Press Release

Heartbeat International Responds to NARAL Report

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Tuesday | March 10, 2015
Contact: Jay Hobbs, Director of Communications and Marketing
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Tweet This: "We exist to empower a woman with true choice. That's why @naral attacks us." @PeggyHartshorn

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Responding to a report released Monday by abortion advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice America, Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., pointed to what she calls the fundamental difference between “true” and “false” reproductive health.

NARAL’s report, “Crisis Pregnancy Centers Lie: The Insidious Threat To Reproductive Freedom,” represents several years of opposition to the 2,500 pregnancy help organizations operating independently in the United States, most of whom are fully funded by local and private donors.

In its 24 pages, NARAL’s report features 107 citations. However, 92 of those (86 percent total) come from its state and local chapters, and eight more are from Planned Parenthood’s research arm, The Guttmacher Institute.

“The sole purpose of every pregnancy help organization is to provide the love and support every woman deserves in an unexpected pregnancy,” Hartshorn said. “We exist to empower a woman to make the healthiest choice for all involved. That is why NARAL attacks us with these false and flimsy allegations.”

Hartshorn, who attended the Diocesan Family and Life Congress in Manilla over the past weekend and trained Heartbeat International joint affiliation partners serving throughout the Philippines, pointed to the good work of pregnancy help organizations, both in the U.S. and all over the world.

She is author of Heartbeat International’s top-selling volunteer training resource, The LOVE Approach—first published in 1994—which teaches a truly woman-centered approach.

“No woman should ever feel so alone, coerced, or hopeless that she ends her child’s life through abortion,” Hartshorn said. “That’s why, in every corner of the globe, Heartbeat International affiliates and others provide all the facts about pregnancy—including the baby’s development and the many serious physical and psychological dangers of abortion.”

“This report is an attack on the truth and true reproductive freedom. Only a fully informed choice can be a true choice.”

Tweet This: "This report is an attack on true reproductive freedom." @PeggyHartshorn

Heartbeat Responds to Death of Dr. John C. Willke

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Monday | Feb. 23, 2015
Contact: Jay Hobbs, Director of Communications and Marketing
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Tweet This: Father of #prolife movement created legacy of life, family, true reproductive healthcare

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Responding to news of the death of Dr. John C. Willke, a key pioneer in the pro-life movement, Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., has issued the following statement:

“We are all saddened to hear of the loss of Dr. Jack Willke, who many call the father of the pro-life movement,” Hartshorn said. “When I became president of Heartbeat International in 1993, we became colleagues as leaders of national and international organizations, but before that, he was a dear friend and a mentor to me.”

[Click here to see video of Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn's comments on Dr. Willke's passing.]

Willke, 89, died Friday, Feb. 21, at his home, according to a press release from Life Issues Institute, an organization he and his late wife, Barbara, founded in 1991.

The Willke family’s work in the pro-life arena began in the 1960s, when the couple started producing and distributing slides and brochures detailing the facts about fetal development and abortion procedures. Dr. Willke served two terms (1980-83, 1984-91) as president of the National Right to Life Committee.

His 1985 book, “Abortion Questions & Answers: Love Them Both,” helped shape the national pro-life movement’s dialogue to what Heartbeat International has called a “woman-centered approach.” Heartbeat International honored Dr. Willke with its “Servant Leader Award” in 2003.

“We owe so much to those early medical leaders, who knew that true healthcare for women involved respect not only for the woman, but her unborn child. What a tremendous example they have been—and are—as we continue to carry on their legacy.”

Hartshorn, whose career in the pro-life field began as president of the Columbus, Ohio, chapter of Right to Life, worked closely with Dr. and Mrs. Willke when both were involved with the organization. It was Willke’s brochure and slides, “Life or Death” that served as Hartshorn’s initial introduction into pro-life work.

Hartshorn appeared in “Dr. Willke, A Pro-Life Legacy to Last a Lifetime,” a documentary on Dr. Willke’s life and legacy produced by Life Issues Institutes in Jan., 2015.

“I remember so many things about Dr. Willke, and one of those things is the example of family that he embodied. He and his late wife, Barbara, were together in this movement, and I believe that is such an important thing as we commit ourselves long-term to stand for life and a culture of life. We need the help and support of families in this movement.”

About Heartbeat International
Heartbeat International is the first network of pro-life pregnancy help organizations founded in the U.S. (1971), and now the largest and most expansive network in the world. With nearly 2,000 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.

Heartbeat International Releases 2014 Annual Report

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Tuesday | Feb. 10, 2015
Contact: Jay Hobbs, Director of Communications and Marketing
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COLUMBUS, OHIO – Heartbeat International, the world’s largest and most expansive network of pregnancy help centers, medical clinics, maternity homes and non-profit adoption agencies, has released its 2014 Annual Report, which reviews the organization’s 43rd year of life-affirming work.

Highlighting the group’s list of 2014 achievements, its 24/7, 365 pregnancy helpline, Option Line®, answered its two millionth contact since it launched in 2003. After answering initial questions via phone, text, live chat or email, Option Line consultants seek to route a caller directly to his or her local pregnancy help organization to find in-person help during a difficult or unexpected pregnancy.

Tweet This: Heartbeat's Option Line answered its two millionth contact in 2014.

The contact center answers over 17,000 contacts every month from the U.S. and Canada, and now has Spanish-speaking consultants available 72 percent of every 24-hour cycle, with a 2015 goal to make Spanish-speaking consultants available 24 hours per day.

“A 24/7 pregnancy helpline has been at the very center of our life-saving vision since the day Heartbeat International was first formed,” President Peggy Harthsorn, PhD., who has served as president since 1993, said. “To see this vision become reality—and to think of the millions of lives directly rescued and impacted by Option Line—is truly satisfying and speaks volumes to the power of God and the faithfulness of our supporters over the decades.”

Hartshorn, who was recognized by Students for Life as a 2015 Defender of Life in late January, also highlighted Heartbeat International’s role in furthering the work of SOS Vita, a pregnancy helpline operated by Italian affiliate partner Movimento per la Vita, with technological upgrades and training in Heartbeat International’s Talking About Abortion resource.

Included in the 2014 milestones, Heartbeat International welcomed its first-ever affiliate in mainland China. The organization’s founding executive director, whose name is withheld for security reasons, was presented with a check for $10,000 at the 2014 Heartbeat International Annual Conference, with all funds coming by way of contribution from the network’s 1,800 affiliate organizations on every inhabited continent.

Heartbeat International’s 2014 Annual Report can be viewed in its entirety here.

Heartbeat Announces Launch of PregnancyHelpNews.com

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday | February 4, 2015
Contact: Jay Hobbs, Director of Communications and Marketing
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Tweet This: "@PHC_News is an excellent bridge where we can point and say, 'This is what we do. This is our world.'"

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Seeking to unite a worldwide community made up of staff, leaders, volunteers, board members and community supporters in over 6,000 locations, Heartbeat International, the world's largest and most expansive network of life-affirming pregnancy help organizations has launched a new website, www.PregnancyHelpNews.com.

The site, which went live Jan. 19, is updated each business day with news, commentary and features, all of which affect and surround the realm of pregnancy help centers, medical clinics (with ultrasound and STI testing), maternity homes and non-profit adoption agencies.

"In our Worldwide Directory of Pregnancy Help, we list over 6,000 pregnancy help organizations," Heartbeat International Vice President Jor-El Godsey said. "Our goal with PregnancyHelpNews.com is to create a specific source of information and sort of first-stop homepage to connect these life-affirming friends around the day's news that specifically impacts the courageous work in which they are involved every day."

While promotion of the site has been largely confined to the nearly 2,000 organizations affiliated with Heartbeat International, PregnancyHelpNews.com garnered over 1,000 unique page views Monday, Feb. 2.

The top-read news story on the site is of a mother whose baby was saved through the collaboration of Abortion Pill Reversal and a Southern California pregnancy center after the mother had taken the first round of the abortion pill, RU-486. Readers are also invited to register and interact on a free conversation forum.

"One element we are especially excited to bring to the table with this site is its focus on pregnancy centers and the work they do," said Editor-in-Chief Jay Hobbs, who is joined in leadership by Senior Writer Kirk Walden, long-time publisher of Advancement Trends in the Life Community.

"We see PregnancyHelpNews.com as an excellent bridge, where anyone involved in the pregnancy help community can point friends and potential supporters and say, 'This is what we do. This is our world.'"

 

Heartbeat International President Responds to NARAL, Government Strategy Against Pregnancy Centers

"This is one more evidence that pregnancy help organizations are winning the battle for life."

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Wednesday | January 14, 2015
Contact: Jay Hobbs, Director of Communications and Marketing
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COLUMBUS, OHIO – Responding to a report from LifeSiteNews.com uncovering an ongoing plan between the Maryland chapter of NARAL Pro-Choice America and the public officials in Montgomery County, Md., to impede or eliminate pregnancy help organizations, Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., pointed to the success of pregnancy centers in her companion article at LifeSiteNews.com.

Read LifeSiteNews.com Report Here: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/exclusive-e-mails-reveal-maryland-officials-collaborating-with-naral-to-shu

Read Peggy Hartshorn’s Response Here:
https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/why-do-abortionists-go-to-such-lengths-to-eliminate-us-because-we-threaten

Heartbeat International and our worldwide network of life-affirming organizations believe no mother should feel so alone, so vulnerable, or so coerced that she ends her child’s life through abortion,” Hartshorn, who has served as Heartbeat International’s President since 1993, wrote. “These vital organizations enable a mother to make a true choice through a variety of services, including ultrasound, options counseling, maternity housing, and the ability to make an adoption plan.”

“And this is why we pose such a threat to NARAL and company. It’s not just that we are their competition. It’s that we are winning.

Hartshorn’s comments come in the wake of the publication of an email string dating back as far as 2009, obtained via the Freedom of Information Act, which capture ongoing strategy between Maryland’s NARAL chapter president Jodi Finkelstein and current Montgomery County Council president George Leventhal.

The pair discussed the County’s ongoing strategy to compel government speech from Heartbeat International affiliate Centro Tepeyac Silver Spring Women’s Center. Montgomery County first passed a city ordinance Feb. 2, 2010 requiring, “limited service pregnancy resource centers” – any facility that does not perform abortions – to post a sign in English and Spanish in its waiting room saying that “the Center does not have a licensed medical professional on staff” and that “the Montgomery County Health Officer encourages women who are or may be pregnant to consult with a licensed health care provider.”

A lawsuit brought by Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of Centro Tepeyac resulted in three separate court victories, which finally resulted in the County dropping its unconstitutional ordinance and paying Centro Tepeyac $375,000 in legal fees.

“Pregnancy help organizations like Centro Tepeyac exist so that every mother can feel loved and supported during her pregnancy,” Hartshorn said. “The only opponents to this mission are those who, like NARAL, stand to gain financially and ideologically by the intentional killing of a child within the womb.”

Tweet This: Pregnancy help organizations exist so that every mother can feel loved and supported during pregnancy.

 

Capitol Hill, Get Ready to Meet Christiana

13-year-old saved from abortion to meet with law-makers at Babies Go to Congress

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Monday | December 22, 2014
Contact: Jay Hobbs, Director of Communications and Marketing
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – A little child shall lead them. This well-loved statement will get plenty of airtime this Christmas season, but the phrase may end up becoming the theme of Heartbeat International's Babies Go to Congress® when the most powerful prolife effort on Capitol Hill takes place January 22-23, 2015.

An entourage of five former pregnancy help center clients and their children, rescued from the threat of abortion, will be highlighted by 12-year-old Christiana Pablo from Bowie Crofton Pregnancy Center in Bowie, Md., who is already blossoming into an outgoing champion for the life-affirming support offered by the more than 2,400 pregnancy help organizations rescuing 3,000 babies each week in the United States alone.

Faced with an unexpected pregnancy, Christiana's mother, Victoria Chan-Pablo—only 15-years-old at the time—found the support she needed to welcome Christiana into the world at Bowie Crofton Pregnancy Center. Her eldest daughter has been joyfully repaying that debt, sparking fundraising and community-building efforts for the center, which has served over 24,500 women and families since opening its doors in 1982.

"I say that Bowie Crofton Pregnancy Center saved my daughter's life because they opened up our eyes and gave us the knowledge, the strength and the encouragement to help us carry out our decision in keeping our baby," Victoria said.

Christiana and Victoria will have a chance to tell their story to their elected congressional representatives, along with centers from Ohio (Pregnancy Decision Health Centers), North Carolina (LifeLine Pregnancy Help Center), Indiana (Matrix Pregnancy Resource Center), and Arizona (Living Hope Women's Center). It is the first time in the history of the program that North Carolina will be represented.

Since beginning the program in 2009, a total of 109 women and children representing over 50 centers have visited 222 congressional offices from 23 different states.

"It's difficult to imagine a more empowering experience for a woman than Babies Go to Congress," Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., President of Heartbeat International, said. "This is an event that drives to the very heart of what life-affirming work is all about: every mother feeling loved and supported, both during her pregnancy and into parenthood."

Attempts to Smear Pro-Life Work Ignore Real Women

"Real women are being silenced and gagged in the process."

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Thursday | December 18, 2014
CONTACT: Jay Hobbs, Director of Communications and Marketing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

COLUMBUS, OH – An article first posted Dec. 5 on Vocativ.com before it was picked up at Slate.com and The Daily Mail, among others, calls into question both the demand and medical research behind a treatment designed to reverse the effects of Mifepristone, developed by Dr. George Delgado, M.D., F.A.A.F.P.

Dr. Delgado, who sits on Heartbeat International's Medical Advisory Board, is medical director of Culture of Life Family Health Care and founder of AbortionPillReversal.com, which has built a network of 226 pro-life OB-GYNs who are prepared to provide an early dose of supplemental progesterone to block the effects of Mifepristone—the first of two pills administered in the RU-486 regimen.

"We are grateful for Dr. Delgado's work," Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., said. "It is a shame to see his good work besmirched by agenda-driven writers, determined to grow the business of abortion.

"The tragic thing is that real women who have either been helped by this treatment or wish that they had been, are being silenced and gagged in the process," Hartshorn said. "Pregnancy help organizations like Dr. Delgado's offer each and every woman the true compassion, support, and choice she deserves."

The articles—released over two years after Heartbeat International reported the site's launch and first distributed a webinar on the procedure through Heartbeat Academy—cite the small sample size of women included in an initial peer-reviewed 2012 report published by Dr. Delgado.

Dr. Delgado's team is currently reviewing its cases from the time of the initial report—which included 28 contacts and four births following ingestion of Mifepristone from May to December 2012.

Neither Dr. Delgado nor his team have been contacted by reporters linked to the recent articles.

RESPONSE: Eight Additional Women Come Forward Against OKC Abortion Practitioner

“Women deserve better than abortion and the predators who profit from this deadly practice.”                                                                                               

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                               
Monday | December 15, 2014      
CONTACT:
 Jay Hobbs, Director of Communications & Marketing (media@HeartbeatInternational.org)

COLUMBUS, OH – Responding to breaking news over the weekend of eight additional victims coming forward against the alleged Dr. Nareshkumar Gandalal “Naresh” Patel in Oklahoma City, Heartbeat International has released the following statements:

“Women deserve better than abortion and predators who profit from this deadly practice,” Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., said. “The shared story of these eight women points to the very reason Heartbeat International’s network of pregnancy help centers, maternity homes, and non-profit adoption exist, which is to provide a pregnant mother with all the information she needs to care for herself and her family during an unexpected pregnancy. 

“Women deserve to know the whole truth. Abortion facilities—Mr. Patel’s is merely the example of the day—often leave out the truth, putting abortion profits above what’s really best for mothers and their babies.

“Our network of pregnancy help organizations offers free services because the life of a mother and her baby are worth more than an abortion facility’s bottom line,” Hartshorn said. "It is tragic, in the case of these eight women, that they were reached by a preditory practicioner in an hour of great vulnerability, rather than a life-affirming voice in a local pregnancy help organization."

Patel was arrested Tuesday, Dec. 9, on charges of “fraud for prescribing abortion-inducing drugs to patients who are not pregnant,” according to a press release issued by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. While further investigation is ongoing, Patel’s original charges could result in a three-year jail sentence and a maximum fine of $15,000, according to the press release.

 

Students for Life to Honor Heartbeat President

Heartbeat International President to receive Defender of Life recognition

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday | Oct. 7 2014
CONTACT: Jay Hobbs, Director of Communications and Marketing, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COLUMBUS, OH – Celebrating her nearly 42 years of hands-on involvement in the life-saving ministry of pregnancy help, the last 21 of which as President of Heartbeat International, Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., will be honored as a Defender of Life by Students for Life of America, the group announced Tuesday.

The award is set to be presented at Students for Life of America's West National Conference in San Francisco, Calif., on January 25, 2015. Students for Life of America has also announced Professor Robbie George of Princeton University as its East National Conference recipient.

"It is truly an honor to be recognized by an excellent pro-life organization like Students for Life," Hartshorn said. "The work they are doing among high school and college students around the country is remarkable, and I am so thankful to commend with them the great work that pregnancy help organizations are doing every day in every region of the world."

Jolted by the announcement of the U.S. Supreme Court's infamous Roe v. Wade decision Jan. 22, 1973, Hartshorn immersed herself in pro-life work almost immediately, becoming involved in Columbus (Ohio) Right to Life in the following weeks. She and her husband, Mike Hartshorn, then began housing pregnant women in 1974, which led to their realization of a call to begin a pregnancy help organization in 1978.

That call led to the 1981 founding of Pregnancy Decision Health Centers, in Columbus, Ohio, which now serves over 15,000 clients annually in eight locations throughout Central Ohio.

Peggy Hartshorn joined the board of Heartbeat's forerunner organization, Alternatives to Abortion International, in 1986, before taking the reigns as president in 1993. During her tenure, Heartbeat International's umbrella has expanded from around 100 centers to over 1,800, comprising the largest and most expansive pregnancy help network in the world.

Hartshorn's previous awards include the Cardinal John J. O'Connor pro-life award from Legatus International, the Norrine A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Life Prizes Award, the J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award, the Sanctity of Human Life Award, the Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle Award from the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, the Founder's Award from the Christ Child Society, the Catholic Woman of the Year Award from the Diocese of Columbus (Ohio), and the President's Volunteer Service Award under President George Bush.

Previous Defenders of Life Award winners include Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Father Frank Pavone, Abby Johnson, David Bereit, and Phyllis Schlafly.

 

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