Patty Knap calls herself a “born again” Catholic. She planned to be a wife and mother of four or five kids with several girls, but as life played out, she’s a single mom with two young adult boys. She counsels at a crisis pregnancy center, teaches CCD, takes online classes with the Avila Institute, and loves the beach, dalmatians, and America’s national parks. She also saves recipes in a pile until it gets big and then throws them out.
The difference between an abortion center and a pro-life pregnancy center is like day and night. Or life and death.
And there's another major difference that most people miss: Abortion clinics charge for everything. They're either taking your cash or charging your insurance company.
Over 2000 pregnancy centers around the country charge absolutely nothing, ever, for any service they offer. That includes pregnancy tests, counseling, ultrasounds, distributing maternity and baby clothes, diapers, car seats, bassinets.
Everyone likes 'free,' and of course many young women in an unplanned pregnancy don't have a lot of money. Not being financially stable is often part of their crisis situation, why they're seeking an abortion.
But surprisingly, those are not the reasons pro-life pregnancy centers are always free.
I've been helping out at a local pregnancy center for six or seven years now. A point I always make to young pregnant moms who come in considering an abortion is our motivation. Many times, they'll start by saying they called or went to Planned Parenthood but were told their pregnancy tests are $130. (Ours are free.) Or that an abortion would be $2500. They often start by asking how much we charge for a pregnancy test, or to discuss their options.
At first, they don't really ‘get’ why we don't charge anything. I want them to know that our sole motivation is, and I tell them. The reason we exist is to give young women in an unplanned pregnancy the truth. The full and entire truth. I tell these women, “We can't control what you do when you walk out the door, but you are going to get the entire truth from us. And we don't make one dollar regardless of what you decide. Our only motivation is giving you the truth. Planned Parenthood charges for everything, and they strongly direct their wording, and what they don't say, toward the one ‘choice’ that makes them money”
Every pregnancy center in the country is constantly fundraising. Dinner dances, Christmas card and ornament sales, fundraising letters, baby-bottle campaigns, garage sales. Sure, any pregnancy center could benefit from charging just $25 or $50 per client. But they don’t, because the trust factor is so important.
I find that when I explain the major difference in motivation to the young, overwhelmed pregnant moms who come to us, they're riveted. They stop looking around the room, glancing at their phone, playing with their hair. All of a sudden, they get it. The abortion place is all about profit, even if that means leaving out crucial aspects about the enormous decision she's about to make. The other is all about truth, so she can make a decision with all the relevant information.
I believe it helps to build trust when pregnancy center clients understand our motivation. Sometimes they ask, “how do you support this place?” I explain that there's a lot of volunteers and a lot of donors, and constant fundraising. I mention that some of our volunteers are women — and men — who had an abortion in their past and give their time to try to prevent the same devastation in someone else. “What a beautiful thing they do with their pain and regret, to try to help young people avoid the same tragic mistake.” This helps to educate our clients about the long-term ramifications of the decision they're making.
I've seen it help to build trust when pregnancy center clients understand the crucial difference in motivation. It's just human nature. People are just naturally more likely to trust someone who isn't profiting from the decision they're making. And once we've built that trust, these young men and women are more likely to accept the truth and real help from us.