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8/2/2010 - August 2010 Educational Update - The Never Ending Effort of Crisis Pregnancy Centers




 To:                  SLI Supporters                                  

Date:                August 2010  

From:              A. Eric Johnston

 Re:                  The Never Ending Effort of Crisis Pregnancy Centers

      When Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973, very few people recognized its significance.  Until 1973, abortion was a crime in virtually every jurisdiction of the United States.  In the second part of the Twentieth Century, advocates of abortion began to attack those laws.  When they did not succeed in legislative bodies, they attacked through the courts.  In a constitutionally unsupported opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that abortion is legal.  Since then, the law has permitted abortion on demand.  In many places, this even includes aborting unborn children who are viable, that is, able to live outside their mothers’ wombs.  

      When we begin to work against abortion in the late 1970’s and until the early 1990’s, we were hopeful of reversing Roe and restoring the personhood of the unborn child.  One effort was the Human Life Amendment which would have amended the U.S. Constitution to provide for the personhood of the unborn child.  The legislation never got to a vote in Congress.  The other effort was having the U.S. Supreme Court reverse itself.  Since 1973, there has never been a five-four majority on the U.S. Supreme Court which would do that.  Currently, we have a four-four split, with Justice Anthony Kennedy as a swing vote who will not vote to reverse Roe.

      In response to women’s needs, crisis pregnancy centers (CPC’s) came into existence in the 1980’s.  In those early days, we thought their existence would be temporary and that abortion on demand would be outlawed.  Now, 37 years later, we still have abortion on demand and CPC’s are still doing their jobs.

      One of the first CPC’s was Sav-A-Life founded in Birmingham, Alabama by Wales Goebel.  Mr. Goebel for many years had a ministry to teens and he recognized the need to minister to them, as well as women in general.  Similar ministries around the country were formed and now many of the CPC’s are part of CareNet, a national organization providing assistance to women with crisis pregnancies. 

      As I have been involved in the abortion debate since the late 1970’s, I have seen a fairly significant effort in opposition to abortion dwindle to a smaller number of committed people.  The most significant group of those opposing abortion are found working in CPC’s.  From time to time, I speak to CPC counselors.  It is always an honor for me to review with them the laws with which they must contend in providing counseling services to women who are considering abortion.  There are many state statutes which involve issues of minor consent for health services, parental consent for abortion, the age of majority for marriage, what is statutory rape, and when child abuse must be reported.  These are all issues that deal with younger women, but they are attendant to the larger issues that affect all women that are physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual.  CPC counselors must have a significant understanding of the law, as well as health issues concerning abortion, in order to do their work.  Most are volunteers.

      At the same time, CPC’s must contend with outside pressures.  Well meaning state officials try to regulate CPC’s, though they are not medical clinics.  We have been able to work through those relations.  Some CPC’s provide medical clinics, ultrasounds, and other medically-related services.  This is heavily dependent on volunteer medical personnel, as well as cooperating with the State Health Department. 

      Pro-abortion organizations would like to put CPC’s out of business.  CPC’s are often accused of false advertising about their abortion counseling services.  A recent effort by pro-abortion organizations is to have local laws passed by cities and counties that affect the free speech rights of CPC’s, by requiring them to post notices that they have no licensed medical personal on staff and the city or county advises that persons should seek licensed healthcare providers.  The objective is to suggest CPC’s are substandard.  These efforts ignore the fact that most CPC’s are operated as spiritual ministries on a non-medical basis, who always refer to licensed heatlthcare personnel on medical issues.

     We consider it an honor to provide assistance to CPC’s.  We encourage our readers and supporters to participate with them by volunteering services, making financial contributions (also, purchasing “Choose Life” car tags; proceeds go to support CPC’s), and praying for their efforts.  As you can see, it is a difficult and demanding, but extremely necessary, ministry in which CPC’s are engaged.  And if you ask any one of them why they are doing it, they will tell you they are doing it because of the babies.

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