by Kathryn DeLapp, 2022 missionary (support crew on Mississippi Route)
In recent days, I have found my Facebook and Instagram inundated in a vacillating range of emotions as people react to the Supreme Court’s most recent decision to overturn the ruling made by Roe v. Wade. I scroll through my social media and see people shouting praises and others questioning where our country is going. While I am decidedly pro-life, I am also cognizant of the fact that our political system is far from perfect and that as our country has grown ever more divisive politically, it is hard to have civil conversations about topics like abortion without people from both sides of the aisle devolving into accusations and emotional tirades, which inhibits any chance of listening and understanding one another.
While I am not a political expert or analyst, what I do know is this: changing law alone is not enough. I have seen many question what is to be done with the needs of these mothers and babies as the laws concerning abortion shift into the hands of the states instead of the federal government. And this is a fair question. As abortions decrease – for any given reason – pro-life people need to be prepared to put their beliefs into action. That is something that Biking for Babies has taught me time and time again. Women need support in order to feel confident in bringing their children into this world. They need medical care, financial assistance, counseling, education, housing, job security, and so much more. These are the needs that I have seen pregnancy resource centers across the nation step up to meet.
While pregnancy resource centers may appear to be dwarfed in the shadow of organizations like Planned Parenthood, these pro-life and pro-women safe havens have been the boots on the ground for the pro-life movement for many years. In number, these types of centers actually outnumber clinics like Planned Parenthood, but they aren’t given the same funding and media attention. We want more people to know about them, to know that they have real options if they step through the doors of a pregnancy resource center, and that these centers will move mountains to support their clients. However, PRCs need our help. They cannot function without funding and resources. Biking for Babies aims to raise awareness as well as financial support for these organizations. A nationwide push to continue this support could boost the reach every pregnancy resource center has, and hopefully, in the near future, more and more pregnancy resource centers can open their doors. In doing so, the dignity of every man, woman, and child can be upheld and valued.
PRCs are the best manifestation of what it means to be pro-life. They don’t simply state their belief, they don’t force their ideology upon their clients, and they don’t drop a vote in a ballot box and call it a day. Instead, their volunteers and employees get up every morning, head to work, open their doors, and start welcoming women in.
I was astounded to learn that in Milwaukee 1 in 11 babies born start at Women’s Care Center, a PRC that opened up in 2010 across the street from an abortion provider. Many PRCs, like Women’s Care Center, welcome women into their facilities and start by talking to them. They are honest about the women’s options – including abortion – and are honest about what services they provide. They ask the women about their feelings, their concerns, their fears. They learn about their living situations, their education, their jobs. They meet every woman where she is at in order to meet her needs and serve her in the best way possible. In being so focused on the needs of the woman, they empower her so that she may protect the life of her baby.
While the nation undulates with palpitations of anxiety, anger, joy, fear, relief, and more as citizens reflect on the latest Supreme Court ruling, I am simply enthralled to embark on the B4B national ride, so that I may tell everyone about the good work happening at our nation’s many PRCs. In doing so, I hope that more support is given to these PRCs in order to expand the impact they have on women in need. I want to be a visible reminder that there is a beauty to promoting women in this way, and that by doing so, we can protect the most innocent lives of all, the ones who are not granted a voice or any power to change their circumstance.