NRL News

God works good out of bad from pregnancy center attacks – Communities step up

by | Aug 18, 2022

By Patty Knap

Volunteers from Hinson Memorial Baptist Church helped clean up after a pro-abortion attack on First Image Pregnancy Resource Centers
First Image Pregnancy Resource Centers

What good could possibly come out of the ongoing pro-abortion attacks on life-saving pregnancy help centers?

It might be hard to imagine, but often the response to the hatred, vandalism, fire bombing, spray painting, glass breaking, and false claims about pregnancy centers in recent months has had a positive element. 

Pregnancy Help News reached out to some centers targeted by these attacks to find out what response they’ve seen from their local communities.

What’s been happening has been nothing short of inspiring as communities across the U.S. have come forth to support pregnancy help centers.

In Asheville, N.C., Mountain Area Pregnancy Services was attacked on June 7. The phone there hadn’t stopped ringing with offers of help in the subsequent weeks.

“From the morning of the attack, our center has received hundreds of phone calls from individuals, churches & businesses asking if we needed help cleaning up,” said Kristi Brown, executive director.

“The day of the attack we sent out an email asking if anyone wanted to join a Wednesday 9 a.m. prayer time in our parking lot,” Brown said. “That event proved to be standing room only. So many people prayed with us and over us that day. It was powerful.”

Brown said because the story was covered by national news, they had an outpouring of financial support from across the U.S. Some people gave online, others sent checks, and some churches brought in checks. 

“Some called saying, ‘I heard about your attack, it makes me mad, what do you need?’” said Brown. “We advised people to send money because we knew we were going to have to do massive upgrades with our security system.”

A small church group came and trimmed the bushes for security purposes. 

“Some people have stopped by to pray over our facility, bring flowers, or drop off lunch for our team,” Brown said. “Security experts have offered to help. We had two men come and pressure wash to clean off the graffiti. We’ve had unengaged former donors reengage us because of the attack.”

Mountain Area Pregnancy Services

Some of the donations went toward the initial clean-up work by a restoration company. Mountain View’s new system will have different types of cameras, glass break monitors, strobe lights, internal and external alarms. They’ve added additional website and security protocols as well. 

“We’ve received over 300 donations attributed to the attack,” Brown added, |coming from all over the country.”

“We’ve seen churches that were only on our mailing list pre-attack give financially and ask us to come speak,” she said. “And best of all, we’ve gained five new volunteers through this!”

CompassCare Pregnancy Services

In Buffalo, New York, pro-abortion terrorists firebombed CompassCare Pregnancy Services’ medical office at 2:30 a.m. on June 7. They proceeded to light the office on fire and scrawled, “Jane was here” on the outside wall. 

The damage to the pregnancy center was catastrophic, with extensive smoke and fire damage to the entire structure. The building was left unsafe and unusable. The group calling themselves, ‘Jane’s Revenge’ claimed responsibility, vowing further destruction and violence. 

Even with a destroyed building, CompassCare continued serving patients that same day, and managed to be up and running in an alternate location the next day. 

Extensive renovations to the medical office began immediately, with an amazing goal of reopening 52 days later, on July 29. In the first week of the rebuild process, approximately 90 volunteers showed up to salvage what we could from the wreckage and begin the renovations. 

“The outpouring of generosity from the church has been humbling,” said Jim Harden, CEO of CompassCare. “Not a single patient was turned away and, the day after the firebombing, three alternate locations were offered to CompassCare for a temporary location from which to serve patients.”  

CompassCare is taking the opportunity of rebuilding to expand their office space, to serve more patients coming to New York seeking abortions, helping them have their babies. The estimated cost of the repairs, clean up, replacement of furniture and equipment, and rebuilding is $285,000.

Interestingly, despite all that was lost to the fire, the ultrasound machines only needing a thorough cleaning to be returned to perfect working order. 

CompassCare was set to host a grand reopening celebration in late July.

Wisconsin Family Action

The office for pro-life group Wisconsin Family Action in downtown Madison, Wisc., was attacked in early May. The office was firebombed in one of the first attacks following the Supreme Court Dobbs decision.

Dave Yanke, president of a Madison Catholic men’s organization, Men of Christ, sent an email rallying the group’s members to step up.

Yanke told CatholicVote that, “The Women’s Care Center, located directly across the street from Planned Parenthood is an obvious potential target.”

About 60 members of the men’s group have come forward, each committing to protecting the pregnancy center by staying “inside the care center overnight to discourage vandalism and sabotage” once a month. The men take turns guarding the center in pairs.

“The guys on my team really take this seriously,” Yanke said. “There are monitors up from cameras that point outside. While one sleeps, the other watches the monitors.”

“There have been times when cars have pulled into the lot and the guys need to make a quick decision on what they should do,” he said, “Continue to monitor, call the police, or flash the lights on and off and look out the window to make their presence known.”

“So far, there have been no incidents,” Yanke said. “And that is exactly how we want it.”

Yanke pointed out the disappointing lack of response on the part of law enforcement, from the Department of Justice down, as attacks on pro-life locations continue.

“Unfortunately, they are not receiving the protection that they should under the law,” Yanke said.

Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center in Lynchburg, Va., was vandalized during the weekend following the Jun 24 Dobbs ruling reversing Roe v. Wade.

Center personnel said “the community’s response to jump in and help has been incredible,” according to a report from the local NBC affiliate.

Volunteers from the Hinson Memorial Baptist Church in Portland, Ore., helped to clean up the exterior of the Hinson church annex building where the First Image Pregnancy Resource Centers administrative offices are located was damaged by rioters in late June.

First Image posted on Instagram June 28:

Our section of the building was boarded up just in time, so no windows were broken. Unfortunately, in other parts of the building, a number of windows were broken. The whole building was heavily tagged, with our First Image side experiencing the most graffiti. We are very thankful that the damage is minimal. Thanks to a group of wonderful Hinson church members, the graffiti has already been painted over.⁠

⁠ Our office and centers are open today. The resilience and courage of our staff is inspiring. We are continuing on in a spirit of hope and courage. Please join us in that same spirit.⁠

First Image’s Southeast Portland Pregnancy Resource Center had been vandalized May 5.

The Center went forward with its Fun Run and Walk the following weekend and closed only for a day or two to clean up.

“We don’t want to miss a single hour to demonstrate compassionate care to every person that comes through our door,” said Luke Cirillo, First Image’s CEO.

First Image Pregnancy Resource Centers

First Image’s Gresham, Ore., pregnancy help center was set on fire June 11. The center is rebuilding with an approximate cost of $250,000. 

A ministry partner had opened its doors for the center to operate in the meantime, and Cirillo said an update July 13 that “Giving in response to the fire has been incredibly encouraging.”

Cirillo said further:

I am so thankful for the incredible outpouring of generosity that has come during this season. While there are some who hate what we do, the voices of support have been by far the loudest in the wake of these attacks, coming from all over the country.

Heartbeat International’s Director of Affiliate Services Beth Deimert praised the strong support pregnancy centers receive from their local communities. 

“The support that clinics and centers are receiving from supporters and their communities is a testament to the good work they do,” Deimert said. 

“Pregnancy centers are good for women and good for communities across America,” she said. “What they offer in free services is only exceeded by what they offer in support and education, empowering women to advocate for themselves. Pregnancy centers help women make life-affirming & life changing decisions every day, strengthening them, their family, and the community it serves.” 

Editor’s note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News. Reposted with permission. 

Categories: Pro-Lifers