NIFLA: We Remain Committed to Member Pregnancy Centers Through Uncertain Times

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NIFLA remains committed to member pregnancy centers through these uncertain times. 

We are happy to share that this is only “momentary trouble.” God reminds us to fix our sights on the eternal, not the temporary. In the meantime, we are “staying the course” and continuing to serve. 

Today, NIFLA is navigating our ship through turbulent seas and howling winds. We remain focused on our mission, but cannot do so unless the Lord guides us daily. We will never forget this.

Our pregnancy centers and medical clinics meet federal and state definitions of essential service providers. They are serving their communities while following CDC and federal guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

Fox News and World Magazine recently published articles praising the great work of these dedicated nonprofits during the coronavirus pandemic. The stories cover cases in which pregnancy centers have partnered with local health organizations during the pandemic to provide life-saving medical care, support and resources to mothers in need. 

“People who have never seen us before have come in for emergency help with diapers, wipes and formula because they’re unemployed now,” said Dr. Karen Poehailos, who serves as regional medical director at ThriVe Central VA Women’s Healthcare. She also noted that her center has moved postpartum support and other groups online in an effort to support abortion-vulnerable women as safely as possible.

“We’re following [Centers for Disease Control] guidelines, OSHA guidelines in order to protect our employees,” Anne O’Connor, NIFLA Vice President of Legal Affairs told Fox News in a recent interview. “They’re all using PPE, the latest guidelines said even their patients coming in need to be wearing a mask, so we just implemented that with them,” she added.

“An unintended pregnancy is stressful anyway — you add a pandemic and economic collapse onto that, and it’s even worse for them,” said Leslie Salazar-Carrillo, CEO of NIFLA member center Pathway Health Clinic.

Here are just a few examples of the life-saving work NIFLA centers are doing in the midst of this storm. According to a recent email from Anne-Marie Cronin, Executive Director of Waterleaf Women’s Center in Illinois: 

Waterleaf has been open during this stay-at-home order and was able to help 17-year-old Jackie choose life. Jackie came to Waterleaf adamant about having an abortion. The father of the baby was on the fence about keeping the baby until he saw the ultrasound. It was his first time seeing an ultrasound, in which he said, ’That was awesome’! Together, he and Jackie decided to keep their baby.  

Jackie was nervous telling her parents about the baby and didn’t know how to go about doing so. Through Aspire, the resource division of Waterleaf, we counseled Jackie on how to tell her parents and they agreed to help support Jackie and her boyfriend bring their baby into the world. Additionally, Jackie and her boyfriend are taking parenting classes through Aspire.” 

Another email from Nancy Basham, Executive Director of Women’s Help Center in Florida shared that a young woman named Erin came to them and was planning to abort her unborn baby boy. After the center completed their initial consultation during which Erin maintained that her intention was still to have an abortion, something unexpected happened. Basham went on to explain:

“Our ministry had been praying for Erin and her baby, and we continued to pray for them throughout the day. It was a busy one: client after client came in that day… Each of them had appointments to abort their second-trimester baby. Each of them told us that the abortionist was charging them only $520.00 for the abortion. All of these other moms chose life for their babies, through either parenting or adoption! 

…About an hour after closing, the phone rang. It was Erin, calling to tell ‘that lady’ that she had spent the day thinking and praying about everything we had talked about and had decided she would have her baby. There was joy in her voice!” 

Basham continued, “Many other moms have chosen life for their unborn babies since that Friday because we were here to offer them the compassion and support they needed to choose life. No matter the struggles and obstacles we face, being called to the ministry of life is a blessing beyond measure.” 

Another pregnancy center in Texas has partnered with WIC to provide essential items to families. According to an email from Susie Garza, Director of Development at Pregnancy Help Center of Galeveston

Clients call ahead and make an appointment for curbside pickup of diapers, wipes, baby food, and formula. We are partnering with our local diaper bank, Galveston Diaper Bank, which supplies many of our diapers and wipes. We are also partnering with our local WIC office. … Now, clients can come and pick up their needed items from our center and either enroll in or renew their WIC benefits at the same time. We are so grateful for these partnerships, and to be in a physical location that fosters this kind of service thanks to our donors. … We are adhering to CDC guidelines while still providing for our community. We are heartened by the support in our community from individuals and other organizations, and we are inspired to know that other pregnancy centers across the nation are also providing families with the support they need.” 

Through the guidance of Our Lord, these and other centers are navigating the storm and helping women and their babies, which NIFLA President Thomas Glessner describes in his recent Townhall piece.

Please visit our website to learn more about what NIFLA is doing to equip pregnancy centers and how you can help support these critical efforts.

Through the love and protection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, pregnancy centers are continuing to spread the joy and peace of life, even in the middle of dark and uncertain times. 

This original article can also be found in The Stream and was written by Olivia Aveni Briscoe, a pro-life journalist and media professional. Please email the NIFLA media team at [email protected] for interview requests.