In Thursday's powerful testimony before the House Judiciary Committee's hearing regarding the Center for Medical Progress' revelations that Planned Parenthood harvests and sells body parts from aborted babies, abortion survivor Gianna Jessen pointed to life-affirming alternatives at the 2,500 pregnancy help centers and medical clinics in the U.S.
Jessen, who was born alive during a saline abortion in 1977, challenged the supposition that Planned Parenthood's potential defunding would result in a lack of access to healthcare for women. And she did so by appealing to the nation's existing network of pregnancy help, as well Heartbeat International's 24-7 pregnancy helpline, Option Line, which has answered well over 2 million calls since it was launched as a joint effort by Heartbeat International and Care Net in 2003.
"We often hear that if Planned Parenthood were to be defunded, there would be a health crisis among women without the services they provide," Jessen said. "This is absolutely false. Pregnancy resource centers are located nationwide as an option for the woman in crisis. All of their services are free and confidential, and they can be reached by texting: 'HELPLINE' to 313131. There is access to vital exams for women other than Planned Parenthood. We are not a nation without options."
Jessen was joined by another abortion survivor, Melissa Ohden—founder of the Abortion Survivors Network—who also testified at Thursday's hearing.
Tweet This: @GiannaJessen points women to OptionLine.org for help #prolife #defundpp #ppsellsbodyparts
Option Line answers, on average, well over 200,000 calls (1-800-712-HELP), chats, text messages and emails per year. Consultants then connect women and men to pregnancy help near them. Underscoring the person-to-person nature of pregnancy help, Option Line callers make up 75 percent of total contacts in a given year.
Find out if your local pregnancy help organization is listed at Option Line by entering your location at www.OptionLine.org.