What You Can Expect at a Pregnancy Resource Center
This is part one of a three-part series on pregnancy resource centers and the services they provide.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade and return the question of protecting unborn life back to the states and Congress, placing the power to protect the most vulnerable into the hands of the people once again.
Now that Roe has been overturned, it is more important than ever that the pro-life movement continue supporting pregnant moms in need. One great way to do this is by supporting a pregnancy resource center (PRC) nearby.
Although each PRC faces unique challenges and takes different approaches to cater to the specific needs of its local community, there are general services that one can expect to find at each. PRCs stand together when it comes to optimizing care for mothers, fathers, and their babies. In addition to pregnancy tests and counseling, here are some of the services typically available at PRCs.
Many new moms and dads need support on their parenting journey, and parenting and pregnancy classes are one of the most common services PRCs provide. In 2019, 86% of the 2,700+ PRCs nationwide offered classes on these topics. PRCs are committed to working towards a bright future for mothers, fathers, and their babies, and parenting classes are a major step along the way.
Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center in Washington, D.C. is one such PRC that offers classes for mothers and fathers on pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. These classes are taught by volunteers in their community — moms, nurses, and professionals. Support for new moms and dads looks like a variety of things: a conversation with the client advocate, group counseling, a workbook, or a referral to a specialized counselor. Whatever a mother or father’s specific need,
Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center is committed to working with parents to provide the resources that are most helpful.
Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center is not unique in supporting parents — these classes are a hallmark of PRCs where the mother and the child are cared for before and after the baby’s birth.
Facilitating SNAP, WIC, and CCS
Mothers and fathers face financial responsibilities that can sometimes seem impossible to bear. The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, formally known as Food Stamps) provides a food stipend based on a household’s size, income, and expenses. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is more specialized, providing funds for food and health care to low-income women who are pregnant, postpartum, or breastfeeding, and children up to age five who are at nutritional risk. Child Care Services (CCS) is another form of financial aid for women that partners with daycare services and adjusts the rate to the mother’s financial situation.
Although SNAP, WIC, and CCS are all government-provided services, PRCs often facilitate connecting moms and dads in need with these resources. Hopeline Pregnancy Center of Bridgeport, Danbury, and Stamford, Conn. is one PRC that provides referrals along with one-on-one assistance for insurance, SNAP, electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards, and WIC. The Danbury location, in particular, has partnered with WIC to provide a representative who attends on a monthly basis to meet directly with women. Personalizing the initial process with these programs is one way that PRCs specialize their services to women.
Starting new programs and organizing support systems can be daunting — especially while facing an unexpected pregnancy — but places like Hopeline relieve this stressful process by facilitating relationships and walking alongside moms.
Many PRCs implement points programs to celebrate and reward the hard work of parents who are establishing the necessary foundation for a stable family.
Crossroads Resource Center at Moses Lake and Ephrata, Wash. offers a first-time parenting program as part of their parenting and pregnancy classes. Moms and dads receive points for attending classes offered online and in-person.
These points can be redeemed in the boutique for brand-new items like maternity clothes, infant and toddler clothes, bottles, and basic cosmetics. The program also allows parents to request a large item of their choice, like a high chair, playpen, or car seat. These essential materials provide the basics for their children and set parents up for success going forward.
These classes end up saving time and money by teaching parents the skills they will need in a few short months and rewarding parents in the form of material goods for their infant or child.
As we venture into a post-Roe world, supporting PRCs must remain at the core of the pro-life movement’s work. At PRCs, every mom is valued, and an effort is made to meet her individual needs. By connecting moms and dads with resources and tools, PRCs help ensure parents feel equipped to be the best parents for their babies.
To find and support a pregnancy resource center near you, visit Pregnancy Decision Line at pregnancydecisionline.org or call 866-798-9541. Pregnancy Decision Line provides confidential, free support to anyone facing an unplanned pregnancy. You can also visit Option Line at optionline.org or call or text 800-712-4357. In addition to offering emergency hotline support and information about pregnancy and abortion recovery, Option Line connects you with a PRC near you for local support.
Mary Szoch would like to thank Savannah Anne Carman for her extensive research and work on this series.
Mary Szoch is the Director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council.