On Wednesday, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed the most pro-life bill in the nation, prohibiting nearly all abortions starting at human fertilization. Many pro-life Oklahomans are rejoicing at the news, but amidst the jubilation, Oklahomans must prepare for the critical task ahead of them.
While this monumental step forward is certainly worth celebrating, pro-life advocates must consider the many women facing crisis pregnancies who are not celebrating. Instead, they feel cornered and optionless. This is where pregnancy resource centers come in.
Following Stitt’s April 27 signing of the bill banning abortions after six weeks, two of the four abortion clinics in the state had stopped providing abortions by mid-May. The two other independent clinics said they will no longer offer services once Stitt signs the bill that will protect life from the moment of conception, with exceptions for cases of rape and incest if they have been reported to law enforcement.
Pregnancy resource centers around Oklahoma have faithfully provided abortion alternatives to women for decades. Organizations like Evany Clinic in Mustang, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City, has been serving women in the area since 2004.
According to their web page, they have served hundreds of women and their families “by providing medical-grade pregnancy testing, ultrasound confirmation, options counseling, individual and group education, medical and social service support and referrals, material items such as clothing, diapers, and formula, and now STD testing.”
Nationwide Bans Pending
Meanwhile, the country waits for the Supreme Court to announce its decision on overturning Roe v. Wade. According to the left-leaning Guttmacher Institute, 26 states are “certain or likely” to ban abortion, indicating that “if Roe were overturned or fundamentally weakened, 22 states have laws or constitutional amendments already in place that would make them certain to attempt to ban abortion as quickly as possible. Anti-abortion policymakers in several of these states have also indicated that they will introduce legislation modeled after the Texas six-week abortion ban.”
In 2021, Texas, the frontrunner state tackling abortion access, made waves throughout the country when Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill that banned abortion after six weeks of gestation and threatened criminal penalties for doctors who perform abortions after that period. When Abbott signed the bill into law, abortion advocates revolted and California, Colorado, and Oregon advertised their states as abortion sanctuary states.
While some women will travel to these locations to end their pregnancies, travel is not an option for others. In fact, a Christianity Today article indicated that “while pregnancy centers in blue states anticipate a higher number of clients seeking abortions across state lines, pregnancy centers in red states are also trying to adjust how they serve clients. Texas pregnancy centers saw an immediate influx of women in need after Texas passed a law banning abortions after six weeks.” In that case, pro-lifers must prepare to go the extra mile to make sure these women are supported in choosing life for their babies.
A Call to Action
A few hours of volunteering go a long way. From washing and folding baby clothes, to answering phones, to serving as an interpreter, volunteers can free up life-saving resources for the professionals who are working closely with women who are suffering catastrophe. Some are homeless, others are escaping abusive relationships, while others are terrified to tell their parents or significant others about the growing life inside their womb.
Contrary to the commonly posed argument by abortion advocates, pro-life advocates do not simply encourage women in crisis pregnancies to choose life. Nor do clinics limit their services to strictly pregnancy-related assistance. Rather, they ensure that women find post-birth success.
For example, Crisis Pregnancy Outreach in Tulsa offers weekly support group meetings, provides mentors to help guide women during and post-pregnancy, as well as offers assistance in future plans, such as attending school, finding a job, and relocating. If time to volunteer is an issue, pro-life advocates can also support clinics monetarily, as most of these organizations provide services at no cost and only through donations and grants. Private adoption agencies also gladly accept financial contributions from donors to assist families yearning to provide a forever home for babies whose mothers choose adoption.
Three weeks ago, my family joined the flood of red-state refugees escaping the west coast to live among like-minded Americans in our new state of Oklahoma. I could not be prouder of Oklahoma’s efforts to save babies and I look forward to helping women choose life.
One of the first calls I made before moving into my new house was to the local pregnancy resource center to learn how I could volunteer. Volunteering for a pregnancy resource center is not a glamorous role, but if working behind the scenes may help convince even one woman to choose life, I’m all in.