Last year, the North Carolina General Assembly funded a range of life-changing support for vulnerable mothers under the landmark Care for Women, Children, and Families Act.

However, everyone wasn’t on board.

Abortion advocates in the legislature have not stopped fighting this law that, among other things, boosted assistance to programs reducing maternal mortality, funded pregnancy care under Medicaid, and strengthened child care subsidies.

Their latest tactic? Threatening pregnancy centers in an attempt to silence them. Democratic members of the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations know their threats have no legal weight, so they’re resorting to intimidation to carry water for the abortion industry.

Both before and after the historic Dobbs ruling in June 2022, pregnancy centers across the country — and in North Carolina — have consistently been the targets of firebombings, bomb threats, and vandalism.

Prominent politicians have sought to use their national influence to intimidate these centers — which in many cases do not share this level of influence, serving an underprivileged populace and relying on local donations and volunteers.

Who are these pregnancy centers, one might ask? Who are the women they serve?  

Pregnancy centers across North Carolina — including Human Coalition and LifeLink Carolina — serve women who are predominantly at or below the poverty line. Around 70% of abortion-seeking mothers live in poverty. They are disproportionately women of color. 

Mothers facing unexpected pregnancy often come to these centers thinking abortion is their only option. They don’t know the resources  and options that are available to them. In our experience, 76% of the women we see would actually prefer to parent if their circumstances were different.

Let that sink in. Vulnerable women are facing an incredibly challenging decision without knowing that there is an entire network of compassionate individuals who are there to address their circumstances. Pregnancy resource centers provide them a listening ear — something they may not have had in months or years. We connect them to a range of long-term support that includes housing assistance, counseling, education, job training, and medical care. And we provide them tangible resources such as diapers, car seats, and formula.

Our centers hear over and over again from women who simply do not know about the local and state support programs that are available to them. Our work builds a bridge between abortion-seeking mothers and the resources they need. If we don’t connect them to this support, they are left in the dark during possibly the most critical decision point of their lives.

So the question must be asked — if not for these centers, where else would these women go? They certainly won’t get this range of options and help from abortion providers. Pregnancy centers are a lifeline for women and flip the narrative from fear and despair to hope and opportunity.  

This is the transformative work that is in the crosshairs of legislators who do the bidding of the abortion industry and want vulnerable women to think they only have one choice. It’s no coincidence that the loudest voices against helping women through pregnancy resource centers have campaign accounts funded by Planned Parenthood NC and Lillian’s List. It’s unfortunate that everyone isn’t rallying around centers that provide the very real, holistic care that women need.  

I’m inspired by a sign that sits in the office of one of our social workers: “Help her be brave.” That’s what we do — all day every day. Our message to her is that she is capable, she is stronger than she ever imagined, and that we will be with her every step of the way.  

Helping women is always the right thing to do. We will not be intimidated, and we will not be silenced. We will press on and continue serving women until every mother in North Carolina has the care, resources and support she deserves.