With the overturn of Roe v. Wade, followed by Alabama’s abortion ban going into effect, discussions quickly began between organizations and leaders all over the state regarding how we can increase support for Alabama mothers and fathers in unexpected pregnancies.
Conversations focused especially on our pregnancy resource centers. These centers are the places mothers and fathers can already go to find assistance, resources, counseling, and compassionate support. How can we, the pro-life community, come alongside these resource centers and help them assist even more families, post-Roe?
These questions and conversations led to CEC For Life and Choose Life Alabama teaming up to create a survey for our pregnancy resource centers that would help identify key places where pro-life pastors, churches, and citizens might step in and secure more resources for Alabama women, and, in doing so, help make our cities and state a true sanctuary for their preborn children.
As you look over the information below, please consider how God might be leading your church or community to engage as Christ’s hands and feet for the preborn, their mothers, and their fathers.
Responses for this survey were collected from 43 pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) in Alabama. That is nearly every center we have across the state.
This survey was created to identify key ways that churches, pastors and pro-life citizens can support the mothers and fathers in our state, post-Roe. While abortion may now be illegal in Alabama, abortion-minded women are still here and perhaps feeling even more desperate.
According to this survey, 44% of PRCs report an uptick in clients coming through their doors since the overturn of Roe. As the number of pregnant women seeking help increase, our involvement must increase right along with them. Below are some important insights regarding PRCs across the state and how your church or community can help. (Graphs from the survey are included at the end.)
Medical vs Non-Medical PRCs
Nearly 70% of our PRCs are medical, meaning they can offer pregnancy testing and ultrasounds. That leaves 30% of PRCs that could become medical with the proper resources. Ultrasound is a powerful and effective tool for helping mothers in crisis connect with their unborn child.
Key Areas of Assistance
We identified 7 key areas that PRCs might need assistance: Volunteers, Medical Staff, Donated Items, Housing, Donors, Pastoral Support, Advertising and Security. Of these seven areas, Housing was the only one that a majority of centers marked as “Very Pressing.”
Volunteers, Donors and Pastoral Support ranked as “Somewhat Important,” meaning these needs are not being met day-to-day. Lack of these things might not cause a PRC to shut down, but they are a key part of serving women well. These are areas where pastors and churches, especially, can step in and serve mothers, fathers and their pre-born children.
According to the survey, 51% of PRCs consider housing for moms to be the biggest need women face, post-Roe. However, the survey also showed about 77% said they only see a few women each month who have this need.
When given the chance to comment, clinic directors pointed out again and again that, while housing may not be the most common need for a client, it is a severe and urgent need when it does arise. This makes housing options incredibly vital to serving women as a whole. Currently, 79% of our PRCs have no resources for housing the women who do need it.
Immediate Needs for Individual Clinics
Individual PRCs were also given a chance to identify other needs not listed on this survey.
Here are some very specific needs you may be able to assist with:
“We always need diapers and wipes.” Carenet of Chilton County (Clanton, AL)
“We need a new nurse/clinic manager and client services director.” Women’s Resource Center (Athens, AL)
“We always need Bibles, preferably ESV or anything easy to read, English and Spanish.” Life on Wheels (Montgomery, AL)
“We have everything in place to go medical except a medical director. We need a doctor to volunteer for this role.” Dale County Pregnancy Center (Ozark, AL)
Other immediate needs included:
- Transportation for clients.
- Haitian & Hispanic resource materials.
- Technical support and web design.
- Pregnancy tests.
- Discipleship for moms within a local church.
- Training about the abortion pill/medication abortion.
- Legal help, when needed.
Keen Insight from Clinic Directors
We also asked PRCs what they would consider the most important action we could ask pastors and pro-life citizens to take in a post-Roe Alabama in order to support their work. Here are some of the answers they gave:
“Adopt a Care Net or Embrace Grace program at their churches so we can transition moms and dads into local churches for more support and discipleship. Most say they feel judged when they walk into a church.”
“Be a ‘safe place or person’ for mothers to discuss options; we may not like (or support) all options but we have to make mothers feel safe to discuss them or they’ll find someone else — less life-oriented — who will.”
“Get involved with your local pregnancy center by way of prayer, monetary assistance, helping clients get to our centers, and holding bible studies specifically for single moms.”
“Offer support such as group classes or baby showers.”
“Make sure everyone in the pews knows where to refer a woman in need.”
“Continue supporting your centers as you have been. Not to slack up on that. Also, find ways that you can come alongside and support the families that are our clients. Volunteering wherever you can.”
“Speak about pro-life from the pulpit, invite us to speak more, take a firm stand.”
It is true that abortion is now illegal in Alabama, but the women who are seeking abortions are still here. There are many, many opportunities where the pro-life community can still serve in significant ways across the state. Mothers and fathers still need love and compassion when they find themselves in an unexpected pregnancy. Preborn children still need someone to speak life to their parents and come alongside them with encouragement and resources.
Alabama has succeeded in outlawing abortion, which will save many lives. But that doesn’t mean our work is done. Let’s strengthen our weak spots, increase our network of resources, and make Alabama a true sanctuary state for the preborn, their mothers, and their fathers.
Charts & Graphs
This survey and report was created by CEC For Life and Choose Life Alabama. For more information, especially about helping specific pregnancy centers, please reach out to Sarah at email@example.com or Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org.