PRC Report Sets Record Straight
Special Report - October 2, 2009
The nation’s roughly 2,300 Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) assist about 1.9 million Americans each year with a comprehensive and growing list of mainly free services ranging from parenting classes to STD testing, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Family Research Council (FRC). The report, “A Passion to Serve, A Vision for Life: Pregnancy Resource Center Service Report 2009,” is the first-ever in-depth report to detail the 40-year history of PRCs and their impact. It was released by FRC at a press conference at the National Press Club on September 30. The 72-page report is a collaborative effort of FRC, Care Net, Heartbeat International, LIFE International, and the National Institute of Family Life Advocates.
According to the report, while PRCs differ significantly in the types of services they offer, they share a “single-hearted mission,” which is “to communicate to women and their families that their lives are valuable and that their needsemotional, psychological, medical, spiritual and practicalcan and will be met.” Forty years ago, PRCs began by offering free pregnancy tests for women facing crisis pregnancies, but today their services have expanded to include a wide range of services. Among the report’s interesting facts:
- 29 of every 30 people serving at PRCs are volunteers. This includes nurses, doctors and ultrasound technicians (at medical PRCs).
- Nearly 700 PRCs in the U.S. that are licensed to serve as medical centers provide limited ultrasounds at little to no cost to women. Over 100 medical PRCs also provide STD testing.
- PRCs provide abstinence education to an estimated 1 million teenagers and adults annually.
- Parenting support classes are offered by nearly 70 percent of PRCs.
- Nearly every PRC in the U.S. provides “material assistance” to mothers (this may include maternity clothing, baby clothes, housing assistance, nutritional assistance and even diapers).
- Over two-thirds of PRCs provide abortion recovery services (such as post-abortion counseling and education) to women (and 10 percent of PRCs offer similar services to men).
- Option Linea 24/7 live contact center co-established by Care Net and Heartbeat International in 2003 to assist women and girls seeking pregnancy support after hourshas an average of 20,000 phone contacts a month.
- Less than 10 percent of the income of the nation’s pregnancy centers derives from governmental sources, and more than 80 percent of the [PRCs] in this report receive no public assistance at all.
Additionally, the report includes a recently updated ethical standards statement that serves as a guide for PRCs nationwide. “Pregnancy resource centers share a determination to provide a safe environment for all clients and operate under an ethical code of practice endorsed by 13 national organizations,” the report states.
“This report lays out the untold story of centers that provide caring and compassionate services to at least 1.9 million people each year at little or no cost to the clients, in large part thanks to private charity and the high proportion of volunteers who work at the centers,” said FRC president, Tony Perkins, in a press release. "Pregnancy Resource Centers support a vision of true reproductive health and are model faith-based providers meeting a pressing national need."
Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council, had this to say about the report: "Pregnancy Resource Centers play an important role in our society as they provide the opportunity for young women, and men, to hear the truth about pregnancy and the human life that has begun. The fact that these organizations have been under attack by those who would profit by ending those innocent lives through abortion is beyond understanding. The FRC report provides up-to-date information to help everyone understand the tremendous service provided by PRCs every day."
Copyright © 2009. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.