Displaying items by tag: prevention programs

The Power of Prevention in the Pregnancy Help Movement

by Lori Kuykendall, President of Beacon Health Education ResourcesThe Power of Prevention in the Pregnancy Help Movement

Planned Parenthood boasts itself to be the largest provider of sex education. Given their business model of providing abortions (and now the second largest provider of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones), it makes sense that they would want greater access to students through sex “education” in schools and community groups. Those students are potential clients. If they follow their “comprehensive sex education” guidance to use condoms and/or birth control, they will eventually need their contraception services, STI testing and treatment, and tragically too often, abortion.

I was hired by Women’s Pregnancy Center in 1995 as the Teen Outreach Director. The new position was created by the Board and directors who said, “We want to reach the girls before they need us.” God had given them a clear calling to go out to local schools, churches, and community groups with a prevention program. I was a new college graduate with a degree in health education and a calling to full-time missions. God answered all our prayers, and we got to work!

Developing Our Calling

Too many clients were sharing comments like “No one ever told me that…” or “We thought we wouldn’t get pregnant if we…” or “We had sex by accident.” Too many didn’t know God’s good plan for sexual integrity nor the dangers of sex outside that plan. In response, we developed a medically accurate, age-appropriate program for public schools and a faith-based version for churches and private schools.

Many centers, like Women’s Pregnancy Center, have felt a calling and the capacity to offer prevention programs to help address the abortion issue further “upstream.”  Many are now active in area schools, churches, and community groups sharing a clear message of abstinence-until-marriage, or what is called Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) or Optimal Health Education. Some centers develop their research-based programs and others use national curriculum.

About the Curriculum

Prevention/SRA programs share life-giving truths about the risks of pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and the emotional risks of nonmarital sexual activity. They present the miracle of life and fetal development. They encourage positive character development, healthy relationships, and respect for the inherent value of every person. Effective programs deliver clear messages using trained, relevant presenters and help to establish a community of support for making the healthiest decisions for physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health.

The Tremendous Impact of Prevention/SRA Programs

Heartbeat’s vision is “to make abortion unwanted today and unthinkable for future generations.” When we help prevent crisis pregnancies among young people through clear guidance away from nonmarital sex, we are reducing abortion among that population. When we teach a classroom of teens about fertilization and the earliest days of development, we are making abortion less wanted and life more evident. My favorite benefit is the long-term one: when we are helping young people save sex for marriage, we are strengthening those marriages and their future families and having a strong, healthy impact on future generations.

There is great power in prevention for pregnancy help centers. If your center is already active in this space, stay trained and advocate well for SRA programs in your community. If your center is considering prevention outreach, keep an eye out on our Live Virtual Classes page in the Heartbeat Academy. Watch for an announcement of the next possible online course; "Prevention and Community Outreach for Pregnancy Help Centers” is in session now and may be offered again at a future date. And if your center is not feeling the call or capacity to do so, look for other organizations in your area who are and explore ways to partner.