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Progressive politicians, such as Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have attacked pro-life pregnancy centers in the wake of Roe v. Wade’s overturn, going as far as to call for them to be shut down across the country.
But the women who run these centers say nothing could be further from the truth.
Fox News Digital hopped on a call with four Mississippi crisis pregnancy center leaders for an interview and learned how these centers are supporting the families they serve from pregnancies and beyond.
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Karen Sims, the executive director for the Hope Clinic of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, said that her clinic has “set the strong foundation of our services and we’re just going to grow and expand.”
“We are a medical facility at Hope Clinic in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and we offer free pregnancy testing, free ultrasound counseling, and education,” Sims said of the services her clinic offers. “We have a program called Connections where we work with young ladies and give them those practical needs, so baby material assistance and mentoring and just following them throughout their pregnancy and helping them.”
Shannon Bagly Busby, director of the Center for Pregnancy Choices (CPC) of Vicksburg, Mississippi, told Fox News Digital that their care for expectant mothers is different from pro-abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood because they provide for their patients beyond the “initial desire for the walk in the door.”
“So they come to us wanting one thing, but they get all of these other services that are offered to them,” Busby said. “They can have sonograms, they have baby boutiques, earn where you learn, that goes anywhere from teaching them about the first trimester to money management.”
“They get a partnership with us. They get a place that they can actually come to and after time after time, year after year after year, and we are able to help them and pretty much a lot of their areas,” she continued.
Busby noted that their clinic also helps place expectant mothers and fathers find jobs to support their new, growing families and that they perform weddings, baptisms, and christenings, as well.
Michelle Johnson, director of client services at CPC of Vicksburg, which receives its funding from local churches, told Fox News Digital that the intersection between faith and the clinic she works for is what makes them “unique.”
“We believe that life has great value. And so, because we believe that, we don’t just talk to the mom. We don’t just talk about the baby,” Johnson said. “We talk about the life as a whole…. We believe that life is important.”
Johnson said that she believes “that’s one of the reasons why pro-life people have been misunderstood, because people don’t understand” that the pro-life pregnancy centers care for the families after the baby has been born.
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For months, the U.S. has faced a baby formula shortage, but stockpiles at pregnancy centers like CPC of Vicksburg have helped to ease the burden on the families they serve.
Busby said, amidst the shortage, CPC of Vicksburg saw “double” their usual traffic for baby formula as store shelves sat bare. She noted that, prior to the shortage, baby formula used to sit on their shelf “for quite a long period of time,” but now they “can’t keep it on the shelves.”
Sarah Smith, executive director of CPC of Meridian, Mississippi, said she worked as a “car seat technician” — helping parents install the car seats given to them by CPC clinics.
Smith also said her clinic offers classes where parents can cash-in points for necessities, like “maternity clothes, baby items, baby gear, breastfeeding equipment, postpartum supplies and toys, and “also cribs, bouncies, all those kind of things.”
“But also we recently started working in partnership with the Department of Health because our state has some maternal health equity issues…,” Smith said. “And one of the things we thought would be good is to start training more people to serve as a doula because we saw a lot of women who came through were single moms and they had nobody.”
Warren this month accused pro-life crisis pregnancy centers of “torturing” pregnant women seeking abortion information and called on the federal government to “shut them down all around the country.”
“In Massachusetts right now, those crisis pregnancy centers that are there to fool people who are looking for pregnancy termination help outnumber true abortion clinics by three to one,” Warren told NBC 10 Boston.
Crisis pregnancy centers, or CPCs, are typically faith-based and offer reproductive health care, prenatal care and counseling to help expecting parents choose life over abortion. Most centers offer free STI testing and treatment, pregnancy testing, prenatal vitamins, ultrasounds, post-abortion care, parenting classes, adoption referrals, and even free baby clothes and diapers once the baby is born. The centers receive funding primarily through private donations and grants from religious organizations, but many states also allocate public money to the centers via programs like “Choose Life” license plates, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
As of 2021, there are approximately 3,000 crisis pregnancy center locations in the U.S., the Charlotte Lozier Institute says. A 2019 study by the institute revealed 8 in 10 locations offer free ultrasounds and nearly all locations offer free material assistance for new families.
CPCs all over the country have reported an uptick in vandalism and threats in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, which ended the federal right to an abortion and returned the issue to the states. Within a week of the Court’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization being leaked to the media, at least five CPCs were attacked, and dozens more have been targeted since then. Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America issued a study in June reporting more than 40 “incidents of violence, vandalism and intimidation” since the May 2 leak.
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Democrats like Warren say CPCs disseminate misinformation about the risks associated with abortion in an effort to persuade women to give birth. She introduced the Stop Anti-Abortion Disinformation Act last month, which would “direct the Federal Trade Commission to prescribe rules prohibiting disinformation in the advertising of abortion services, and for other purposes.”
In June, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill directing the state health commissioner to investigate CPCs in the state to determine their “impact” on pregnant women’s access to care.
Busby said that having discussions in the media helps to combat the “Facebook education” going on in America, noting that the social media giant’s algorithm “shows you what you want to see.”
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“I think that also it’s our responsibility to educate those who support us, but help them today to do the message as well, because we’re just one person representing each clinic and sometimes there might be those who their approach is a little bit more on the aggressive end,” Busby said. “And that’s what we’ve been kind of battling sometimes more in-house than anything.”
“So I think that it’s important for us to show the love and the compassion, but yet the truth at the same time,” she added. “And there has to be a balance of that.”
Warren’s office did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.