Heartbeat International, an organization providing resources and support to over 1,200 pregnancy help centers in the U.S., and many, many more overseas, reports that it had its highest number of monthly contacts with its Option Line service in May: 30,000! Thousands of women across America last month contacted Option Line. They were put in touch with local pregnancy help centers, where they could get the information and moral support they need to have their babies. April was also a record month for Option Line. We are on a roll!
Locally, our advertising work for Women's Choice Network is having an impact, too. Amy Scheuring, Executive Director, reports that their outcome numbers from the beginning of the year to May 13 were up 45% over the previous year! 45% more visits, pregnancy tests, sonograms, and STD tests. They had 416 new clients, and 116 lives saved from abortion (documented so far)! She credits much of this growth to our advertising.
When we began, 3 out of 4 babies in Allegheny County were born; 1 was aborted. In 2015, the last year for which we have statistics, 4 out of 5 babies were born. Now we are going for 5 out of 6.
We are also working with Choices Pregnancy Services of Coraopolis. Apart from our Google advertising work with them, we will be advertising on Facebook in the next couple of months, inviting women to submit stories of how Choices has helped them. The best story will make a woman $150; the runners-up will get $100 and $50. The ads themselves will tell many women, by implication, about how good Choices is for women facing an unwanted pregnancy, and also provide stories that can be used (with proper hiding of identities) for advertising purposes.
Our older Facebook campaign ("Don't choose alone") needs a re-fresh, and Joelle Sykes a Board member, and her husband Bruce are working on a new theme: "Make It Your Choice." Many women feel that they have "no choice" but get an abortion. We can help them get to the help centers, where they can make a decision without pressure, but with the offer of moral and practical support. Abortion is not "empowering," but doing the right thing, even when it's hard, is!
Chris Humphrey has been involved in pro-life activity of one kind or another since the late 1970s, when he first looked at the subject of abortion in seminary in Canada. He has an undergraduate degree in English (University of Toronto), and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in religious studies (McGill). He has had a varied career as a pastor, chaplain in a psychiatric hospital, editor of academic and instructional publications, semi-professional photographer, and home renovator. He is a husband of over 40 years to Edith (a Professor of New Testament), father to three girls, and grandfather to seventeen grandchildren. He lives and works in the Stanton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh.