The pro-life movement is anxiously waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs case, which is expected sometime before July. Yet now is no time to wait: It is time for the tens of millions of Americans who oppose abortion to act. If the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade, either in whole or in part, there will be an immediate and urgent need to care for more mothers and children. The next few months demand the greatest outpouring of support for pregnancy resource centers in history.
Pregnancy resource centers will surely be the most important organizations in a post-Roe America. Going back decades, these local groups have helped pregnant women choose and love life and empowered new parents to care for their young children. They provide the medical, material, and sometimes spiritual resources that families need, especially those struggling with whether to abort their unborn child. Today, as many as 4,000 pregnancy resource centers dot every corner of the country, and they will often be the first place that pregnant mothers and families turn if Roe is overturned.
There are three main scenarios that could happen in Dobbs, all of which call for greater support for pregnancy resource centers. The first scenario is what many, if not most, people expect: The Supreme Court reversing Roe and returning abortion policy to the states.
If that happens, abortion will immediately become illegal in many states, probably a majority. Currently, 13 states have “trigger laws” that would stop most or all abortions the moment Roe is overturned. A further nine states have abortion prohibitions that are currently unenforced but would promptly go back into effect. And a good number of other states — perhaps as many as ten — would probably enact pro-life protections in short order. The Mississippi law at the heart of Dobbs prevents abortions after 15 weeks, which more Americans support than oppose.
In each of these states, a significant number of women and families would need help, and they would find it at pregnancy resource centers. With abortion off the table, these centers would become the go-to option for many people, since they typically provide free ultrasounds and infant necessities from baby formula to diapers to portable playpens. They can also connect pregnant mothers with adoptive parents for their child. These pro-life outposts need to be well stocked to serve potentially hundreds of thousands of mothers and children. For a glimpse of the need, look at Texas, where abortions have fallen by at least 60 percent since the state effectively stopped abortion after six weeks.
A second scenario would lead to even greater need. There’s a strong constitutional argument that the Supreme Court should end abortion altogether instead of simply returning the issue to the states. While it’s unclear whether the justices will go that route, what is clear is that such a ruling would put even greater demand on pregnancy resource centers.
At that point, the more than 600,000 abortions that happen every year would disappear, meaning more than 600,000 pregnant mothers and families would need help welcoming their children into the world. On the off-chance that this happens, pro-life advocates should ensure that pregnancy resource centers can meet every family’s need, without exception. No struggling mother, unborn child, or newborn should be neglected.
The third scenario is hopefully the least likely. There is a chance that the Supreme Court will uphold Roe and let abortion continue to corrupt our culture and claim innocent lives nationwide. Yet even with the abortion status quo, pregnancy resource centers will be essential.
Why? They meet mothers with generosity, not judgment, and they have a proven track record of helping families choose life. That’s especially true with ultrasounds, which many if not most pregnancy resource centers provide. A stunning nine out of ten pregnant women keep their baby after seeing an ultrasound. With more support, including more ultrasound machines, these centers can inspire more people to reject abortion and carry their babies to term. If Roe survives, pregnancy resource centers will be key to the continued campaign to restore a culture of life.
No doubt many pro-life advocates are already taking steps to strengthen these praiseworthy organizations. Yet however much we’re doing, we need to do more, and we need to do it now, before the Supreme Court hands down the Dobbs decision. The future of life in America will be shaped by the compassion and care of pregnancy resource centers. Let’s make sure they’re ready for what’s coming — and able to serve all who will need them, alive and unborn.
TIM BUSCH is the founder and CEO of the Pacific Hospitality Group and the founder of the Napa Institute.
Originally published by National Review.
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