Profemina Taiwan leader prepares to launch life-saving digital counseling services

Profemina Taiwan Director Charles Lin addresses international pregnancy help personnel at the 2024 Heartbeat International Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, while Heartbeat International Specialist Ellen Foell looks on/Karen Ingle

Charles Lin, director of Profemina Taiwan, told fellow international and domestic pregnancy help leaders at the April 2024 Heartbeat International Annual Conference that his developing organization is “small, but doing something global” by acting to turn back the tide of abortion that has slashed his country’s fertility rate to 0.8, the second-lowest in the world.

Profemina Taiwan is gearing up to offer “digital counseling services” as an international partner with the highly successful Profemina International. Based in Munich, Germany, the organization began by serving German-speaking women facing unplanned pregnancies.

Kristijan Aufiero, Profemina’s founder, set an initial goal of helping 1000 women per year. (Hence, the name of their donor-facing site, “1000plus.”) Now, Profemina counsellors serve over 250,000 women each year. Roughly 65% of those women choose life for their babies as a result of their work.

Profemina Taiwan should be online in 2025, Lin said, after he finishes translating the website content into Chinese.

In addition, Profemina staff will visit Taiwan in early July to train his team of counselors along with other volunteers, board members, and representatives from his network of eight pregnancy support centers across the country.

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Lin said that the digital counseling provided by Profemina Taiwan will augment what pregnancy centers can offer by reaching women who may not ever step into a center.

According to Lin, when a woman contacts Profemina, she completes an online form that lets her describe her situation. Then she works with the counselor to plot a course forward from there. Each woman receives follow-up emails providing encouragement and more opportunities for interaction. Some women go on to schedule a face-to-face consultation.

According to the organization’s website, “Profemina’s counseling service is founded on three pillars: clear information on “all pregnancy and abortion-related information,” counseling that “strengthen[s] the woman's affirmation of herself and her own life,” and assistance that “enables her to follow the path that aligns with her convictions.”

Profemina’s Assistant Director of Digital Counseling Paula von Ketteler works with international leaders like Lin to coordinate expansion of counseling services in additional languages. This aligns with Profemina’s goal to see “more women in more and more countries receive SUPPORT instead of abortion so that they can freely choose life for their babies.”

Tweet This: Profemina’s goal is for more women in more countries to receive SUPPORT instead of abortion so they can freely choose life for their babies

“It all becomes worth it when — after months of tedious translation work, we are able to launch our digital counseling services in yet another language — and nine months later, you hear of a '1000plus baby' born on the other side of the world,” Ketteler said.

Serving women, changing a nation

Lin, with advanced education in business and international affairs, told Pregnancy Help News he has long been concerned about his nation’s declining birth rate, which he believes is the direct result of rising numbers of abortions.

“We have twice as many abortions as live births,” he said, noting this estimate is based on numbers of mifepristone sales and national insurance-funded abortions for birth defects. There is no reporting requirement for elective surgical abortions.

“China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and even Mongolia—all these regions are suffering from very low fertility rates,” he said. “So, I hope through our cooperation with Germany, we can work together to find concrete strategies, concrete measures for governments around the world to boost the fertility rates.

“That’s my goal, my mission,” said Lin. “We have the tools, we have the measures, the solutions, the remedy to cope with these very low fertility rates and help pregnant women to get support to keep their babies and learn the benefits of having their babies.”

“Abortion, although it is very quick, will create more negative consequences, detrimental to their mental health, their physical health, their relationships, many things,” he added.

Meanwhile, the government of Taiwan spends $3 billion annually to support parents of already-born children, but nothing to support pregnant women. Lin is working to change that, both by setting up Profemina Taiwan and by submitting public policy analyses and proposals for change to government officials and legislators.

“One of my proposals received ‘honorable mention,’” he told the pregnancy help leaders at the April conference.

Lin was tapped to create Profemina Taiwan by former German ambassador to Taiwan, Martin Eberts, just before Eberts’ time in the country ended. The ambassador had learned of Profemina in his home country and hoped to see a similar life-saving service take root in Taiwan.

“We started out with only two people and no support,” Lin said.

Since 2019, the work has grown toward being ready to accomplish the five goals Lin laid out in an introductory video produced for Heartbeat International.

Those goals include learning, adapting, and implementing the successful practices of Profemina in Germany; promoting adoption; amending national laws to require counseling before abortion; creating a national coalition of pregnancy support agencies and NGOs; and promoting education on life, sex, marriage, and parenting.

Profemina is an affiliate of Heartbeat International.

Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News.

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