A few readers brought to my attention an attack on a pregnancy support center by a group called “Jane’s Revenge.” They wanted to do something about it.
That we did.
Regardless of what you may personally think of abortion, I recognize it is good for everyone when pregnancy support centers exist. A pregnancy support center is an organization that exists to facilitate options other than abortion.
Pregnancy support centers often take collections of new and lightly used baby and maternity items and give them to expecting mothers for free. Some pregnancy support centers give such items long past the time that one would consider support for pregnancy by continuing to provide thus support for the first three years of life. They provide ultrasounds for free, pregnancy tests for free, fetal development monitoring for free, counseling about all available options for free, they help you find the right doctor for free and point you to other community resources for free. They even do post-abortion counseling for free, for those struggling with the wounds of an abortion.
A Different Version Of The Story
Planned Parenthood, recognizing that such free services are in conflict with their own organizational goals, omit this array of services in their online definition of pregnancy support centers.
Instead, Planned Parenthood provides this less than fulsome definition of pregnancy support centers or “crisis pregnancy centers” on their website:
“Crisis pregnancy centers (also called CPCs or fake clinics) are clinics or mobile vans that look like real health centers, but they have a shady, harmful agenda: to scare, shame, or pressure you out of getting an abortion, and to tell lies about abortion, birth control, and sexual health.”
You can imagine that enough vitriol like that could leave a misinformed person wanting to attack such places. One such place that got attacked makes it a goal to give as much free baby supplies to mothers as it can, so that there is no economic reason not to have the baby. How could anyone decent possibly want to oppose an organization that makes it its goal to give away as much free baby supplies to a mother as possible?
Enter Jane’s Revenge
When The Supremes overturned Roe v. Wade this summer, a group known as Jane’s Revenge vowed to take “revenge” on pregnancy support centers.
Such centers had nothing to do with the lawsuit. They are often run on the most shoestring of budgets.
They are places that make it easier for a mother in trouble to keep her child. Full stop. That is often the main goal of such places. They seek to be apolitical.
Sure, they often have volunteers and donors who hope to never see a woman coerced or forced into having an abortion again, but that little shoestring-budget pregnancy support center attacked by Jane’s Revenge, in my neck of the woods or yours, had nothing to do with what The Supremes were doing in Washington, DC. Pregnancy support centers often do not have a stated agenda about what the legal status of abortion should be, since so many who participate in the running of such centers themselves have a variety of opinions.
Something You Can Do, Which Will Not Cost You Much Time At All
I want to propose for you — little ole you — a very meaningful option that you can take if such an event happened or happens in your neighborhood.
If you read in the news that there has been a Jane’s Revenge attack, I ask you to do the following, which will take between 5 and 10 hours of your time over the next month and will make a huge impact on your local pregnancy support center. You can do this whether it has been attacked or not. You can do this when there is good news or bad. It will work.
1.) Find a location that fits a few dozen people.
It can be a friend’s big living room, a space outback, a local hall, a local church — someone, somewhere will give you free or very inexpensive space for this in under one hour of calling around.
2.) Set a date 3 or 4 weeks out.
Two months is longer than needed to plan this event and two weeks is too short. Make this a three to four week response time, especially if this is your first time.
3.) Reach out to 15 friends by phone — invite them to have a fundraiser with you.
Tell them you are having a fundraiser and movie night. Ask them two important questions. Ask them A.) if they will come, and also ask them B.) if they will help you promote it to their friends by making ten or fifteen phone calls each. Two or three friends will do that. Most will not. That’s okay. Ask anyway.
4.) Once all that is done (but not before) call the pregnancy center and invite someone from the place to come say a few words at your event.
You can give that person ten minutes to talk about their facility and twenty minutes to answer questions from event attendees. Attendees will be very interested in how to help and how such a place works. The workings of such a place is unfamiliar territory for many people. If you can host the director of the center, all the better, as that person likely has a very powerful story to share.
5.) Watch this recently released documentary at your event – The Matter of Life
If you give the producers of this film at least a one week heads up, they will send you a movie watching kit to help you make your showing a success.
6.) Pass a hat for the movie producers.
Let everyone know before they come that you will pass a hat. Let them know at the beginning of the night, in the middle of the night, and at the end of the night that this hat will be passed. People generally don’t like surprises about such things. If they come, they are likely going to feel good about giving and will want to come prepared for that. Though many people can be shy around bringing up money, I encourage you to put it right out there. That level of clarity benefits everyone involved.
7.) Pass a hat for the pregnancy crisis center.
Again, let everyone know before they come, at the beginning of the night, in the middle of the night, and at the end of the night that this hat, too, will be passed.
In activating these 15 friends, you will have single-handedly generated support for your local pregnancy support center. You will have made a show of support that negates any harm done by Jane’s Revenge and goes over and above any such evil there committed. Two or three long-term donors to that center will likely come out of this night. Two or three new volunteers for that center may come out of this night. Awareness of the resources in the local community will go far beyond that event that night. This is a very special role that you will have been able to play.
It is not often in the movement of millions of people or billions of dollars that the world is so meaningfully impacted. It is in the moving of the hearts of one person at a time. And that is exactly what happens at an event like this.
Raise money for them whenever a crisis exists and you will have singlehandedly negated the worst harm that anyone can do to such an organization.
Why do I share these steps with you? Is it because I want to get you to try something I’ve never tried? No. It is because I want you to do something that I have tried and succeeded at.
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Tuesday, July 19, 2022, my team and I did exactly that, and what a beautiful night it turned out to be — a little different than what I expected, but still a wonderful night.
Jane’s Revenge attacked and vandalized with the intent of giving less choice to mothers in that California community. That night, a group of donors and volunteers got together to say they would provide more choices, more support, more encouragement — and some of those choices I might not totally agree with, but I know the work of a pregnancy support center like that is a net benefit for any community.
The newspapers and media want you to be a spectator, an audience member, someone who reads and leaves a comment in order to increase their online engagement numbers for their advertisers.
I want so much more than that from you — I want you shaping the world around you.
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