2021 pivotal year for the pro-life movement
by Brittany Smith
This Friday, Jan. 22 marks the 48th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. The landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States. To commemorate, the White House issued a proclamation making Jan. 22 National Sanctity of Human Life Day.
2021 will likely be a year with big implications for the pro-life movement. A more conservative Supreme Court, plus changes in leadership both in Congress and in the White House will lead to a flurry of legal fights over abortion. Roe v. Wade itself could be in play by the end of the year. But even if Roe is overturned, the fight for life will not end. According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, if Roe is overturned, abortion would still be legal in 21 states.
Meaning pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) will become more important than ever before. In a potential post-Roe America, women will still need access to pregnancy options, resources and care. And in states that could outlaw abortion, women will need help parenting, access to housing, jobs and assistance.
“Save the Storks believes we should take care of women no matter what the law of the land states,” said Diane Ferraro, CEO of Save the Storks. “Whether Roe v. Wade is overturned or not, pregnancy resource centers will be more important than ever in providing vital and important resource for women in their communities.”
Post Roe v. Wade?
In fact, life in the pandemic has given us a small glimpse into what a post-Roe world might look like. According to an article from WORLD Magazine, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates surveyed 473 PRCs during the pandemic. Forty-two percent of these centers reported an increase in abortion-determined patients. Human Coalition’s pregnancy help line was receiving 500-700 calls per day.
“The main concern that we’re seeing across the board is that [woman are] concerned about being able to pay for their existing children,” Lori Szala, national director of client services for the Human Coalition, told WORLD. “One woman wanted to have an abortion because she had lost her job and health insurance. Once the Human Coalition helped her find employment at Amazon, she continued the pregnancy. We need to remember that there are families in crisis that need our help. They need to know they’re not alone.”
This is something pregnancy resource centers have been doing for decades. In fact, the Charlotte Lozier Institute found that in 2019, pregnancy resource centers served almost two million people at an estimated value of nearly $270 million.
As Marvin Olasky notes in his most recent column for WORLD, even with all the possible legal changes coming in 2021, “the pro-life movement will need creativity in responding.”
Those looking to get involved need look no farther than the more than 2,500 pregnancy resource centers who are leading the way.