While there has been an uptick in abortions during the coronavirus pandemic, because of associated pressure, there's also been in increase in requests for alternatives.
In a previous report, Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League suggested that just as during weakened economic times in the past, certain factors – such as a positive pregnancy test, loss of work hours or job, uncertainty about the future, and/or a serious financial crunch – would "tip the scales" for some people to get an abortion during the pandemic.
While that may be the case, Heartbeat International's Option Line has learned their operators are staying busy. Spokeswoman Andrea Trudden acknowledges that some pro-life centers had to close or reduce hours.
"[But our free Option Line] has stayed open 24/7 throughout the entire time," notes Trudden, "and our trained consultants are able to walk women and men through their questions, offer assistance where needed, and then also stay up to date on the hours of the pregnancy help organizations when they are open and get [those women and men] into those centers."
At many of the pregnancy help centers, a woman can obtain a free pregnancy test and, if found to be pregnant, a sonogram to judge the weeks of pregnancy.
Trudden points out that often the woman or young girl is under pressure to abort. "More than 60% of women who have had an abortion did so to make somebody else happy – either their boyfriend or their parents," she describes. And that's where pro-life center personnel begin walking with the woman as she moves toward bringing her child into the world.
The pregnancy help centers provide resources and support to accomplish that – but it doesn't end at the baby's birth. Often times the new mom is aided in part in the form of education or a job as well.
Heartbeat International's Option Line, established in 2003, averages over a thousand contacts each day (phone calls, texts, emails, live chats). It is the only fully staffed, bilingual (English and Spanish) pro-life contact center in the United States.