NRL News

First pregnancy help grants address high abortion rate in Detroit

by | Aug 30, 2017

By Right to Life of Michigan

Right to Life of MIchigan President Barbara Listing with the staff of Care Net Pregnancy Center Detroit

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing with the staff of Care Net Pregnancy Center Detroit

Detroit, Mich. — Yesterday Right to Life of Michigan visited three pregnancy centers located in Detroit to award them a total of $8,970 in grants.

The grants represent a step towards increasing the prolife movement’s focus on addressing the high abortion rate in the city of Detroit.

“This is a small, but very important step,” Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said. “Abortions continue to decline around the state, but Detroit’s abortion rate remains high. It’s a problem not being addressed, much less talked about.”

In 2016 Michigan residents had 25,348 reported abortions; 6,106 of those were Detroit residents. Despite only holding seven percent of the state’s population, Detroit accounts for 24 percent of the state’s abortions. Abortions in Wayne Country are 40 percent of the state’s total.

The grants will address several needs the centers indicated: helping with clients’ transportation costs, improving facility safety, Spanish educational materials, website development, a phone application and advertising. Grantees include Pregnancy Aid, Care Net Pregnancy Center and two of Image of God Crisis Pregnancy Center’s three locations in Detroit.

“These centers are often the first responders in this ongoing problem,” Listing said. “Their mission is to care for women and men in need, and these grants will help them serve even more clients.”

Abortion has a disparate impact on minorities, particularly the Black community. Michigan’s population is 14 percent Black, but Black women had 50.5 percent of the reported abortions in Michigan in 2016.

“High abortion rates in minority communities represent problems on many complex levels which can’t be addressed overnight,” Listing said. “The biggest failure is that society often fails to acknowledge this problem exists. You can’t address a problem that isn’t identified.”

Right to Life of Michigan has given grants to pregnancy help agencies in the past, but these grants are the first time efforts have been focused on a single area.

There are more than 150 locations in Michigan where prolife pregnancy and adoption help agencies provide services. These agencies offer a diverse range of services, often including pregnancy testing, counseling, client education, and tangible help such as diapers and baby clothes. Some centers are able to offer additional services, including medical services such as sexually-transmitted disease testing.

Listing said

“Pregnancy help centers rarely get the attention they deserve for their positive work, which includes help after the baby is born. They are most often staffed by volunteers and run entirely on donations. These four grantees are located where the need is greatest right now. We’re excited about new opportunities to use our talents to assist their efforts.”

Right to Life of Michigan will continue to develop new plans and additional actions to address abortions in Detroit and educate people about this ongoing problem.