Abortion hotline to be funded by Title X
HHS Secretary Javier Becerra said on Twitter April 13 that the federal grant would “establish a safe and secure national hotline to provide referral services for women in need of accurate information about their legal reproductive health care options.”
The grant announcement envisions a hotline to provide pregnant Title X clients with “neutral and factual information, nondirective counseling and referral” in accordance with federal rules. The hotline’s clients may indicate which information or counseling they do not want to receive.
Current Title X funding recipients include state and county public health departments, hospitals, community health centers, family planning clinics, and scores of affiliates of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the U.S.
Women face pressure to abort, need alternatives
ProLife Across America, launched in 1989, provides a pregnancy helpline at 1-800-366-7773. Last year it placed 12,000 roadside billboard ads in 46 states and generated more than 4,850 calls and 2,400 emails to its hotline. It also runs radio, television, and internet ads.
Kuharski said such hotlines are key for pregnant women and those who want to help them.
“Oftentimes our billboards or ads are the only visible sign of hope and help to someone who is being pressured to have an abortion, whether it’s pressure from a husband, a boyfriend, well-meaning friends, or parents,” she said.
“They need to know we care about them and their baby,” Kuharski continued. “They need to hear that someone cares about them and their baby. So often the woman is feeling pressure and she’s feeling alone, so she needs to know that whatever decision she makes, if she is pregnant [it] will affect her physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually, the rest of her life.”
“When they call that 800 hotline, we can connect them with the help that they need from one end of this country to the other,” she said. “We work with over 3,000 agencies offering free ultrasound, confidential counseling, housing, shelter if needed, as well as medical care and support and ongoing help for parenting classes.”
ProLife Across America’s website says it is committed to “positive, persuasive messages” and to offering information about abortion alternatives and post-abortion care. It describes its beliefs as based on “biblical principles and Roman Catholic teaching.”
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Care Net’s website says that since 2008 its evangelical Christian ministry has helped save over 940,000 babies from abortion. It says it envisions “a culture where women and men faced with pregnancy decisions are transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and empowered to choose life for their unborn children and abundant life for their families.”
Its Pregnancy Decision Line is 866-798-9541. Warren said Care Net’s hotline “provides immediate pregnancy decision coaching to women and men considering abortion.” It is staffed by trained coaches, most of whom are nurses, who “care holistically for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the people who call us,” he told CNA.
“Without such hotlines, women and men will not have a place to turn for life-affirming information,” Warren said. “We provide callers with the objective information they need about all of their options, including life-affirming options such as parenting and adoption, so they can make a fully informed decision.”
The hotline links to Care Net’s national network of over 1,200 “life-affirming” pregnancy center affiliates and a “growing network” of churches. According to Warren, this helps broaden the support system for pregnant women.
“Pregnancy Decision Line coaches refer callers to these additional points of compassion in their communities so they can get access to all of the resources they need to choose life, build strong families, and get the long-term discipleship they need to transform their lives,” he said.