“Our nurse was in the back serving a patient and our mobile clinic has to be on — and air conditioning running — in order to operate effectively,” Matzke recalled. “A woman basically tried to get in the front seat and take off with it.”
The center’s on-site security stopped the woman.
A pregnancy center offering alternatives
Matzke’s center is one of approximately 3,000 pregnancy centers serving hundreds of thousands of women in the United States. According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of SBA Pro-Life America, these centers provided services and material assistance amounting to more than $266 million in 2019 alone.
Her center, Matzke said, provides more than $1.5 million in free medical and material assistance to women every year.
Matzke said that her licensed medical clinic serves women with a staff of OB-GYN doctors, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, medical assistants, and a phlebotomist. Most of her staff, she added, has personal, former ties to abortion — including one OB-GYN who used to perform abortions.
The community — including the local Planned Parenthood — relies on and benefits from her center. When it encounters pregnant women who want to choose life for their babies, Planned Parenthood sends them to Matzke’s center, she said during her testimony.
Among other things, Alternatives Pregnancy Center provides “full medical services to women,” Matzke told CNA. Those services include pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, STD testing and treatment, abortion pill reversal services, prenatal care, gynecological care, breast exams, abortion recovery counseling, and parenting classes.
For women who need material assistance, the center offers supplies such as diapers, wipes, baby formula, baby food, baby clothing, and even hotel rooms if the women need a place to stay.
“We pay for all of that,” Matzke said during her testimony. “It doesn’t matter who she is, where she comes from, or what her past is.”
She told CNA that her center does this “because life is a human right and we need to protect that life.”
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“That is why I was compelled to speak on behalf of all pregnancy centers throughout the country,” she said of her testimony, even though “it is a very scary thing for me to do what I just did because I’ve made our clinic even more of a target now.”
Pro-life work informed by faith
Matzke grew up in a pro-life Christian home. Today, her faith informs every aspect of her pro-life work.
“God’s word is the foundation upon which I stand and why I serve where I serve,” she told CNA.
She was also inspired to dedicate her life to running a pregnancy center after a pregnancy center offered hope and help to her sister.
The day they left for college, she remembered, her sister was throwing up and collapsed on the ground. When Matzke asked what was wrong, her sister said that she was pregnant.