Where a woman goes for help with her unplanned pregnancy makes a difference.
Carrie came to CareNet when she realized she was pregnant. She knew that she wanted to parent her baby, but was very, very nervous, stating that she was “open minded” about abortion. Her boyfriend left after he found out that she was pregnant and even went so far as to terminate his parental rights so he wouldn’t have to pay child support. So Carrie was left on her own . . . just her and her CareNet counselor that loved her and encouraged her in her decision to parent her baby.
From Carrie to her counselor: “I wanted to again thank you so much for all of your help at the beginning of this journey. Everything here is going well and I am actually getting ready to go back to work in the next 2 weeks. I now have a wonderful, healthy and amazing little boy who is growing bigger every single day!”
One can only wonder what would have happened if Carrie had chosen to go to an abortion provider rather than CareNet. Her decision to parent would have been questioned, her openness to abortion encouraged, and the abandonment of support by her boyfriend pointed out as an example of how difficult her life would be if she kept her child. Thank God CareNet was there to walk with her every step of the way affirming her decision and giving her hope. What a blessing to be part of her life and that of her baby.
There is no scientific question that life begins at conception and that excluding abortion and miscarriage; conception usually results in a live birth. How our society views abortion, either as the death of human being or “reproductive freedom” has made a critical difference in public health science and where lawmakers and agencies spend public money.
As a cause of death, induced abortion is extremely consequential both in its entirety and its affect on racial groups. If one takes into account the number of abortions that occur annually in our country, induced abortion becomes the leading cause of death for our entire society, representing 32.1 percent of all deaths. By contrast-heart disease is only 16.7 % and cancer only 15.8%. Looking at racial demographics further-16.4 % of all deaths for whites; 61 % for blacks and 64 % for Hispanics. But the reality is that induced abortions are not reported as a cause of death in U.S. vital statistics. According to some public health officials, this discrepancy leads to sloppy reporting of abortion statistics as well as limiting funding for serious abortion researchers. Can you imagine if our culture treated abortion as they do heart disease and cancer as a health issue that needs to be addressed, funding would follow the vital work of pregnancy centers rather than abortion providers. Resources would help eliminate the reasons that cause women to choose abortions in all our communities. What a difference!
But thank God that CareNet can provide these services to women free of charge. Without the support of people who know that life begins at conception, and abortion is the death of a human being, CareNet would not be here. Thank you for all you do for the women and their babies.
Their one child policy initiated in 1979 has led to forced abortions, sterilizations, and a huge demographic nightmare. As the birthrate declined, there are fewer and fewer workers (the backbone of an economy) and its population has aged dramatically. Now China is faced with the problem of a population growing old before it has a chance to get wealthy. Chinese officials are encouraging Chinese couples to produce more children with slogans such as “Get to sleep early, stop playing cards and work hard to produce a child.” But unfortunately it is probably too late – the one child policy has been found to be very convenient – most Chinese couples do not believe that they can afford more children. It is anticipated that the fertility rate will not rise above 1.5 children per couple; not enough to even replace China’s current population. According to John Stonestreet, CareNet’s 2015 banquet speaker, the problem is one of worldview. “The secular and certainly communist worldviews see children as commodities; subject either to parents’ desires and ‘lifestyle choices’ or to a government’s economic and political goals.” In contrast, “Christianity sees children as gifts of God: the natural, desirable result of the loving, lifelong commitment and physical union of husband and wife.” How we think about people makes a difference in our choices. CareNet counselors help pregnant women see babies as blessings rather than burdens. When that happens, choices change and lives are saved.
According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, the most commonly reported STDs, increased between 2014 and 2015, reaching an all time high. According to the report, syphilis rose by 19 %; gonorrhea by 12.8 % and chlamydia by 5.9%. Of the more than 1.5 million reported cases of chlamydia, young people 15-24 years old, accounted for nearly two-thirds of the new cases and of the 395,216 new cases of gonorrhea, young people accounted for one half. It is estimated that about half of the nearly 20 million new STD cases reported annually are among 15-24 year olds. “We have reached a decisive moment for the nation,” Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, said in a written statement, “STD rates are rising, and many of the country’s systems for preventing STD’s have eroded. We must mobilize, rebuild and expand services-or the human and economic burden will continue to grow.” CareNet has been a promoter of abstinence until marriage for young people for many years both in our counseling rooms and DuPage County schools and churches. As the sexual revolution continues to take its toll on our young people, we will continue to uphold Biblical principles of sexuality to woman and men struggling to make good decisions for their lives.
Restore, CareNet’s healing program for women and men who have experienced abortions, is restoring hope and changing lives. Many people have multiple losses in their lives and Restore has been instrumental in helping them deal with the grief and pain. One woman who lost both her father and mother while in the Restore program wrote:
“I can say that through all of these trials, Restore counseling was very helpful. It helped me to restore my faith and know I don’t have control over this life. . . . Because of the Lord and the help I have received by Restore, I know that I am forgiven by the Lord for my abortions. I have learned to forgive myself for wrong choices I have made in my past. . . . My desire is to be a Godly steward to God and pass on what God has given me. I may have my grief, but I know God carries me each day.”
What a wonderful story of redemption. It is a privilege for CareNet to be instrumental in the lives of wounded people who are in desperate need of God’s healing and forgiveness. Thanks for being part of their lives.
It is such a blessing when a woman who chose life returns to show her CareNet counselor her baby. Over three years ago, a young pregnant Christian woman came to CareNet planning to abort her child. She found out about CareNet through her mother’s church that had recently completed the Coins for CareNet program. She had already had one ultrasound at 6 weeks with an obstetrician, but now she was 10 weeks pregnant and her CareNet counselor encouraged her to have another ultrasound at CareNet. The ultrasound revealed a 10 plus week baby dancing and moving. The young woman was moved and canceled her abortion appointment. Not long ago, this woman, her mom and her 3 year old daughter came to CareNet to surprise and thank her CareNet counselor. Grandma said it best. “I just wanted to thank you for my granddaughter. I know you played a big role in her being here. She brings so much joy to our lives. I can’t imagine life without her. I need you to know how grateful I am for you.” CareNet . . . making birthdays happen for 35 years.
Reagan Barklage is the Midwest Regional Coordinator of Students for Life of America. As a student at the University of Missouri, she started the Mizzou Students for Life group and recently posted a pro-life editorial in an unexpected news source, Glamour Magazine. In her editorial she characterizes the response of our culture to unplanned pregnancy as less than supportive.
“Society tells young women, especially students: You can’t cope with a pregnancy. You can’t go to school and be a mom. You’ll end up broke and have no friends; you might as well drop out now. Hardly an empowering message. And the most common thing I hear from young women is, “My boyfriend said he will break up with me if I keep it.” What kind of choice is that?” I do my job to show women, especially those who feel pressured and broken, that they are strong, and that they do have a choice—a real choice, because there is support.”
So Reagan decided to organize her group to help women on campus face an unplanned pregnancy. She created special kits full of resources for pregnant women, handed out free pregnancy tests, hosted baby showers, diaper drives, baby sat during finals and gave out scholarships for student moms. Reagan recognizes the importance of pregnancy centers.
“Many women I have talked to who have had abortions weren’t aware of their other options. They didn’t know there was a place down the street that would offer free or low-cost services during and even after their pregnancy. The most compelling words that I can tell a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy is, “You can do this. You are a strong woman and we are going to help you.”
Reagan is the face of the pro-life movement . . . Helping pregnant women one on one, empowering them to make choices for life. That is what we do everyday in CareNet’s counseling rooms and everyday lives are changed and saved. Thanks for helping us do that.
CareNet is seeing that God is using these crisis situations to strengthen their relationships with Him. Donna is one such woman. Pregnant and considering abortion, Donna knows Christ, but has not been living as a believer and has reached a moment of crisis in her life. Her CareNet counselor led her in a deep spiritual discussion, prompting her to take an honest look at her circumstances, her child and her relationship with God. Donna admitted, “Abortion is a sin I never wanted to commit, because it isn’t my baby’s fault.” Her ultrasound showed her the image of her healthy baby and she chose life. Through her experience at CareNet she found hope and a way back to God. What a blessing for us to see God working in this young woman’s life!
CareNet celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. This ministry that began as a telephone line in a mechanic’s garage has grown to be a vibrant ministry that meets vulnerable pregnant women in four separate locations in DuPage County. Unfortunately, our county has witnessed the growth of the abortion industry within our borders. Currently we have four abortion clinics with the largest being the Planned Parenthood mega center in east Aurora. Abortion has been a part of the American culture since 1973 and to many young women it is an acceptable solution to the problem of an unplanned pregnancy. Studies show that 98% of women who visit an abortion center first, will choose to abort. Why? Because they are given no other choice! It is so important that CareNet reach them first. CareNet exists to offer these women hope and a different choice. A choice for life that they can live with. What women need is not abortion, but compassion, love, support and solutions to real problems. They can find all of these at a CareNet center.
CareNet continues to grow. Building on an effective internet marketing strategy that reaches women in the midst of making a decision on their pregnancy, the numbers of women who think that abortion must be their choice who come to CareNet for help has dramatically increased. In the first 7 months of 2016, CareNet served more women considering abortion than in any year ever before. These women come to CareNet intent on abortion, many facing very difficult circumstances. But with love, compassion and the miracle of ultrasound, babies are being saved.
Tanya came to CareNet thinking she was about 11 weeks pregnant. The mother of a daughter already, she was hoping to get back to work now that her daughter was getting older. Abortion seemed like the best solution. But her ultrasound revealed a beautiful image of a 14 ½ week old baby. When asked by her CareNet counselor how the ultrasound affected her decision to abort, Tanya responded, “I think I just fell in love.” Tanya changed her mind and chose life for her child. “I was thinking I didn’t have support and it made it easier to consider abortion. I am so glad I came here.”
CareNet is on the frontlines of the fight for life, reaching women right where they are. Making a difference and saving lives. Thanks for your support!