyful, loving nature of people with Down syndrome, along with their almost superhuman capacity for kindness.”
“When we try to usurp God, He tends to pick different things that show us our humanity,” she added. “We need to pick His values rather than our own.”
The pregnancy center in Ohio issued a statement that it won’t change its mission in the event that the Court overturns Roe. The statement reads in part:
In the wake of the Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health Supreme Court decision, the mission of the Pregnancy Center remains the same. We acknowledge that women and men in our community will still be in crisis. We want to engage, equip, and empower women to make healthy pregnancy decisions that are alternatives to abortion.
We are committed to providing excellent care to all of our clients. Our medical clinic provides lab-quality pregnancy tests, Ultrasounds, and STD testing and treatment. We also provide parenting classes, material assistance, fatherhood programs, school abstinence programs, referrals, and reproductive loss and after-abortion bereavement classes. All of our services are free and confidential.
Our team promises to be trustworthy, genuine, and compassionate in all circumstances. To those women and families who feel overwhelmed, confused, or afraid we are here for you.
When I asked how the Georgia pregnancy center is preparing for a post-Roe society, the director said that she and her team will keep doing what they’ve been doing. Pregnant women will still need help, as the COVID-19 pandemic (during which the center remained open) and the current baby formula shortage have proven.
“Seventy-five percent of our clients need help with food, formula, diapers, and education resources rather than abortion,” she told me. “There’s no shame in that; half the women who work here have been in that situation.”
She shared with me that, right before the baby formula shortage, the center received the largest donation of formula It had ever seen, and she related the story of the donation of a stroller with which they were able to bless a young, growing family.
“Sometimes I feel like Joseph [from the book of Genesis],” she laughed. “Things show up — how will they get out? They do.”
I asked her how her center is treating the threat from Jane’s Revenge, and she replied, “Very seriously.”
“Their threat is not based on reason, they don’t want discussion, and they don’t believe in other views — it’s theirs or nothing,” she added. “Something like 25 other pregnancy centers have had violence against them as of yesterday [Thursday]. These people find fun and joy in doing this — it’s narcissistic, not logical.”
“There have been no specific threats against us consequently we’re trying to be prepared but not paranoid,” said the Ohio pregnancy center chaplain. “We’re told through some of our national relationships that one of every six centers nationwide have had threats or vandalism.”
The Georgia pregnancy center director told me that her center is working with local police for protection and is working on fortifying the facility. They’re also searching for volunteers to help with security. The goal is to keep everybody — staff, volunteers, clients, and their children — safe.
The Ohio chaplain said that his organization is making similar plans to secure its facility.
“We take potential threats very seriously not only for our staff and volunteers but also for our clients,” he said. “We have installed security cameras inside and outside our building. We’re in the process of adding alarm systems hooked into the police station. We have prepared statements for press and media. We’ve changed some of our protocols for coming and going. We’ve been in contact weekly with local police and they are doing more frequent drive-bys.”
“We had done ALICE training for our staff a couple of years ago but are trying to schedule another one for our new facility that would also include volunteers in the training,” he added. “But most importantly we update our prayer warriors and supporters to put a hedge of protection around us all.”
The Georgia pregnancy center director believes that the threats won’t intimidate the pro-life movement but will instead serve to steel the resolve of its fighters.
“Every pro-life agency has been sounding the alarm,” she told me. “We’ve had threats before, but It’s never been like this, with an administration egging it on and giving credence to these people.”
“I don’t know anyone in the pro-life movement who walks in fear,” she added. “These pro-abortion people don’t know pro-life people well. If the objective is to shut us down, it didn’t work. They’ve only strengthened us.”
Even if something happens to the center, she says that it won’t matter because “I don’t need a building to spread the gospel. This won’t dampen my desire to serve the Lord; all it does is make me want to serve Him even more.”
That brought me to a question of how she balances her faith in God with the real-world fears that these threats have brought. She wholeheartedly believes that God will strengthen her and her staff and volunteers.
“God called us here, and it doesn’t matter what we think we are,” she declared. “He will make us rise to the occasion. The real choice is whether we’re on God’s side or not. And we can’t be passive.”
She shared several encouraging stories with me that I wish I could share, but I can’t because they risk giving away the center’s location and personnel. One day I hope to share them.
Public relations and prayer can work hand in hand to keep the community aware, and that’s what the Ohio pregnancy center is doing.
“We’re trying to set up a walk-through for local media to better know who we truly are rather than what some folks are trying to make us out to be,” he said. “A group called Jane’s Revenge is taking credit for much of the violence. They have called for a night of violence beginning at 8 p.m. the night of the ruling being made public.”
“We as a staff are choosing to pray for those folks in what we refer to as Jane’s redemption,” he added.
I asked the Georgia pregnancy center director what ordinary people can do to support pregnancy centers like hers. She said that centers all over the country need volunteers, prayer, and financial security.
“The main thing is monthly donations because these allow centers to set their budget,” she told me. “$10 a month may not be much to one person, but it helps centers with stability.”
“But God has never failed to supply our needs,” she added. “I think of us as being like the well where Jesus met the woman [in John 4], and I often say that we’re the church during the week.”
Find your local pregnancy center. Pray for it, support it with donations, and volunteer if you can. The staff and volunteers at places like these need to know that they’re not alone in this fight.