At midnight on Sept. 1, the Texas Heartbeat Bill, S.B. 8, went into effect. The Supreme Court declined to overturn it later that day. The law bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy. Planned Parenthood is no longer scheduling abortions past six weeks gestation. According to reports, this law could prevent more than 100 abortion procedures per day, and 4,000 each month.
As I have read the countless headlines, and social media memes erupting since that day, I’ve noticed similar themes emerging. Mainstream media has used words like “restrictive,” “anti,” “extreme” and “cruel” over and over – blasting Americans with a false narrative and a one-sided agenda.
What the media consistently (and disappointingly) fails to highlight is that with the passage of S.B. 8, the rights of thousands of babies in the state of Texas will be saved. Thousands of babies will live. Thousands of mothers and families will experience joy. Thousands of women will be spared the regret and pain left after having an abortion.
This heartbeat bill – the first passed since Roe v. Wade – indicates a cultural change and shift taking place in our country, made possible by countless hours of work from pro-life individuals and the rising pregnancy care center movement. It also highlights the continued need of these organizations who provide real support for a woman’s pregnancy journey.
When women facing unplanned pregnancies don’t feel economically or situationally prepared to raise a child, pregnancy centers and pro-life organizations provide real answers. For decades, they have been caring for the needs of women facing unplanned pregnancies by offering the medical, financial, relational, spiritual and holistic support they need to feel truly empowered.
Fortunately, Texas has a robust infrastructure for meeting the holistic needs of women facing unplanned pregnancies. According to Heartbeat International’s Pregnancy Center directory, there are 337 pregnancy centers across the state of Texas, providing material resources like diapers, formula, parenting classes, baby supplies and clothing – all at no cost. These centers are staffed by dedicated and compassionate individuals who will meet with women individually, and walk with them through their unique circumstances, helping create a plan to face whatever barriers lie ahead.
The state of Texas also provides a plethora of grants, financial assistance, medical and dental insurance, education and housing to women who choose to give birth and raise their children.
After having served with Save the Storks, an organization providing holistic care and support for women facing unplanned pregnancies, and meeting hundreds of women who have chosen life for their babies, a few words that could accurately describe their stories are “joy,” “freedom” and “love.”
Unplanned pregnancies, and the circumstances around them, will always be with us; but so will the compassionate care provided by community pregnancy centers and national prolife organizations like Save the Storks. These organizations hold the keys to helping thousands of women and babies thrive – and are essential for Texas, now more than ever.
Diane Ferraro is CEO of Save the Storks, a national prolife organization that exists to reach women facing unplanned pregnancies and save the lives of babies through compassion, education and holistic care. As a woman who has her own personal adoption story, Diane believes every human being, including the preborn baby, has intrinsic value. Learn more about the work of Save the Storks at savethestorks.com.