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Saturday, 16 December 2017
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Cree Women's Center, the first pro-life pregnancy center in Puerto Rico, serves women in the shadow of six abortion clinics. Cree Women's Center, the first pro-life pregnancy center in Puerto Rico, serves women in the shadow of six abortion clinics. Photo Courtesy: Joseph Pardo

After Irma Swept Through Puerto Rico, What Daisy Pardo Saw Broke Her Heart

Major crises such as Hurricane Irma add pressure to pregnant women already making difficult decisions. These vulnerable women need to know that there are options available besides abortion. 

Abortion clinics, including those in Puerto Rico, are doing their level best to take advantage of expectant mothers following natural disasters. 

Still, when Daisy Pardo went the day after Irma hit Sept. 6 to survey the damage at Cree Women’s Center—the first pro-life prengnacy help center in Puerto Rico—she was shocked to see the abortion clinic near her center preying on young women devastated by the storm.

Meanwhile, the power would be out for the next four days at Cree Women’s Center, preventing Pardo and her team from serving young women at their ultrasound-equipped facility.

“My heart was broken last week,” Pardo wrote in a Facebook post Thursday morning. “Irma hit Wednesday, but it wasn't Irma who broke my heart. As I went to assess the damage at the center I discovered we had no power but the abortion clinic down the street was already packed with customers.”

With the power back on Monday morning, Pardo and her board of directors decided they needed to come up with a long-term solution on an Island where power outages happen at least once a month, causing Cree to close its doors. By Thursday morning, they decided to move ahead and purchase a generator.

Only one problem: at $6,000, the unexpected cost of the generator is going to have to be covered by donations above and beyond the upstart center’s budget. Pardo and her husband, Joseph, took to Facebook Thursday morning to ask supporters to give toward the goal, and have seen $250 come in so far.

Tweet This: What this #prolife woman saw following #Irma broke her heart. Here's how you can help. @jtaggart17

“The abortion clinic keeps popping out abortions while we have to be closed, at the mercy of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA),” Joseph Pardo said.

The Pardos opened Cree Women’s Center in 2016, a stone’s throw from two of the seven abortion businesses in Puerto Rico. Since opening the center, Daisy and Joseph Pardo have seen one clinic shut down after U.S. President Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy this January, banning the federal funding of abortions outside the United States. In addition to the six remaining abortion businesses, two hospitals and a number of OB-GYNs contribute to a total of 17,000 annual abortions in Puerto Rico.

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Abortion clinics have been targeting vulnerable women in the aftermath of the recent hurricanes. As of Sept. 11, Women’s Whole Health—a named plaintiff in the 2016 Supreme Court case that struck down commonsense abortion restrictions requiring abortion mills to maintain a minimal standard of care—has booked 15 abortions under its “Stigma Relief Fund” since Hurricane Harvey.

Meanwhile, pro-lifers have shown remarkable creative urgency to bring actual relief to pregnant women and new mothers hit by storms. Showcasing a commitment to life that goes unnoticed most days, pro-lifers in Houston, for example, volunteered their resources to bring desperately needed supplies to expectant mothers and worked to help relocate as many as possible from community shelters to short-term housing.

One woman from Missouri also donated over 1,000 ounces of breast milk, while pro-life men and women climbed aboard fishing boats and inflatable swans to rescue neighbors from rising flood waters. 

That same urgency is alive and well in Puerto Rico, where Cree Women's Center is pushing through the latest obstacle—and planning ahead for others—to bring life-saving help to women facing unexpected pregnancies. 

You can donate to Cree Women’s Center here.

Jen Taggart

Jen writes for Heartbeat International and Pregnancy Help News and is a fellow at the Baton Exchange, a Christian leadership development program for millennials. She recently graduated from Cedarville University and grew up in northeast Ohio.

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