by Thomas A. Glessner
One can expect to be met with love, compassion, understanding, and critical resources for both mom and baby at pregnancy centers across the country. Yet pro-abortion federal and state lawmakers are attacking these life-affirming centers that aid pregnant mothers in need and make true choice about their pregnancy possible.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a prime opponent of these centers, promised that she, along with her extreme pro-abortion counterparts in Congress, would “crack down” on these centers, and insisted, “We need to shut them down here in Massachusetts and we need to shut them down all around the country.”
Unfortunately, Warren’s harmful “crack down” has become a reality in many places. During the 2023 legislative session alone, Democratic state lawmakers have introduced or advanced at least 26 bills that seek to aggressively regulate or eliminate pregnancy resource centers altogether.
In Vermont, the state legislature has passed Senate Bill 37 which singles out pro-life pregnancy centers because they don’t provide abortion, and allows the state’s pro-abortion attorney general to fine them for advertising anything she deems “misleading,” up to $10,000 for each violation. The law fails to define “misleading.”
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker recently signed a bill into law that gives the state’s attorney general the power to go after pregnancy centers he thinks use “deceptive tactics” to offer women considering an alternative to abortion care and resources. Under this law, the Illinois attorney general may investigate complaints about these charitable centers, prosecute cases, and issue fines of up to $50,000. A federal judge has since enjoined the law because of blatant free speech concerns.
In New Jersey and California, consumer alerts have been issued urging residents to file complaints with state officials against these centers.
Meanwhile, at least 87 pregnancy resource centers have been vandalized and brutally attacked by pro-abortion extremists since the Dobbs decision was leaked in May of 2022, simply because abortion isn’t among the vast number of resources they offer.
But what do these centers actually offer?
The nearly 3,000 centers in the country go far beyond offering abortion alternatives. They provide free professional care to vulnerable women including pregnancy testing, options consultation, medical services, prenatal and parenting education, material assistance, after-abortion recovery support, referrals for medical care, and connection to vital community and public health resources.
Even as corrupt pro-abortion politicians seek to eliminate these centers and by their rhetoric fuel the onslaught of violent attacks against them, 91% of Americans recognize the good that pregnancy resource centers do and support them.
Should these centers disappear, more women would be left without the crucial care and support they need when faced with a crisis pregnancy. More than that, it would rob women of making a true choice at a time when peer-reviewed research has found that 60% of women would have preferred to give birth had they received the emotional or financial support they needed.
It would be far more compassionate, and far smarter politics, if Elizabeth Warren and the numerous others attacking these life-affirming centers would roll up their sleeves and join the effort to help women – not sabotage it.
Thomas A. Glessner is the founder and President of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA).