If you’ve found yourself unexpectedly pregnant and unprepared to parent a baby, figuring out what to do next can be extremely stressful. It’s hard to know what resources you can turn to for unbiased options, and it’s sometimes even harder to find resources that are affordable. Many women seek assistance from a crisis pregnancy center, sometimes also known as pregnancy resource centers, for a variety of needs, but often because they recognize they are indeed in crisis and wonder what their options are.
What They Do
You’re unlikely to find a crisis pregnancy center that supports abortion. They are often Christian non-profit organizations, so if you’re leaning toward abortion, no one from these centers will help you find abortion resources, help you fund the abortion, or drive you to the clinic. Be aware of that walking in, but know that while they’ll try to dissuade you from having an abortion, they have a lot of resources to offer. They can help you learn about how to care for yourself during pregnancy and how to get on your feet to prepare for parenting. They can also provide adoption referrals and resources, if needed.
Choosing a Center
It’s important to realize that not all CPCs are the same. Some CPCs qualify as medical clinics and are thus able to offer services such as pregnancy testing, sonograms, and other pregnancy-related services. It’s also important to understand that many CPCs use these pregnancy services to put a face on a concept, making it less likely for you to abort your baby. If abortion is already off the table in your decision-making process, having proof of pregnancy, a sonogram, and various other services can be really beneficial. However, it’s more common to find CPCs that are not licensed to provide these services. Some will be run by people who want to shoot absolutely straight with you and won’t use scare tactics to try to sway you in your decisions. Other clinics may pressure you and make you feel uncomfortable, and that’s when you’re likely better off finding another option. CPCs are for some women and not for others.
Parenting and Adoption Resources
If you’re deciding between parenting and adoption (fewer women actually consider abortion vs. adoption), a crisis pregnancy center may be an excellent resource for you. Their counseling practices often center on helping you give birth to your child and setting you up for success after delivery, whether that be through parenting or adoption. If you need to find local resources to help you parent your child, a CPC can help get you in touch with the right people and help explain what’s available to you. That way, you can come up with a plan that makes you feel more in control. If you’re thinking about adoption placement, you can learn more about what modern adoption looks like at a CPC. They can also help you find out more about adoption resources or give you referrals to recommended agencies.
Is It Right for You?
Clearly, crisis pregnancy centers are not right for every woman, but they shouldn’t be discounted as being the wrong resource for everyone. A lot of controversy surrounds CPCs, so let it be clear that most are in operation to dissuade women from abortion. This means, however, that for women not interested in having an abortion, there are numerous services to be taken advantage of at zero cost to them. Only you can decide if this is a resource you should use to talk about your options and receive support throughout your pregnancy. Look up the centers in your area, read reviews, and then give them a call if you want to talk about parenting or making an adoption placement plan for your baby.
Written by Melissa Giarrosso