Imagine a neighborhood where everyone regularly eats at the local fast food joint. The food here is not particularly satisfying. It’s greasy and lacking in nutritional value. Still, it’s the only restaurant in a blue-collar town, and $10 can feed a family of seven, so no one is really complaining.
Now imagine something changes: A new restaurant opens up right across the street from the first one. But at this restaurant, the food is both healthy and tasty. And to top it all off, it’s free. The restaurant owners saw a need and felt convicted to try to fill it. Slowly but surely, the word travels, and customers begin to trickle in.
Management at the first restaurant is up in arms, panicking and raging at the folks across the street. “They’re not a real restaurant!” they shout. “They don’t serve burgers! Everyone knows that real restaurants serve burgers. Warn everyone that this place is misleading!” They put an ad in the paper and write scathing reviews. They solicit help from influential people in the town, desperately hoping to reclaim their former patrons an salvage their now failing business.
Meanwhile, across the street, the new restaurant owners calmly hang their official license on the front wall to dispel any doubts, and they continue serving their rapidly increasing customers. There is work to be done, and they can’t afford to be distracted.
Of course none of this is actually about restaurants or burgers. It’s about us.
If you’ve picked up a paper or scrolled through Facebook in the past few months, you’ve more than likely encountered at least one op-ed or letter to the editor warning the readership that pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) such as Care Net of Puget Sound are “fake clinics,” dangerously luring unsuspecting women into our centers via “false advertising” and “misleading messaging.” “Pregnancy centers aren’t real medical facilities,” they warn. “They don’t perform abortions!”
Now if you’re like us, you encounter these types of claims and scratch your head, bewildered. Misleading messaging? Surely they’re talking about the number of organizations (which shall remain nameless) that promise to help women plan for parenthood while making a literal killing off of doing the opposite?
Nevertheless, we persist, and we do so with gratitude at the realization that all this negative press ultimately means but one thing: We, through God’s grace, are doing something right. We are relevant. Influential people and powerful media outlets don’t waste energy trying to smear those who they don’t see as a threat.
The tide is turning in favor of the pro-abundant life movement. Twenty-five years ago, there were approximately 400 PRCs and 2000 abortion clinics in the US. Today, there are over 2700 PRCs and only about 675 abortion clinics. Since Roe v Wade, there have been over 60 million abortions in our nation. Perhaps women are beginning to realize that the sustenance they’ve been relying so heavily upon is leaving them empty. Perhaps the alternative across the street is offering them something better. Care Net, like countless PRCs across the country, continues to thrive because we don’t exist for profit; we exist for people. We don’t just offer medical services; we offer healing. We don’t just provide material help; we provide lasting hope.
As the attacks against Care Net continue to escalate, the natural inclination is to hunker down and hide, waiting for the storm to pass. With God’s help, we plan to do the opposite. If He is for us, who can be against us? We are real clinics providing real care. Let the naysayers do what they will; at Care Net we realize that when the darkness comes, it’s the perfect opportunity to rise and shine.
Thank you for standing with us in this important work.