Welcome to Heartbeat!

Heartbeat International is the first network of pro-life pregnancy resource centers in the U.S. and the largest and most expansive in the world. Since 1971, Heartbeat has supported, strengthened and started pregnancy help organizations, including pregnancy medical clinics, pregnancy resource centers,  maternity homes, and adoption agencies all over the world. Currently, Heartbeat serves over 2,500 affiliate locations on all six inhabited continents to provide alternatives to abortion.

We are a nonprofit, interdenominational Christian association of faith-based pregnancy resource centers, medical clinics, maternity homes, and nonprofit adoption agencies endorsed by Christian leaders nationwide.

Heartbeat's Life-Saving Vision...

...is to make abortion unwanted today and unthinkable for future generations.

Heartbeat's Life-Saving Mission...

...is to Reach and Rescue as many lives as possible, around the world, through an effective network of life-affirming pregnancy help, to Renew communities for LIFE.

To achieve our mission, we do the following:

We REACH those who are abortion-vulnerable through Option Line's® 24-hour call center and cutting-edge website, www.OptionLine.org.

"Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me..." - Psalm 144:7

We RESCUE those who are reached through our life-support network of pregnancy centers providing true reproductive health care, ministry, education, and social services where lives are saved and changed.

"Rescue me, O Lord, from evil men; protect me from men of violence. " - Psalm 140:1

We RENEW broken cities around the world, by developing pregnancy centers where abortion clinics are the only alternative for abortion-vulnerable women.

"He sent me to bind up the brokenhearted...to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor... They will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations." - Isaiah 61:1-4

Heartbeat Principles:

  • Heartbeat affiliates propose and offer, through education and creative services, positive choices for the woman challenged by pregnancy.
  • Heartbeat affiliates shall not discriminate in their services on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, age, or marital status.
  • Heartbeat affiliates’ services are personal, confidential, and non-judgmental.
  • Heartbeat affiliates shall not advise, provide, or refer for abortion or abortifacients.
  • Heartbeat affiliates encourage chastity as a positive lifestyle choice.

Heartbeat Program Policies

  • Heartbeat international does not promote abortion or abortifacients.
  • Heartbeat international does not promote birth control (devices or medications) for family planning, population control, or health issues, including disease prevention.
  • Heartbeat International does promote God's Plan for our sexuality: marriage between one man and one woman, sexual intimacy, children, unconditional/unselfish love, and relationship with God must go together.
  • Heartbeat International does promote sexual integrity/sexual purity before marriage and sexual integrity faithfulness within marriage.
  • All Heartbeat international policies and materials are consistent with Biblical principles and with orthodox Christian (Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox) ethical principles and teaching on the dignity of the human person and sanctity of human life.

 Advancing Life-Affirming Pregnancy Help Worldwide

Forced Abortion in America

 

 forcedabortion 1

by Susan Dammann RN LAS, Medical Specialist

Did you know most abortions are unwanted, including as much as 64 percent of U.S. abortions involving coercion? Abortion-related coercion can lead to violence, including even homicide—the leading cause of death among pregnant women.

Do you know teens are especially at risk for unwanted, coerced and forced abortions, as well as the many forms coercion can take?

Escalating pressure to abort can come from employers, husbands, parents, doctors, partners, profit-driven abortion businesses, landlords, friends and family or even trusted financial, personal, academic or religious guides, gatekeepers or authorities.

These subjects and many more are included in the peer-reviewed Special Report from the Elliot Institute, Forced Abortion in America.

This valuable resource is free to download, and is an excellent tool for educating yourself and your staff about what society commonly calls a woman’s choice, but in reality is often the un-choice.

The report contains the following information:

Why abortion is the Un-choice:

  • 64% of women reported feeling pressured to abort.
  • Most felt rushed or uncertain, yet 67% weren’t counseled.
  • 79% weren’t told of available resources.
  • 84% weren’t sufficiently informed before abortion.
  • Pressure to abort can escalate to violence.
  • Homicide is the leading killer of pregnant women.
  • Clinics fail to screen for coercion.
  • Women nearly 4 times more likely to die after abortion.
  • Suicide rates 6 times higher after abortion.
  • 65% of women suffer trauma symptoms after abortion.

 

 

Why abortion is the Uninformed Non-Choice:

  • 54% were unsure of their decision, yet 67% received no counseling beforehand.
  • 84% were inadequately counseled beforehand.
  • 79% not told or deceived about available resources.
  • Many were misinformed by experts about fetal development, abortion alternatives or risks.
  • Many were denied essential personal, family, societal or economic support.

 

Why abortion is the Unsafe Choice:

• Nearly 80% of abortions take place in non-hospital facilities, ill-equipped for emergency care.
• 31% had health complications afterwards.
• 65% suffer multiple symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
• 65% higher risk of clinical depression.
• 10% have immediate complications, some are life-threatening.
• 3.5x higher risk of death from all causes.
• Suicide rates are 6 times higher if women abort vs. giving birth.

 

This is just a sampling of the information contained in this report, complete with many documented case reports. As clients come into our centers looking for our help, it is critically important to educate our staff about what is happening to so many women who find themselves in an unexpected pregnancy.

Equipped with this information, your staff can be vigilant to listen for and explore any indications the client may give, suggesting she may be in a situation involving potential or real violence and coercion.

A woman dealing with both an unexpected pregnancy and coercion-related issues may be frightened to verbalize the threats she is experiencing so we must pray for God’s discernment as we meet with our clients, while developing screening skills to identify potential abuse victims, as well as policies and procedures for intervention when a case of abuse is identified.

Statistics above compiled April 2014.

Book Review: Recall Abortion

Book by Janet Morana

Review by Jay Hobbs, Communications Assistant

From forward—written by the brilliant Fr. Frank Pavone—to conclusion, Janet Morana’s Recall Abortion makes a compelling case that now is the time to take the “failed product” of abortion off the proverbial shelves of American life.

Janet, who serves as Executive Director of Priests for Life and is the Co-Founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, leads off chapter two with an especially gripping statement:

Abortion is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated against women, and those who profit from abortion are the snake oil salesman of our time. This statement may strike some as sensationalism, but I assure you it is not. The evidence in this book will show that it is no exaggeration. (pg. 15)

Indeed, the evidence Recall Abortion presents supports Janet’s claim, and then some. After summarizing several cases of women who have endured (in some cases permanent and chronic) physical complications stemming from abortion, Janet wraps up chapter two with a compelling comparison of recalled American products, ranging from 1978 Ford Pintos to 2000 Firestone tires.

What is expertly implied throughout is made explicit to end this foundational chapter:

Think back to the heartbreaking stories of the women who have testified on Silent No More. Think back to the testimonies of former abortion doctors. Abortion kills babies. And it harms women, physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Isn’t it time to rethink our abortion policy? Isn’t it time to recall abortion?

Another excellent feature of this book—which makes it a good “loaner” or gift to your friends, family, and church leadership—is its weaving in and out of the firsthand accounts of women (and men!) who have been deeply damaged by past abortion.

If one and four women will submit to an abortion by age 45, as Planned Parenthood research arm Guttmacher Institute estimates, then those on the fringes of the prolife movement—your pastor, minister, priest, or friendly theology student—somehow need to be brought into contact with these real women and men. Recall Abortion l is a great place for these friends to start.

Recall Abortion does an excellent job of replacing numbers with faces, pie charts with stories. But its reach doesn’t end there. It also tackles the so-called “hard cases,” including abortion in the cases of rape and incest, fetal deformalities, and the life of a mother.

Pick up a copy or five—or 10—and spread the word that now is the time to recall abortion.

The Introduction and Use of RU-486 in the U.S. & the World

  • How knowledgeable are you about RU-486?RU-486
  • How much information does your staff have to skillfully discuss RU-486 with a client?
  • Are you looking for a great educational piece for a staff in-service or training?

Director of Education and Research for the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund Randall K. O’Bannon Ph.D and Director of Research and Public Policy for the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists Dr. Donna Harrison have written a duo of fantastic articles that you can read and download in their entirety at http://www.abortionresearch.us/images/Vol24No1.pdf for use in your centers as well as education for your staff.

  • The Introduction and Use of the Abortifacient Mifepristone (RU-486) in the United States
  • The Introduction and Use of the Abortifacient Mifepristone (RU-486) in the Developing World

Let me whet your appetite with a few excerpts from the 12 page well-referenced articles…

The Introduction and Use of the Abortifacient Mifepristone (RU-486) in the United States

By Randall K. O’Bannon Ph.D,  Director of Education and Research for the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund

“The discovery of the pregnancy hormones progesterone (1929) and estrogen (1934) opened up whole new possibilities. Gregory Pincus, one of the co-inventors of the oral contraceptive pill, theorized that “anti-progestins should be implantation inhibitors,”

“Etienne-Emile Baulieu visited Pincus in Puerto Rico, where trials were being conducted of the new birth control pill, and came away determined to devote his life to steroid research, believing Chemical contraception central to women’s health and to control of the world’s population (Lader, RU-486, 29-30, Baulieu, 69).

“He returned to France and began working as a consultant to French pharmaceutical giant Roussel Uclaf…”

“Normally in pregnancy, progesterone, produced by the corpus luteum, functions to build and maintain the endometrium, which welcomes and then sustains the developing child in his or her earliest days. As pregnancy progresses, the placenta takes over progesterone production, but those critical first weeks are crucial to the establishment of the child’s nurturing and protective environment.”

“Anti-progestins bind to the same receptor sites as progesterone, but then do not carry out the same tasks. With the progesterone signal effectively blocked, the endometrial lining decays and sloughs off, depriving the developing child of essential nutrients, essentially starving her or him to death as the protective environment around her or him collapses.”

“Ultimately, under what The New York Times termed “sustained political pressure from the Clinton administration, a deal was struck granting U.S. licensing rights to the Population Council of New York in May of 1994. Roussel agreed to turn over all rights and responsibilities connected to the drug to the Population Council for free, hoping to avoid becoming a boycott target.”

“A common medical issue in many of these deaths is how difficult it is, for both patients and doctors, to distinguish between the ordinary side effects of chemical abortion, which are often severe, and the signs of a serious problem like hemorrhage, ruptured ectopic pregnancy, or infection.”

“Women are told to expect heavy bleeding, akin to a heavy period, and understand that the abortion will be painful. When these occur, they assume that they are related to the abortion process. If the pain and bleeding become so substantial that they call the clinic or go to the emergency room, even the medical professional may consider the events to be abortion-related. Brenda Vise called the clinic repeatedly and was told that her considerable pelvic pain was normal. The doctor at the ER did a physical exam of Holly Patterson and sent her home with more pain medication. Both were dead before the week was out.”

“Many abortion clinics are ignoring the FDA protocol, changing doses of the drugs extending the cutoff date from 49 days to 63, eliminating the second visit and letting women take the misoprostol at home (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/5/11), or even going so far as to prescribe the drugs via webcams, eliminating all direct physical contact between doctor and patient entirely (KCCI, 5/1910; Sioux City Journal, 10/8/10). Failures and complications are not only common, but more problematic, as women are farther removed from the careful medical monitoring that is essential to this process.”

“The Guttmacher Institute estimated that in 2008, more than a quarter of all abortions done at 9 weeks gestation or earlier were chemical abortions and both the overall percentage of chemical abortions and the number of clinics offering these abortions have been steadily increasing. If things continue trending as they are, it means that we can expect more women will die, along with tens of thousands more of their unborn children.”

The Use of the Abortifacient Mifepristone (RU-486) in the Developing World

Dr. Harrison’s article reports that multiple studies demonstrate that first trimester medical abortions utilizing mifepristone and misoprostol result in:

  • 20 out of every 100 women with a significant adverse event (hemorrhage, infection, retained tissue, continued pregnancy exposed to drugs which can cause fetal malformation),
  • 15 out of every 100 women hemorrhage,
  • 7 out of every 100 women have tissue left inside, which can become infected, and
  • 6 out of every 100 women need surgery, sometimes as emergency surgery.

By Donna Harrison, M.D,, Director of Research and Public Policy, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists

“The use of non-surgical (medical) abortion in the developing world has had great appeal for abortion advocates. Surgical procedures in third world countries with poor medical infrastructure, lack of dependable transportation to emergency centers, and even inadequate water supplies pose health risks for patients electing to have a surgical abortion. On the other hand, simply taking a pill to undo the pregnancy appears to be a good solution for third world women. “

“The reality is that surgical abortions are still necessary in a number of cases because the pill fails; medical abortions are being attempted in settings with inadequate backup to care for complications; and hemorrhaging, a common side-effect of RU-486 abortions, is harder to control in third world environments. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to disregard such problems by enthusiastic abortion advocates, eager to expand abortion use in these countries.”

“In a moment of unguarded honesty, an ironic article, entitled Medical abortion: Is it a blessing or curse for the developing nations?, was published in the medical literature in 2011 ... [T]his article gives a rare glimpse into the reality of willy-nilly access to drugs which can end a pregnancy … The abstract opens with this statement:

"Medical abortion is definitely a safer and a better option, but in developing countries, its widespread misuse has led to partial or septic abortion thereby increasing maternal mortality and morbidity.”

“When the medical methods of abortion were launched in developing countries like India it was thought that frequency of illegal unsafe abortions by local dais and unregistered practitioners will decrease to a large extent and it will help in managing such unwanted pregnancies through safe and legalized abortions in peripheral health centres (PHCs), community health centres (CHCs), and civil hospitals. No doubt, though unsafe surgical abortions have decreased largely due to strict legislations but these have been replaced by increasing number of unsafe medical abortions.”

“Because medical abortion is being used increasingly in several countries, it is likely to result in an elevated incidence of overall morbidity related to termination of pregnancy.”

 

Download both articles in their entirety: http://www.abortionresearch.us/images/Vol24No1.pdf.