Help your local pregnancy center

| Bridget Kelly | January 24, 2017 | 0 Comments

Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Every day I am bombarded with pro-abortion propaganda. Planned Parenthood spares no expense when it comes to advertising. However, ever since Donald Trump was elected president and defunding Planned Parenthood became a real possibility, the propaganda is increasing and coming from new sources.

Celebrities, who have always been vocal about their support for Planned Parenthood, are making large donations to the organization. Some have gone so far as to organize a “Love-a-thon” that promoted donations to Planned Parenthood during the presidential inauguration (similar to any charity telethon). This month a small print shop in New Mexico created a tote bag honoring Planned Parenthood and the health care services it claims to provide to women and families. The bags sold for $15 each and 100 percent of the proceeds went directly to Planned Parenthood; $20,000 was raised in three days.

In addition to the numerous monetary donations — Planned Parenthoods in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas have seen an uptick of 300 percent in donations since the election — my social media newsfeeds have been plagued with posts, infographics, desperate pleas and angry rants. Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards leads the feminist fear mongering: “If Planned Parenthood gets defunded, women will die!”

Of course, any rational individual knows this to be false, and that actual, medical, health care for women and families is hardly Planned Parenthood’s priority. If defunded, Planned Parenthood would not be immediately forced to close all 700 of its facilities, and even if it did, 13,000 federally qualified health centers would still remain. So no, women will not die if Planned Parenthood is defunded. There are other clinics and centers where women can receive health care.

Herein lies the problem for pro-life activists. We do not have the means to compete with Planned Parenthood’s advertisements. As it presently stands, its propaganda is already hardwired into the brains of millennials and the current youth. How can we, a minority, let our voices be heard? How could we ever hope to be heard over the shouting of Planned Parenthood and its supporters? As with all attempts at change, it starts at home.

A local pregnancy resource center, Wakota Life Care Center in West St. Paul, recently announced its affiliation with The Guiding Star Project. A Guiding Star Center is the antithesis of Planned Parenthood. Where Planned Parenthood boasts of its health care for women and families, despite its emphasis and focus on abortion and contraceptives, Guiding Star centers will actually provide holistic, life-affirming health care for women and families. At Guiding Star, the health care services will curtail the overbearing influence of the abortion industry. Last year, Wakota Life Care Center saw 430 new clients and had 2,441 total visits — 2,001 of which were for material assistance, 367 for pregnancy tests, 129 for ultrasounds and 153 for prenatal checkups.

However, as wonderful as The Guiding Star Project is, its centers are newly established and do not receive anywhere near the amount of funding as Planned Parenthood’s centers. While local Planned Parenthood clinics are seeing an enormous spike in monetary donations, our pregnancy resource centers are lacking.

If we truly wish for Planned Parenthood to be defunded, we need to do our part. We need to help people realize that Planned Parenthood is not the only source of health care for women. We need people to know that equivalent and federally qualified health centers do exist and can exist.

Guiding Star Centers can do everything that Planned Parenthood does — without the abortion and contraceptive components. But they cannot do it alone. The Guiding Star Project and local pregnancy resource centers need our financial support. If you cannot make a financial donation, contact the center nearest you to see how else you can help. They may need volunteers, donations of your gently used baby/maternity clothing and equipment, and they certainly need your prayers. You can personally be a part of this positive movement and help it grow.

Kelly is a parishioner of St. Joseph in West St. Paul and a Wakota Life Care Center volunteer. The Local Church column features the views of Catholics across the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

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Category: The Local Church