When “Jamie” first caught wind of pro-abortion activists’ “Expose Fake Clinics” crusade, she laughed.
After all, the campaign’s assertions that pregnancy centers not only lie to and shame women, but even confiscate their cell phones during appointments, were too absurd for someone like Jamie to take seriously.
But soon, it became clear to Jamie that “Expose Fake Clinics” wasn’t a joke, but a national effort to vilify life-saving pregnancy centers like Options for Women/Cornerstone in St. Michael, Minn., where she chose life for her daughter over a year ago.
That’s what prompted Jamie to set the record straight Monday. Alongside Options for Women’s executive director, Angela Erickson—and each of their babies—Jamie said the “Expose Fake Clinics” campaign couldn’t be further from the truth.
“I felt very empowered after coming here my first time,” Jamie said. “I was considering an abortion and I was also considering keeping her—which is obviously the choice I made. I was presented my options, the consequences of both and what each decision would mean to her and my family. I just felt really empowered to make my own decision and didn’t feel like anyone was making it for me.”
Launched July 17 as an attempt to rally abortion supporters to attack pro-life pregnancy centers both online and on-site, comedienne Lizz Winstead—the co-creator of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show—has been the main driver behind the campaign.
This isn’t the first time “Expose Fake Clinics”—which officially concludes July 26—has been called out by a former pregnancy center client.
In fact, Winstead herself was on hand at the campaign’s kickoff rally outside of a Pittsburgh, Pa., pregnancy center July 18. In a Facebook Live video Winstead posted, a man and his 2-year-old son approached protesters to find out why they were demonstrating.
It turned out that the man’s girlfriend had chosen life because of the center and he, like Jamie, was more than happy to speak up for the truth.
“My son was almost an abortion, but we didn’t have it,” the man said. “He’s here right now—look at him.”
Just a day later, a group of moms and their babies, along with licensed medical professionals greeted an “Expose Fake Clinics” crew in front of a Connecticut pregnancy center that has been serving its community for 30 years, countering shrill chants with the pleasant shrieks and laughter of children who owe their lives to the center.
While running up against vitriolic attacks from abortion supporters is nothing new to pregnancy help leaders, the recent round of accusations has underscored the need to tell stories like Jamie’s, Erickson said.
According to exit surveys from over 200 pregnancy centers in the U.S., nearly 99 percent of clients, like Jamie, report a positive experience at the center.
“I can’t stress enough the importance of showing people what we do in our centers to dismantle every myth that exists about what we do,” Erickson said.
“The pregnancy center movement is more women-centric than ever because if we meet the woman’s needs, we make abortion unthinkable. Videos like the one I posted are essential for meeting the culture head-on, and they allow us to have an honest conversation with our critics about what empowerment looks like.”
When she first found out she was pregnant in 2015, Jamie was considering aborting her baby, but Options for Women/Cornerstone empowered her to choose life for her daughter.
As she took on life as a new mom, the center continued to support, educate and equip Jamie to make healthier decisions.
“I would recommend a crisis pregnancy center any day,” Jamie said. “A lot of people say… that they’ll try to shame you, but it’s quite the opposite. They’re not going to tell you what to do, but they are going to be holistic about each choice.
“Obviously, having a baby isn’t the easiest thing, and having an abortion is also not an easy thing either. They’re realistic about it and they allow you to make that choice yourself and let you know that’s your decision to make.”