Decisions are powerful. As rational human beings, we have the gift of free will. What we choose to do with that gift is entirely up to us.
Any day now, the Supreme Court will make a decision in the outcome of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra—a decision that could directly affect the choices women make for their babies.
This video explains just how important the NIFLA v. Becerra case is to free speech and to women’s right to choose life.
Decisions can be mundane. We decide what type of cereal to eat in the morning, whether we will wear a pink shirt or a blue shirt, and what TV show to watch at night.
Decisions also have the ability to irrevocably alter a life.
According to an Amicus Brief filed on behalf of NIFLA, 13 women attested to the power of the choices they made. They also testified about how pro-life pregnancy centers supported them in their decisions to keep their babies.
These decisions were profoundly important.
These mother’s choices of life were aided by the compassionate resources provided by one of the 1,450 pro-life pregnancy centers represented by NIFLA.
If the Supreme Court rules against NIFLA, the same pro-life pregnancy centers which strive to empower mothers to choose life will be forced to promote and advertise for abortion. Had this been the case earlier, the stories shared by the women in the amicus brief might have been profoundly different.
Laura Wu thought she had met her soul mate. While working as a full-time teacher and studying at night for a master’s degree, Laura and her boyfriend spoke about marriage and the names of their future children. But when Laura told her boyfriend that she was pregnant, he was angry.
“He told me, ‘It is either me or this child. If you chose this child, you will do it alone. You won’t have your parents to support you.’”
An aunt of Laura’s volunteered at Boro Pregnancy Crisis Center in Queens, New York, and encouraged Laura to call for an appointment. At Laura’s initial appointment, she went through the center’s “options counseling” where Laura received information about adoption, abortion education, and single parenthood.
Laura chose to continue her pregnancy.
For each appointment Laura attended at the center, she was awarded “points” which she could trade in for material help such as a bassinet or a car seat. “For me that was hope. Just knowing that they were there if I needed them was a big, big help.”
“All of my healing, just feeling that I could do this is because of [the center]. Had they referred me to an abortion clinic, I don’t know how I would have reacted.”
Laura also gives talks to youth groups and local colleges about boundaries in dating and to “let them know that there is someplace other than Planned Parenthood that is there to help.”
Laura was given support and hope, which helped encourage her to bring her daughter into the world. Laura was able to choose something other than Planned Parenthood. If the pregnancy center she visited had been forced to advertise for abortion, would her decision have been different?
Women deserve to know Planned Parenthood is not their only choice.
A decision to have an abortion is usually made out of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of losing a partner, fear of financial insecurity, fear of change – the reasons go on and on. But pregnancy centers encourage women and give them hope and support.
Pregnancy centers allow women to make a decision out of hope and confidence, not from a place of fear and self-doubt.
Pro-life pregnancy centers change the narrative from “no, I can’t do this” to “yes, I can do this.” This is a huge help to women facing the decision of having an abortion.
Pregnancy centers should be allowed to offer their services and encouragement without being forced to advertise for state-funded abortions.
According to the Amicus Brief:
Nicole Howard’s pregnancy was a crisis. She had four teenage children and was uninsured. Nicole and her husband were not seeking an abortion, but faced high medical costs if Nicole proceeded with the pregnancy and even greater expenses after the baby’s birth. Terrified at that prospect, Nicole recalled, “Everyone knows where to get an abortion. Not everyone knows where to get help with being a mother.”
A friend referred her to the Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, where Nicole participated in “Earn as you Learn” classes every other Saturday.
Some of the other classes Nicole attended were “Common Care for Infants,” “Emotionally Safe Houses for Children,” “Advanced Care for Toddlers,” and “Safe Sleeping.” Nicole still attends classes every other Saturday and has referred others who have also benefitted from them.
Nicole recalled one winter when she ran out of diapers and a snowstorm trapped her at home. She called the center, and staff arranged for diapers to be delivered to her.
If we know someone will support us, it often gives us peace with the decisions we make.
Nicole’s decision to be a mother was supported by her local pregnancy center. The center gave her classes and diapers to help her. The pregnancy center stood by her side when she needed help with her decision to bring a baby into the world.
NIFLA’s pro-life pregnancy centers are there for women in all situations.
Pregnancy centers support women like Nicole, who needed help after the birth of a baby, and women like Laura Wu, who needed to know she would not face the challenges of bringing a new life into the world alone.
These are only a few examples of women who have made the powerful decision to choose life. There are many, many more.
Women faced with unplanned pregnancies deserve to make their decisions without being pressured into having abortions. The pregnancy centers that encourage these women deserve to offer this support without being forced to advertise for abortion.
The unborn children at stake deserve to be able to make a decision someday, too.
Now, we eagerly await the Supreme Court’s decision in NIFLA v. Becerra. May God guide the Supreme Court justices to remember the privilege they have to make a decision, and may they choose wisely.
This original blog post was written by Olivia Briscoe.
Olivia Briscoe is a writer, public relations and marketing professional with a background in non-profit donor management. She has been passionately pro-life for as long as she can remember – from accompanying her family to pray outside a local abortion clinic as a little girl to speaking out against abortion in front of the city council as a young adult. She currently resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and their daughter.