The New York Times offers a rare and very solid report on the operations of a crisis pregnancy center and assistance ministry for women in today’s edition. In “Some Abortion Foes Forgo Politics for Quiet Talk,” reporter John Leland takes readers into the A Woman’s Choice Resource Center in Louisville, Kentucky.
A selection: The women in this Bible study, a postabortion recovery group, are far from the public battles over abortion laws and the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. But in their quiet way, they represent a dimension of the anti-abortion movement that is just as passionate and far-reaching, consisting not of protesters or political activists but of Christian therapy groups, crisis pregnancy centers, adoption ministries, and support programs for single mothers and their children.
“The media attention has all gone to the political wing,” said James R. Kelly, a professor of sociology at Fordham University in New York who has written about the history of abortion in America. “But the first national organizations in the movement were not political; they were service groups that provided direct aid to women so they would not abort. These are low-key and hidden, but they were always there and had more volunteers than the political side.”
The group here in Louisville – eight women gathered on a Saturday morning, each with her own box of tissues – suggests the breadth of this part of the movement. The group, called Free Indeed, is part of A Woman’s Choice Resource Center, which says it has an annual budget of $900,000 and provides free ultrasound and other services, including counseling, diapers, baby clothes and adoption referrals, to more than 4,000 women a year.
[DISCLOSURE STATEMENT: Mary Mohler, my wife, is a member of the board of directors for A Woman’s Choice Resource Center and I have spoken for events related to the center. William Cutrer, MD, the center’s medical director, is also C. Edwin Gheens Professor of Christian Family Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.]