Going mobile is a proven method to reach women contemplating abortion, as many of them have never heard of pregnancy centers or the resources offered there. Stork Mobile Medical Units allow pregnancy resource centers to reach those women with love, compassion, and hope in their moment of need. Our Stork Buses allow pregnancy resource centers to operate anywhere abortion-vulnerable women are likely to be – outside of abortion clinics, on university campuses, and at public events.
These mobile pregnancy centers minimize the distance and roadblocks between women who most need the help of a pregnancy resource center. We believe going mobile is one of the most effective strategies for reaching women contemplating abortion. We’ve seen it profoundly expand the reach and increase the impact of pregnancy centers all over the nation.
This is exactly what is happening at the Pregnancy Care Center of Rockford in Illinois. The incredible staff has been doing amazing things for women in Illinois for the last 33 years. And it’s been a great honor to come alongside them as they went mobile in April, just 4 months ago.
We talked with Tiffany Staman, the Executive Director, to get her thoughts on how the Stork Bus has impacted their resource center and community center.
Can you give us a brief history of your center?
The Pregnancy Care Center of Rockford opened in 1983 to provide a positive and hope-filled alternative to the abortion clinic for those facing an unplanned pregnancy. Now, thirty-three years later, the local abortion clinic is closed, and The Pregnancy Care Center is stronger than it’s ever been.
We have seven staff and see approximately 125 distinct clients each month at more than 200 appointments. 49% of our clients indicate that they are planning or strongly considering terminating their pregnancy, and more than 83% of them change their mind. Most of our clients are in their early twenties and the majority are Caucasian.
How did you hear about Save the Storks and what brought you to a decision to allow us to partner with you?
We heard about Save the Storks at the Heartbeat International Conference. I was immediately drawn to the organization, toured the Stork Bus, and God planted the seed in our staff for the medical mobile unit. Plus, great marketing materials are important to us, and we LOVED the way Save the Storks marketed themselves and the centers with whom they partnered. It was just a great fit.
How has having a Stork Bus impacted your center? How have you been able to better meet the needs of women in your community?
Launching the mobile unit has enabled us to go from having two brick and mortar centers to one, larger, centralized center with the Stork Bus extending our reach into different parts of the community. We launched in April 2016 and we currently go out three days a week, staffed with a mentor and registered nurse. We are able to serve clients that might not ordinarily come into our center.
Our clients love the Stork bus. They always comment about how nice it is and how pampered they feel. It communicates to women that they are worth the best and that we believe in them.
What has been the impact for abortion minded women in your community?
Since launching in late April, 14 clients indicated they were abortion minded or abortion vulnerable, and to our knowledge 100% of those clients changed their minds and decided to carry.
How do you follow up with the women who board the bus?
Women that come to the Stork Bus for their initial appointment typically schedule a follow-up appointment at our main center. They can choose to enroll in our Countdown to Parenthood Program, or we can refer them to a number of different adoption agencies with whom we partner. Less than 1% of our clients choose adoption, but we still work to educate women about that option and give out related materials from the Stork Bus.
Are there any particularly impactful stories you’d like to share with us?
A 25-year-year-old client came to the Stork Bus, nervous about being pregnant and the possibility of the baby not growing properly in the uterus but rather forming in the fallopian tube. She’d had a still-born baby when she was 21, and she came seeking hope and help. The ultrasound revealed a healthy developing baby, and she made an appointment to begin our Countdown to Parenthood program.
A 37-year-old client walked to the Stork Bus for a pregnancy test on a hot June day. She indicated on her intake form that she was “not having the baby,” checking “abortion” as her intended choice of action if she was pregnant. She had two teenage girls and felt at her age it would be too difficult to start over again.
However, she knew “this baby didn’t ask to be here.” As her mentor discussed her options, she urged her not to make a quick decision and acknowledged the support available for her should she choose to parent the baby. She thought she was four weeks along, but the ultrasound performed on the Stork Bus revealed she was in fact six weeks along, and the pregnancy sack was completely visible. Overcome with emotions at this sight, she declared she wanted to keep her baby, saying how excited she was for this child now after having been so nervous before.
The following week, another client approached the Stork Bus and discovered she was pregnant. Through tears, she revealed she was a victim of domestic violence, and she knew she needed to get away from her boyfriend. As our staff shared God’s love with her, she prayed and invited God to take control of her life and help her. She came back to our center the following day and affirmed her decision. With a bible, resources, and referrals in hand, she left with a newfound hope about this chapter in her journey.
A 31-year-old client with four children, came to the Stork Bus seeking confirmation of pregnancy and an ultrasound. Devastated by the news, she explained that one possible father of this child was an acquaintance she met at a party but she did not want a child that was anything like him. She went on to disclose that all of her previous pregnancies had been C-sections, and her last doctor said he is unwilling to perform a fifth C-section on her due to the health risk. Her mentor discussed her options with her and encouraged her to really think about her decision. The nurse performed an ultrasound, which showed a perfectly healthy 9-week baby. As she began to cry, her mentor and nurse asked to pray with her. She asked to set up an appointment to begin the Countdown to Parenthood program at the center.
What is the best part about partnering with Save the Storks? Why do you think other pregnancy centers should consider a Stork Bus or partnership with Save the Storks?
The staff team is great. Knowing that they are praying for us and checking in with us means a great deal. We love their hearts and when they don’t have answers to our questions, they work to find them.
The marketing team and materials are top-rate. We loved creating the Impressor Pamphlets – they were something that represented us well and we were proud to use to raise the needed funds for our bus. We launched our campaign in October, and the bus was paid for by January.
Finally, it’s just the best product on the market for mobile medical units. At the end of the day, I would choose a Stork Bus again because I’ve not found anything else that even comes close. Our staff and volunteers love it, clients are drawn to it, and donors are proud of it.
You can connect with the Pregnancy Care Center of Rockford and follow the incredible work they are doing on facebook, and instagram.
It would be our great honor to partner with your pregnancy resource center. If you want to impact your local community by bringing a Stork Bus to your center, please contact our Solutions Specialist, Brittany at [email protected] If you are not yet ready to go mobile but would like more information on consultations, contact our Programs Development Specialist, Shara Pierce at [email protected].