Topping a list of 870 eligible St. Louis charities in a citywide giving event, ThriVe Women’s Healthcare garnered over $200,000 in local support over just a 48-hour span—10 times the amount donors gave to Planned Parenthood in the campaign.
ThriVe, a pro-life pregnancy help organization with three locations plus mobile ultrasound, was supported to the tune of $77,882 in donations for Thursday’s citywide “Give STL Day” just a day after raising over $120,000 in support with its own fundraising drive.
Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, meanwhile, raised $20,454 in the citywide effort.
The disparity between community support for ThriVe and Planned Parenthood comes at a crucial time in both St. Louis and Missouri public life concerning abortion.
Though Missouri is one of at least 15 states to redirect taxpayer funds from Planned Parenthood to federally qualified health providers over the past two years—a move currently blocked by a court decision—St. Louis’ city council passed an ordinance in February that would make their city a “sanctuary” for Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses.
As LifeNews’ Micaiah Bilger explains:
Board Bill 203 supposedly would protect people from discrimination based on their reproductive health decisions. However, it would force religious organizations and individuals to support abortion and abortion advocacy, according to Missouri Right to Life. It could force landlords to rent property to abortion providers or abortion advocacy groups, and punish employers (including religious organizations) that refuse to hire someone who publicly supports abortion, according to the pro-life group.
Not only has the city’s leadership moved to protect abortion, but small groups of advocates from NARAL Pro-Choice America and Reproaction have also attacked and publicly protested ThriVe’s free alternatives to abortion over the past year.
In fact, the animus against ThriVe—which has most recently come under fire for its stance on sexual health—turned out to inspire givers to stand with ThriVe on Give STL Day. And to back up all that standing with their checkbooks.
Tweet This: @ThriveStLouis givers out-fund #PlannedParenthood fans, 10-1, in 48-hour span. #prolife
"A wonderful couple reached out to me, really wanting to see ThriVe shine in this campaign and put up an amazing challenge,” ThriVe president Bridget VanMeans said in a press release Friday. “Their idea to out-give Planned Parenthood fans caught on in a big way. We had no idea that we would not only succeed in this classic 'David and Goliath' scenario, but win the whole thing overall.”
The proceeds from both days—as with all donations to ThriVe—will go toward reaching over 3,100 women each year with free pregnancy tests, free ultrasounds, options counseling, parenting classes, post-abortion support and more.
One of those women, Adreona, came to a ThriVe location for help when she was still in high school and found out she was pregnant. She and her boyfriend were planning to end their child’s life through abortion, but he abandoned her ahead of the appointment.
At ThriVe, Adreona saw her daughter, Ava’Lynn, for the first time via ultrasound. What she saw changed both of their lives.
“She waved at me, so I had to keep her,” Adreona says as she holds her daughter in her lap in a ThriVe video. “I told my family that I’d keep her, and that I’d do anything I could to keep her. She always just makes everyone’s day brighter.”
Beyond the ultrasound, the staff and volunteers at ThriVe came alongside Adreona to help her continue on with school and start her career as a special education math teacher, leveraging the expertise and compassion of 200 volunteers serving with the organization, which was founded in 1983.
That support from the community, said VanMeans, was clear to see in the Give STL Day contributions.
"We are so proud of our brave moms and the folks who support them," VanMeans said.