Pregnancy Centers See Increase in Call Volume, Client Appointments After Texas’ Heartbeat Act Passage

Texas pregnancy centers are stretched with increases in client visits of over 30 percent since the Heartbeat Act took effect.
September 23, 2021
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The recently enacted Texas Heartbeat Act, which prohibits abortion after a doctor detects the heartbeat of an unborn child, has been receiving a lot of attention. But those serving women in crisis pregnancy situations are seeing an increase in the demand for their services.

Care Net, a Christian pro-life group that has 82 affiliated pregnancy centers in Texas, says its centers are seeing an increase in call volume of between 30 and 40 percent. Some of its centers are seeing 33 percent more clients for appointments, Care Net President Roland Warren told The Texan.

The Raffa Clinic in Greenville, a small city east of Dallas, has seen a 31 percent increase in pregnancy tests since September 1 when the Heartbeat Act took effect, its executive director Threesa Sadler told The Texan. 

“We have seen a 166 percent increase in ultrasounds provided. This represents clients from Hunt, Collin, and Dallas counties,“ she added.

The Texas Legislature established the Texas Alternatives to Abortion Services Program in 2006 with $4 million to “promote childbirth and provide social services to pregnant women and their families.” In 2021, lawmakers increased the amount to $100 million.

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Services include counseling, mentoring, parenting classes, material assistance, and referrals for housing and other social services.

The Texas Pregnancy Care Network (TCPN) is the primary contractor with the state to administer the program. It has 170 locations as part of its network and those centers have seen over 330,000 clients through August 2020.

Raffa Clinic is a member of the TPCN. “We are thankful to live in a state that seeks to financially provide for mothers and families who wish to parent or place their children for adoption. This program has allowed us to help many more families in much larger ways than we were able to prior to the program,” Sadler said.

She explained that Raffa Clinic helps evaluate the needs of women during their pregnancy and connect them with resources. “For Raffa, these services include Medicaid enrollment, a partnership with local OB/GYNs, a partnership with our local WIC office to help her access those services, as well as access to community programs for mental health, addiction, dental assistance, transportation assistance, GED and college programs, food pantries, and housing. We also teach pregnancy classes for both parents to help them navigate pregnancy and prepare for their baby’s arrival.”

She pointed out that the increased traffic has stretched their limited resources and urged churches and pro-life Texans to support local centers.

“The pregnancy centers in Texas are on the front lines of that help, and we need our communities to connect with us and financially support us in order for these women to be successful. We have the opportunity to positively impact these families and the next generation in our local communities by showing an outpouring of love and support to these women and honoring their choice to give birth to their children,” Sadler emphasized.

Warren believes churches have a unique opportunity to train their members to walk alongside these women long-term.

“Every woman has the internal God-given instinct to protect the vulnerable one inside her. But when rushed and panicked, she might make a different decision.” He pointed out that these women need support and that churches should position themselves to help.

Care Net offers a training program called “Making Life Disciples” to help equip church members to offer “compassion, hope, help, and discipleship to women and men facing pregnancy decisions.”

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Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts is a reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.

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