by Jennifer Wright, Editor/Writer
On Monday evening, September 19, we received a letter from Senator Warren (and six others) fraught with bizarre accusations and demanding answers to a number of questions by October 3. Here’s the thing though, this letter is nothing more than a political stunt. While it makes demands, it invokes no authority. It throws wild accusations, but never points to an actual situation that has actually happened, and only postulates hypothetical future situations. And of course, TIME Magazine was aware of this letter at almost the same moment we were and reached out to us for comment.
And yet, we’re going to respond. We’ve already released a statement, as you may have seen at Fox News, Catholic News Agency, Life News, or in our own email announcement earlier this week.
Why? Because this is what we do – and this is an opportunity.
We know that your work is on the frontline. You’re serving clients, changing hearts, saving lives, and transforming communities. If something like this came directly to your office, the best move might not be to take time away from that front-line service. But we have those resources, and we’re here to represent you, our affiliates, so you don’t have to take time away from your mission.
And honestly, this is an opportunity for the pregnancy help movement. We can speak to the reality and share your good work because of this letter.
We don’t have anything to hide, and this gives us the opportunity to tout the great work of our Next Level CMS team and the high security standards we’ve set for any data we maintain in order to serve women. In fact, Next Level maintains the same security standards (and the same software platforms) of any hospital records system. Our Sample Policies & Procedures and Sample Medical Policies & Procedures manuals include policies surrounding document retention and security standards for client records. These policies have been reviewed by legal counsel inside and outside of Heartbeat, and we stand by them.
Neither Heartbeat, Option Line, nor Next Level have ever had a security breach related to client information (or of any kind). Any data we collect has always been secure, safe, and legal.
So look out for our final response to this letter. We’ve been sharing with reporters and media contacts for months about your support and care for women in unexpected pregnancies. We’ve been making sure we address data privacy concerns, counter accusations with truth, and provide statistics on the impact of the pregnancy help movement. This letter shines light on these statements more than any of our previous interviews have allowed for.
Thank you, Senators, for this PR opportunity.
We have the honor of working with some amazing partner organizations within the pro-life movement. From advocacy to legal aid, to lobbying to research, all of them recognize the value of pregnancy help organizations and do their part in advancing the reach so that no woman ever feels so alone or helpless that she feels abortion is her only option.
Two organizations that have started initiatives to expand the reach of pregnancy help are Students for Life and SBA list. Through these new initiatives, each organization added a database of pregnancy help organizations in addition to state and local social services to supply women with a comprehensive list of resources when facing an unexpected pregnancy.
Stand With You helps women find the answers they need to become a successful parent. Women can connect with real people who understand what an unexpected pregnancy feels like, people who know first-hand that peer-to-peer support can be priceless, people who empower women to choose both their child and their dreams.
Her PLAN (Her Pregnancy and Life Assistance Network) facilitates collaboration between assistance providers and their communities to empower women and families through comprehensive medical, social, and material support. Her PLAN currently operates nationally and in four states: Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia and West Virginia.
In order to truly change the culture, we need a team of like-minded organizations to work together. We are blessed to work with all of you in this service side of the movement. We hope you appreciate these tools that our partner organizations are using in order to reach more women with the life-saving services you provide.
by Matt Waters, CEO of F Street Partners
Voting is a national privilege, an opportunity to share in one of our most sacred rights. This November the entire U.S. House of Representatives (435 members) is up for re-election, as are 35 U.S. Senators, and 39 state or territory governors. Every state and local jurisdiction also have many more elections and ballot initiatives.
With that in mind, we would like to share five reasons why we should vote pro-life next month.
First, if you are a person of faith, you probably already know that God values life—and you can recall the words of Jesus who said, ‘Let the little children come unto me, do not forbid them,” or Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” These verses, and many more, highlight God’s view of human life.
Second, our Declaration of Independence, the words upon which our Country and Constitution were founded, exclaims, “All Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
In view of these two truths, the third thing your pro-life vote will do is make the case that funding abortion with taxpayer funds, or funding Planned Parenthood, is wrong, and we need to elect men and women who will oppose taxpayer funded abortions and funding Planned Parenthood.
Fourth, pro-lifers are building a culture of life. Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization was a great victory that overturned Roe v. Wade, but our fight to make abortion unwanted today and unthinkable for future generations is far from over. Electing the right leaders will help provide for those who may believe abortion is their only choice. We need elected leaders who will support the pregnancy help movement rather than villify it.
Lastly, there are many politicians who come up with creative ways to end human life—on behalf of their pro-abortion campaign contributors. They use scenarios that bear no resemblance to reality, making claims like “abortion is health care” when science proves that abortion is never medically necessary to preserve the life of the mother, and stopping an active beating heart is the opposite of “health care.”
For more information on voting pro-life, please see ivoterguide.com for more information on those running for elective office.
This year, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking Catholic churches in the US to intensify their focus on the needs of women facing pregnancies in challenging circumstances. All U.S. bishops are encouraged to invite their parishes to join the nationwide effort from March 25, 2020 to March 25, 2021 entitled “Walking with Moms in Need: A Year of Service.”
Individual parishes are asked to complete an inventory of the resources currently available in their local area, assess the results and identify gaps, and plan and implement a parish response based on their findings.
During the inventory process, (May-September of 2020) parishes are being encouraged develop relationships with their local pregnancy help center. With well over 17,000 Catholic parishes in the United States, and over 2,700 pregnancy help centers, there is great opportunity for collaboration. The intent of this effort is not to turn parishes into pregnancy centers, but to have parishes better connect women in need to the local resources, and to encourage parish support of local pregnancy help efforts.
Once a bishop invites his parishes to join the Year of Service, parish teams would begin to survey local resources, especially pregnancy help centers. Pregnancy help centers are welcome to proactively contact the Catholic parishes in their area to share the wonderful help they are already providing to mothers in need.
To find out more about Walking with Moms in Need: A Year of Service, visit www.walkingwithmoms.com. To connect with the local Respect Life contact for the diocese in your region, click here.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – In what it hails as the most powerful pro-life event on Capitol Hill, Heartbeat International is bringing seven mothers—and their children—to Washington, D.C. this January to tell elected officials how they chose life with the help of a community-funded pregnancy center.
The event, “Babies Go to Congress,” takes place Jan. 26, the morning prior to the annual March for Life, and is Heartbeat International’s 15th such visit to the nation’s capitol since 2009. In the previous trips, 113 mothers and their children have visited a total of 265 offices—including those of both Democrats and Republicans.
In each visit, a mother who has rejected abortion with the help of a pregnancy help organization has the opportunity to tell her story, alongside both her child and the staff from the center that helped her choose life.
“This is one event Planned Parenthood could never dream of pulling off,” Heartbeat International president Jor-El Godsey said. “Pregnancy help centers empower women to make the healthiest choice for everyone involved in an unexpected pregnancy. This is a powerful platform for us to both show and tell the truth that pregnancy help centers are good for America.”
The group this year is made up of two mothers from Ohio, as well as one each from North Carolina, Missouri, Arizona, Texas and Wyoming. Though six of the mothers are bringing with them children 4 years old and younger, one mother—Nikki Pinkley from Branson, Mo.—is bringing her 14-year-old daughter to the event.
Together, Nikki and her daughter, Alexis, illustrate the positive life-long impact of that nation’s 2,600 pregnancy help centers.
Nikki was raised in the church and had recently graduated high school when she found out she was pregnant. Finding help at Options Pregnancy Clinic in Branson, she not only chose life for Alexis, but the staff at Options encouraged her to keep pursuing her education and career goals.
Today, Nikki is a closing in on a decade as a licensed professional counselor and is working on her doctoral degree in psychology.
“My hope is that every young woman facing an unplanned pregnancy will find the help she needs to face the challenges of being a single mom,” Nikki, who later married, said. “It’s not easy, but I am living proof that the future is what you make of it. Sometimes you just need someone to believe in you. I found the help I needed, plus a lot of inspiration at Options Pregnancy Clinic.”
About Heartbeat International
Heartbeat International is the first network of pro-life pregnancy help organizations founded in the U.S. (1971), and the largest network in the world. With 2,100 affiliated pregnancy help locations—including pregnancy help medical clinics (with ultrasound), resource centers, maternity homes, and adoption agencies—Heartbeat serves on all six inhabited continents to provide alternatives to abortion. For more information, see www.HeartbeatInternational.org.
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