With a tremendous victory at the Supreme Court and some stunning new data to back up their work, pro-life pregnancy help centers are leaving 2018 even better than they came in.
Although Big Abortion is far from vanquished, pregnancy help centers continue to put a dent in their numbers by empowering mothers and fathers to save the lives of their precious babies.
To give you a picture of the unbelievable generosity, courage, and compassion displayed at pregnancy centers across the country, we’ve rounded up the top 10 most popular stories from Pregnancy Help News in 2018. Together, these stories show the tremendous political trials pregnancy centers have faced and the many reasons they’re all worth it:
By Karen Ingle
Benjamin and Kirsten Watson meet with Pregnancy Clinic clients and their families during tour of the life-saving pregnancy center. | Photo Courtesy: Pregnancy Clinic
If not for then-Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson and his wife Kirsten, Maryland’s Severna Park Pregnancy Clinic staff might today be defending life without their strongest weapon.
The clinic’s long-lived ultrasound machine lingered just one mechanical failure away from its demise.
But because of the Watsons’ generosity, a new, state-of-the-art 3D/4D ultrasound machine took pride of place in the Severna Park clinic on June 1.
Tweet This: #1 #prolife story 2018: Football Star @BenjaminSWatson Equips Maryland Pregnancy Clinic to Defend Life
By Katie Franklin
In September, a comprehensive report on the work of pregnancy help centers was released, celebrating 50 years of service and examining how the movement has evolved over the last half-century.
The 80-page report, “A Half Century of Hope, A Legacy of Life and Love: Pregnancy Center Service Report, Third Edition,” produced by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, presents key findings from 2,600 U.S. pregnancy help centers affiliated with one or more of the three major national networks—Care Net, Heartbeat International, and NIFLA—as well as other parent pregnancy center organizations.
Chief among those findings is that pregnancy centers served nearly 2 million people in the United States with free services in 2017—an estimated community cost savings of at least $161 million.
“Looking at our collective work on a grand scale is simply breathtaking,” said Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International, a worldwide organization of 2,600 affiliated pregnancy help centers. “At pregnancy centers, we bear witness to miracles every day—as it turns out, nearly 2 million times each year—because of dedicated volunteers and generous supporters who feel called to make a difference in people’s lives.”
Tweet This: #2 #prolife story 2018: REPORT: U.S. Pregnancy Centers Served Nearly 2 Million People with Free Services in 2017
By Katie Franklin
In the 11 years since Abortion Pill Reversal was launched by pro-life physicians George Delgado and Matt Harrison, abortion advocates have tried their best to discredit the life-saving protocol.
But this July, the regimen received another validation of its safety and legitimacy following the presentation of Dr. William Lile—a board-certified ob-gyn who serves as the referral physician for three local pregnancy help centers—before a Florida hospital’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).
The remarkable event that brought Lile before the board was his role in helping a woman reverse her abortion, saving not one baby, but two; his patient was pregnant with twins.
Eight weeks pregnant, the woman sought a chemical abortion at an abortion facility, had profound regrets, and sought out help.
Tweet This: #3 #prolife story 2018: Florida Doc Reverses Abortion of Twins, Hospital Board Deems Actions Reasonable
By Jen Taggart
Dan and Brittany with baby Orion, who turned 2 years old in June. | Photo Courtesy: Brittany Baker
Brittany Baker was shocked to find out she was pregnant in October 2015.
Though the father of Brittany’s child embraced his new role as a father from the beginning, the couple knew they had an uphill climb ahead of them.
Amid that pressure, Baker and Gillard turned to Project Life—now “Options for Women St. Croix Valley”—a life-affirming pregnancy center in Minnesota where Baker would receive prenatal care for the rest of her pregnancy.
By Jay Hobbs
Brandi Swindell (center) with eight moms and their babies they rescued from abortion. | Photo Courtesy: Stanton Healthcare
To Brandi Swindell, one picture in particular is worth a bit more than a thousand words. After all, it just took one picture to turn back a nagging lawsuit Planned Parenthood had filed against her life-saving group.
Swindell, CEO of Stanton Healthcare, was in the middle of a four-hour deposition in late January, when lawyers from Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands confronted her with a group photo of eight mothers and the children they’d rescued from abortion.
The photo, taken outside of the Planned Parenthood location in Meridian, Idaho, which shares a parking lot with Stanton Healthcare, was intended to demonstrate that Swindell’s group was guilty of harassing patients outside the abortion giant’s doors.
Instead, Swindell knew the moment she saw the picture as proof that Planned Parenthood had absolutely no case in its frivolous lawsuit against Stanton Healthcare.
By Katie Franklin
NIFLA supporters rally outside the Supreme Court on March 20 as the Court hears oral arguments in NIFLA v. Becerra. | Photo Courtesy: NIFLA Facebook
This summer, in a 5-4 win, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in NIFLA v. Becerra, striking down a 2015 California state law that forced pro-life medical clinics to promote abortion by posting abortion advertisements on their websites and waiting room walls.
The decision marked a resounding victory for pregnancy help centers across the nation, who can now speak their message of hope without government interference. It also marked the end of a three-year legal battle fought by the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA)—the named plaintiff in the case which represents a network of 1,400 pro-life pregnancy centers and ultrasound equipped medical clinics—and for Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented NIFLA throughout the litigation.
By Jay Hobbs
"Texas Handmaids" demonstrating their opposition to non-abortive pregnancy options in Austin, Texas | Photo Courtesy: Texas Handmaids Facebook
So far, the Handmaid’s tale in Austin, Texas has read far more like a comedy than a gloomy drama—especially when it comes to the group’s goal of scaring off donors from pregnancy centers.
In the past year, since the Handmaids started hectoring pregnancy centers, the one center most targeted—Agape Pregnancy Resource Center—has seen its donations skyrocket, including a doubling of in-kind gifts, Agape director Jo Markham said.
“God has used it for so much good,” Markham said. “We have become known in a good way. People who did not know about us before now know about us and are excited. God has just completely turned it around. What they meant for evil, God has used for good.”
By Jay Hobbs
Here are 10 numbers to know about U.S. pregnancy help centers and medical clinics, gathered from national networks Heartbeat International, Care Net and NIFLA:
1. 2,752 Locations
“While it’s true that locally run pregnancy help centers (including medical clinics and mobile ultrasound units) significantly outnumber abortion businesses, it’s an exaggeration to claim—as Slate.com and The Huffington Post most recently have— that the nonprofits outnumber abortion clinics at a 3-to-1 margin.
According to Heartbeat’s Worldwide Directory of Pregnancy Help, there are 2,752 pregnancy help locations throughout the U.S., while the Guttmacher Institute—originally founded as Planned Parenthood’s research arm—reports 1,793 abortion clinics in the U.S.
Comparisons such as 3-to-1 and even 2-to-1 (a claim debunked by Politifact in 2016) rely on a misleading comparison between pregnancy centers and stand-alone abortion businesses—which excludes hospitals and clinics that perform genuine medical services in addition to abortion.
Out of the nation’s nearly 1,800 abortion facilities, 704 are stand-alone abortion businesses, according to a recent report from Operation Rescue. That number includes 490 businesses that offer both surgical and chemical abortions, but no genuine medical services.”
By Jay Hobbs
With less than two months before oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court, the group at the center of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra called in a not-so-secret weapon.
Calling upon pro-life friends to join in an ongoing, 24-7 prayer vigil, NIFLA coordinated prayer volunteers from around the nation for a 48-day period.
“NIFLA is grateful for the outpouring of prayer and support in regard to this groundbreaking pro-life case before the U.S. Supreme Court,” Anne O'Connor, J.D., NIFLA's VP of Legal Affairs, said at the time. “We believe as it says in Psalm 34:17: ‘When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears them.’ The Lord will be hearing from some amazing pregnancy center workers and supporters over the next few weeks. We know we can put our trust in Him."
By Jay Hobbs
For the past 33 years, Chris Slattery has committed himself to rescuing as many lives as possible in the top abortion destination in the U.S. For almost as many years, the City and State of New York have tried to stop him.
Last year, the city and state came closer than ever to accomplishing their shared goal of shutting down Slattery and his organization, EMC Pregnancy Centers—which serves 20 women per day with free ultrasounds, pregnancy tests and options counseling in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.
In a Dec. 19  decision Slattery received via mail Dec. 29 , a city administrative court said EMC must describe itself as a non-medical entity in on-site signage as well as in all online and printed advertising—despite the fact that its ultrasounds and STD tests are performed and/or supervised by licensed nurses trained and certified in ultrasonography.”
Heading into 2019, the battle for human life continues, in legislatures, pregnancy help centers, and the hearts of women and men around the globe. As the pregnancy help community continues to offer women a better way and more and more stories are told, be prepared for the abortion lobby’s wrath to swell. And we’ll be prepared to keep telling these stories anyway, presenting the truth to hearts and minds longing to protect human life.
Did you choose life after an unintended pregnancy? Did you have an abortion you’ve come to regret? How is your pregnancy help organization impacting lives in your community? Tell us about it here for a chance to be featured on Pregnancy Help News!