3 Healthcare Services Pregnancy Centers Provide
By Brittany Smith
What is a pregnancy center? Is it the same as a pregnancy resource center? Are they health clinics? What do they do?
We’re glad you asked.
Pregnancy resource centers, also known as PRCs, or pregnancy centers, exist to provide options and material aid to women facing unplanned pregnancies. The mission of every pregnancy center is to care for men, women and families – no matter what they choose.
There are close to 3,000 PRCs around the United States – that’s more than double the amount of abortion clinics. And while each clinic offers a wide variety of services, the majority of medical PRCs offer the following: pregnancy tests, options counseling, parenting classes, baby supplies, STI testing and free ultrasounds.
Here are more details about the healthcare services pregnancy centers offer.
Pregnancy Tests & Ultrasounds
One of the biggest services PRCs provide are pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, more than 7 in 10 PRCs offer free ultrasounds. In 2019-2020, pregnancy centers provided nearly 732,000 pregnancy tests and more than 486,000 free ultrasounds.
Ultrasound services are some of the most important work PRCs do. The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates found that more than 80 percent of abortion-minded mothers choose life after they see their unborn baby via ultrasound.
But it doesn’t stop there. If a woman chooses life, the pregnancy center will work with her every step of the way. They provide services up to two years after the baby is born.
Pregnancy Centers & Parenting Classes
Part of that two-year care includes parenting classes. In 2019-2020, pregnancy centers served more than 291,000 clients through parenting and prenatal education programs.
Life Network, a Colorado Springs-based PRC, has a parenting education program called Life Steps. The program uses a curriculum from Bright Course — a parenting education program that can be found at most PRCs around the nation. The goal of Life Steps is to help moms and dads gain the knowledge and confidence they need to be a healthy successful parent.
The coaching sessions include information on different stages of pregnancy, topics ranging from first trimester expectations and the baby’s growth during pregnancy to childbirth and early infant care.
In addition, once the baby is born the curriculum and coaching continue for up to two years. It covers topics ranging from post-partum depression, toddler safety, bathing your baby, doctors’ visits and much more.
Another community service PRCS provide is STI Testing. The Charlotte Lozier Institute notes that a growing percentage of centers offer sexual risk avoidance presentations to youth (36%), STI/STD testing (30%), STI/STD treatment (21%), childbirth classes (27%), and breastfeeding consultations (19%).
One of Save the Storks’ PRC partners, The Reliance Center, offers STI testing. One unique aspect of their model is that they don’t require income verification or insurance.
“We get referrals from hospitals, and other clinics and we are the only place in the area that offers completely free STI testing,” said Heather Lawson.
The Charlotte Lozier Institute found that an overwhelming majority of Americans, regardless of whether they self-identify as “pro-life” or “pro-choice,” consider pregnancy centers a valuable community resource. Post-visit surveys indicate centers have extraordinarily high rates of client satisfaction.
Read more about how PRCs provide huge savings to their communities here.