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Looking Forward by Looking Back

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by Mary Peterson, Housing Specialist

Early in the three-day meeting, the question was posed: "Has the maternity housing movement, as a whole, strayed from its core mission?" Gulp. Big question.

All present were quick to defend the good work that currently happens in the approximately 400 maternity homes across the United States. There is no doubt of the important role that maternity homes play within the pregnancy help movement. But the question lingered.

Historically, maternity homes developed to support women through an adoption plan, first as large institutional programs often staffed by Catholic religious orders. Trying to protect the confidentiality of the women coming to the program, these early homes were often shrouded in secrecy and silence. Many of the reforms in adoption began from the heartache of women who experienced adoption not as an empowering choice, but rather as a decision they felt was forced upon them without sensitive acknowledgment of the pain involved.

From these roots, as movement toward open adoptions began, the host or shepherding home model developed as families began welcoming a pregnant woman into their homes. And, in recent history, as the needs and challenging circumstances of the pregnant women in need of housing support have increased, a variety of models have developed that allow for increased expertise in supporting women in situations related to addiction, violence, abuse, and trauma. As this progression has happened, the number of adoptions in maternity homes has dramatically decreased. 

The 10 housing leaders who serve as the Leadership Council for the National Maternity Housing Coalition (NMHC), a joint-affiliate of Heartbeat International, gathered to think deeply about why this has happened and how maternity homes might restore their heritage as a safe refuge for women considering adoption. It is not as if maternity homes are not supportive of adoption.

Homes, generally, are delighted to walk with a women pursuing an adoption plan. And, several homes, especially those with over 30 years of experience, have deep organizational ties to adoption agencies. Even so, the NMHC Leadership Council collectively wondered, "Can we be doing more? Why do we continue to see declining numbers? Is there something that we, as maternity homes, can do better?"

Shawn Stevenson, the Executive Director of Life Services in Spokane, Wash., raised the question of an organization's "null curriculum". Based on his training in the education field, Shawn asked, "It makes me wonder about our programs. Specifically, What are we teaching by what we are not teaching?"

He continued, "Is there something in the way that we handle adoption that inadvertently communicates a bias we don't intend?" The statement raised a great conversation about the strategies used by homes to introduce adoption.

Through discussion, five major strategies surfaced. All are currently being used by homes to incorporate an adoption message:

  1. A maternity home and adoption agency have close organizational alignment (one org, deeply related orgs, etc.) in which women are interacting deeply with both organizations.
  2. Maternity homes bring in outside experts to present info on adoption during group seminars or one-on-one meetings.
  3. Maternity homes use a curriculum (i.e. Baby & Me, independently developed) within the house to present adoption information.
  4. Maternity homes address misconceptions moms have (e.g. foster care is not the same as adoption) directly via some other educational opportunity or awareness campaign.
  5. Maternity homes actively develop policies and programming for support of birth moms (i.e. recruit birth mothers as volunteers, have birth mom support groups, have adoption awareness in policies, etc.) Additionally, some homes offer alternative post-birth housing (i.e. a host home) for a mom to live in rather than returning to home after giving birth.

While these strategies are a solid starting point, the challenge was raised on how to re-think and re-craft the strategies used to present the beauty of adoption in new and creative ways within the home environment.

Summing up the conversation, Jeannine Floores, a birth mom and adoptive mom who leads Breath of Life in Austin, Texas spoke of the need to create an adoption-positive culture throughout the organization.

"Moms need to know that you aren't focused on WHAT decision she makes," she said, "only that she makes an informed, prayerful, thought-out decision."

The National Maternity Housing Coalition took this message to heart and renewed its commitment to pregnancy decision making as the place of excellence for maternity housing programs.

"It is this decision-making process that makes maternity homes different than any other housing programs for women," Callie Neff of House of His Creation asserted, "In addition to all the other ways that maternity homes support women, we must support her in thinking about her options around how her child will be parented."

A re-examination of our past as a maternity housing movement allowed us to remember our role in championing the adoption message. As such, the NMHC is inviting homes to re-engage the adoption message in a new way this year and keep decision-making during pregnancy at the heart of their mission. You can anticipate dynamic trainings and conversations on how to achieve that goal within the upcoming year.

If you would like to contribute your thoughts on this topic, please don't hesitate to reach out to Mary Peterson, NMHC, Facilitator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Power Up This Summer With Heartbeat, NMHC

 

PowerConver4Thinking of conserving power this summer?

Well maybe it’s time to think again.

This summer, Heartbeat International is partnering with the National Maternity Housing Coalition to pilot six highly interactive strategy sessions we like to call “Power Conversations.”

Short, sweet, and packing a punch, these 30-minute conversations are a perfect environment for maternity housing leaders at all stages of development and experience.

Here’s what to expect from Power Conversations this summer:

  • July 10: Smooth Departures
  • July 17: Intake Methods
  • July 24: Outbreak Prevention
  • July 31: Difficult Departures
  • Aug 7: Transportation Norms
  • Aug 14: Chore Systems

All sessions start at 2 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time)

Call-in Number: (559) 726-1300
Participant Access Code: 705126 

 

Baby Daddies and the Treasure Hunt

by Mary Peterson, Housing Specialist

babydaddySomewhere along the line several years ago, moms started using the title “Baby Daddy” to refer to the man they had been involved with when they became pregnant.

“The ‘baby daddy’ went with me to doctor today.”

“Him? Nah, we’re not dating—he’s the ‘baby daddy.’”

When it was still a new term, I remember hearing it a few times. Soon after, I saw it used in a pop magazine and realized that the term wasn’t just a passing phase. A sign of our times, the phrase “baby daddy” has come to be commonly understood as referring to a specific situation and calling to mind attributes of a specific kind of man.

It is this man who is often connected to the women of our homes.

More and more, I hear pregnancy help organizations reflect on how to better engage men. For maternity homes, this question is framed as, “How do we help ‘baby daddies’ grow into fathers?”

In the maternity home setting, this can raise the question, “If they are choosing to parent, how do we help single mothers—fatherless families—to invite the right type of men into their lives and raise children in the context of authentic masculinity?”

It’s a difficult tension—wanting to honor the role a man plays as a father and simultaneously, wishing a new mom would finally sever a destructive attachment to a man who is just using her, abusive, manipulative, or in and out of jail.

Hope Mansion in Cedar Hill, Texas, led by Angie Hammond, has developed an interesting program to address this tension.

The program, still under development, uses communication with the women as the leverage point. In order to be able to spend time with the mother residing in the maternity home, the man must walk through a variety of steps in a process they refer to as a “Treasure Hunt.”

One of the first steps is to require a formal letter from the “Baby Daddy,” in which he must explain his intentions regarding the resident in the Home and the baby. Once the Home receives the letter, he is provided with the workbook, “The Me I See,” from Loving and Caring. Next, he makes a request to meet with the House Dad, giving the opportunity to engage in a deliberate conversation.

Calling upon his masculine drive to take action, the intent is for the man to realize the mother of his child truly is a treasure—a woman worthy of his sacrifice. If he fails to take the simple steps required, then he is not allowed contact, and the house parents encourage the woman to think deeply about what it means that he was unwilling to make such small gestures in order to stay in her life.

“We are pleased by the level of conversation that has opened up,” Angie says. “The Treasure Hunt puts the initiative and the consequence into the hands of the man. And thus, provides an opportunity for real growth.”

Has your home, like Hope Mansion, discovered effective strategies for engaging men and teaching fatherhood? We would love to hear (and share!) more.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or post to the National Maternity Housing Coalition Facebook page. Who knows, maybe this is the beginning of a longer conversation we can have via conference call or through the Heartbeat Academy. Let’s learn from one another!

For more information on Hope Mansion, visit: https://www.hopemansion.com.

 

A home for the Housing Coalition

 

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by Mary Peterson, Housing Consultant

As maternity housing providers, we regularly welcome women into our homes at a time when they are most vulnerable. Perhaps an even greater challenge, we also welcome these women into our hearts.

As I speak with homes across the country, so many within our portion of the pregnancy help movement are quick to point out, “We aren’t a shelter… it really is a home we are trying to create,” or, “These women really experience love in our homes.” These statements capture what it means to be a home with a heart!

Over the past two years, leaders of maternity homes have been strategizing how to best unify maternity homes across the country, in order to speak collectively, support fledging homes, learn from one another, and help every maternity home to be more successful in facilitating the transformation we hope to see in the lives of the women we serve.

The results of this on-going discussion has been the formulation of the National Maternity Housing Coalition (NMHC), which is now reaching out to the more than 450 U.S. maternity homes to provide support and resources for the unique work of providing housing to homeless pregnant women.
Heartbeat International has been a great partner every step of the way. With its extensive history of supporting life-affirming organizations, Heartbeat has given the newly created NMHC a home.

In partnering with Heartbeat, the NMHC is tapping into a wealth of resources, including Heartbeat’s Annual Conference, the ability to host webinars through the Heartbeat Academy, and the opportunity to have more maternity homes take advantage of Heartbeat’s existing resources, such as the Sexual Integrity™ Program, The LOVE Approach™, and Healing the Effects of Abortion-Related Trauma (H.E.A.R.T Manual™).

Heartbeat unites Christ-centered ministries from across denominational dividing lines, and has a deep cultural sensitivity shown by their 1,800 affiliates from across the country and around the globe.

The Coalition is blessed to have such a loving place to call home!

To make sure the Coalition starts off on the right foot, I am now working with Heartbeat as a Housing Consultant. I bring over 14 years of experience in the work of maternity homes, having co-founded and helped to guide Maggie’s Place in several stages of growth since 2000.

As the Housing Consultant, it is my task to listen deeply to the needs of maternity homes and to support the efforts of the Coalition, bringing about unity, resources, and support for maternity home leaders.

Maternity homes are a key response to the questions, “What about that child?” “What about that mother?” “What are you doing to help them?”
Housing ministries provide the pregnancy help movement with a valuable response to these concerns.

By their nature, maternity homes meet a wide variety of needs, providing genuine choice and practical aid to mothers and mothers-to-be. Some of these precious women need help meeting immediate needs such as homelessness, while others need help formulating a long-term plan for success.

Aren’t we blessed to be smack dab in the middle of this wonderfully challenging and wonderfully beautiful work?!

For more information about the National Maternity Housing Coalition, please visit our website here.

You can read more about Heartbeat International’s role in the Coalition here.

 

Better Together is God's Idea

by Betty McDowell, Heartbeat Director of Affiliate Services

From Take Heart | Vol. 2, Issue 6

You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly.  You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.

But that doesn't mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift.  The text for this is,

  • He climbed the high mountain,
  • He captured the enemy and seized the booty,
  • He handed it all out in gifts to the people.

Is it not true that the One who climbed up also climbed down, down to the valley of earth? And the One who climbed down is the One who climbed back up, up to highest heaven. He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ's followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ's body, the church, until we're all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God's Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ (Ephesians 4:4-13 The Message).

It is awe inspiring to think about how this scripture points out how much we have in common and how we are so much better together.  We are not to be a threat to each other.  But what a threat we can be to the Father of Lies when we are united in heart and purpose!

Each of us has but one Master who has given us many gifts and callings.  What a blessing and an honor to grant each other the freedom to be who God made us to be, to develop our talents in ministry, and to recognize the calling on each other’s lives.

Today you have a choice.  You can  look around and feel threatened or insecure about your position or future in ministry or you can bless and acknowledge those around you who have the same heart, who serve the same God, who are part of the same body, who desire, like you, to be fully alive in Christ.  We are better together because this is God’s idea and He desires unity for us and with us.

Back to Take Heart | Vol. 2, Issue 6

Heartbeat Affiliates Linking Arms for Mission

What better way to advance the pregnancy help movement worldwide than for one Heartbeat affiliate to link arms with another Heartbeat affiliate for the sake of women, babies, and families all over the world?

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A new mother cradles her child in Immokalee. 


The moment Diane Hanson stopped by for a meeting in Immokalee, Florida, an hour’s drive from the affluent town of Naples, she knew God was calling her family to serve the women and families of this impoverished community for the next season in life.

The year was 2007, two years after Hurricane Wilma whipped through the agricultural-dependent migrant community with winds over 120 miles per hour, and at the peak of the U.S. economic downturn, leaving nearly 40 percent of Immokalee’s residents below the federal poverty line.

Then serving as a pregnancy help center executive director at a center in Naples, Diane was asked by local leaders to take the reins at Immokalee Pregnancy Center, which had been destroyed by Hurricane Wilma. Soon, she and her husband, Dave, were on their way to their new mission field.

With so much work to do, and so little in the way of material and financial resources, the Hansons connected to an old friend and ministry partner named Phil Holsinger.

A veteran pregnancy help leader since the early 1990s, Phil was in the process of transitioning to a role as president and CEO of Heartbeat affiliate Blue Ridge Women’s Center in Roanoke, Virginia, where he had been struck by a parable of sorts, told by a friend who’d become a Christian during a stint in a federal penitentiary.

The parable went something like this: Several prisoners were sat down in a room and given a handful of puzzle pieces, then told they must learn to work with others without the benefit of speaking in order to complete the puzzle. These small groups of prisoners could only accomplish their work by cooperatively capitalizing on their shared resources.

To Phil, the application of this parable was simple. Every pregnancy help organization simultaneously has abundant resources and abundant need. Rather than expending the bulk of efforts compensating for areas of need, Phil realized, organizations could flourish by sharing from their areas of abundance with others.

Macedonia4

Phil Holsinger (L) and Center for Global Strategies leaders, together with Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov (head of table) in January, 2013.

And so, when Diane and Dave Hanson landed in financially strapped Immokalee, Phil knew this could be the perfect opportunity for his vision to come to reality.

“When Dave first brought me to the center, I had to kick chickens out of the way from the car to the building,” Phil said. “I told him, ‘This place reminds me of places I’ve been in Africa, or South America, or the Caribbean.’ I told him, ‘Anything we have is yours.’”

From that point on, Blue Ridge Women’s Center has supported Immokalee Pregnancy Center by, among other assistance, supplying one month’s overhead each year. Since Blue Ridge began this partnership, Phil’s goal has been to involve other pregnancy help organizations to pitch in and supply Immokalee with enough monthly support to power the center through an entire year.

But Phil’s vision has also expanded globally, with a similar work starting in the former Yugoslav country of Macedonia, where he and leaders from Center for Global Strategies recently met with the country’s President to discuss the good work of pregnancy centers, the first of which has been established in the bustling city of Shtip.

“We talked with the President for almost an hour about pregnancy help centers, and he was getting tears in his eyes as we told him the stories of women, babies, and families saved,” Phil said. “Then I thought, ‘Why couldn’t the same thing that’s happening with Immokalee happen here?’”

“It’s been amazing to see the lives that are being changed already in Macedonia, even with little-to-no advertising. I have just been blown away with how God is working there, and with the bulk of worldwide abortions occurring outside of the U.S., these efforts are uniquely strategic, as well as uniquely needed.”

With the pregnancy help movement advancing worldwide, the puzzle pieces are falling into place, thanks to faithful men and women like Phil Holsinger, Diane and Dave Hanson, and partners like you.

What better way to advance the pregnancy help movement worldwide than for one Heartbeat affiliate to link arms with another Heartbeat affiliate for the sake of women, babies, and families all over the world?


To find out more about how you and your center can help support efforts in Immokalee and Macedonia, email Phil Holsinger at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or follow his blog at www.supportblueridge.org/pros/.

The House, United

By Jor-El Godsey, President

"A house divided against itself cannot stand."

 
These are words spoken by Abraham Lincoln in 1858 about the demonic and divisive issue facing the United States—slavery. These words, of course, echo those of our Lord as He confronted the demonic and divisive issue facing Israel—Pharisaic legalism (Matthew 12:22ff).

As Lincoln’s historical heirs and as joint-heirs with Christ, we inherit this time-tested statement as we face the demonic and divisive issue of our time—abortion.

These same words should inspire those of us in the pregnancy help community to recognize how, together, we make up “a house”. Certainly, we are Christ-followers and part of His Kingdom, the House of God.

But in a parallel sense, we are part and parcel of each other, like the picture of the Body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12, united by a uniquely common mission of compassion.

Our opponent, Satan, is as intent upon aborting our efforts as he was upon keeping an entire people group in the shackles of American slavery. This same zeal was present in the death of Christ, which Satan sought as his ultimate victory—which turned out to be his ultimate demise.

So, how do we stay united, and keep from becoming that divided house on the verge of collapse? Here are three profound things we can do, starting today:

First, stop comparing ourselves to each other.

We are much more than our “nickels and noses” (to borrow slang from church leaders/planters). Budgets, client numbers, and staff sizes are poor metrics for evaluating mission effectiveness. Subjective things like degree of professionalism, purity of mission focus, and client outcomes are also weak indicators for people setting out to participate in the Lord’s life-giving work.

Second, major in the majors.

We can all agree that Jesus inspires us to champion His Gift of Life and Him as the Giver of Life. With some 33,000 denominations (World Christian Encyclopedia by Barrett, Kurian, Johnson (Oxford Univ Press, 2nd edition, 2001), the reality of total doctrinal alignment is an illusion. But as Saint Augustine encourages, "In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.”

There are some essentials that divide us on Sunday in the pews—such as whether or not we refer to Saint Augustine or just Augustine—but these need not divide us while we seek to help those women and families who are making life and death decisions every day.

Third, saturate our care for one another.

Apply the same love and grace to fellow staff members, board members, and peers as we would for clients/patients. The misty-eyed woman who can’t say which of her partners might be the father of her child needs the love of God to flow through us to her. But so does that fellow minister on our team, or across town, or on the national stage.

Love should always be our language whether we are in the counseling room, the classroom, the conference room, or at the convention.

Unity amid diversity, and the certainty of victory

Our pregnancy help “house” is a diverse group spanning cultures, vocations, and denominations. Abraham Lincoln saw something similar in 1858 as he addressed the crowd in Springfield, Illinois. When we look back on our victory over slavery, the moral crisis of that day, we should realize its similarities with our day.

Listen one more time to Lincoln’s eloquent words, and see if, just maybe, they can apply to us.

Of strange, discordant, and even hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought the battle through, under the constant hot fire of a disciplined, proud, and pampered enemy.

Did we brave all then to falter now? -- now when that same enemy is wavering, dissevered, and belligerent? The result is not doubtful. We shall not fail -- if we stand firm, we shall not fail. Wise counsels may accelerate or mistakes delay it, but, sooner or later, the victory is sure to come.

From the Birmingham Jail... to the pregnancy help movement

by Jor-El Godsey and Jay Hobbs

In 1963, writing while in a Birmingham jail cell, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. penned a stirring response to local clergy leaders who had publicly criticized his part in non-violent protests against racial inequality.

King’s words spoke powerfully to the commonplace injustice of his day. But his prose echoes throughout the decades to underscore the pro-life argument today.

We must come to see that human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.

The greatest strength of our life-saving efforts today is to continue with “tireless efforts” and “persistent work” as we remain “co-workers with God” in the great work of championing the sanctity of life.

It’s almost as if Dr. King was speaking directly to the questions surrounding the pro-life movement as a whole, and even the pregnancy help movement in particular, as the letter progresses.

His audience was Southern clergy who, while sympathetic to desegregation to some degree, had not yet become emboldened to stand for the equality of their black brothers and sisters. It was not the infamous Ku Klux Klan or other rabidly racist groups who presented the greatest challenge, frustrations, or disappointments to Dr. King. Another group posed deeper issues:

Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

Far from a mere indictment or dismissal of the church, Dr. King wrote as a minister, who proudly proclaimed himself “the son, the grandson and the great grandson of preachers” who spoke to the church as a loving son or brother might lovingly—but earnestly—address his parents or siblings.

What an excellent example for those of us in the pro-life movement. We want to invite our churches into the good work of ministering to women and families who are vulnerable to abortion. We do best to address our pastors, priests, leaders, and clergy from a humble—“purified” in the words of Dr. King—position.

At the same time, we also do best to follow Dr. King’s example of relentless urgency:

By their effort and example [early Christians] brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent--and often even vocal--sanction of things as they are…

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.

Take some time this week and read through the Letter from the Birmingham Jail. You’ll be thankful you did.

Becoming a unified coalition

we are the worldby Mary Peterson, Housing Consultant

I call it, "we are the world" love.

It's a slightly sarcastic way to describe the love that brings together a lot of different people with different ideas around a noble purpose, but it lasts just long enough to sing a song.

As we know too well, real love, the kind of love that brings deep and lasting unity, only happens when people start bumping into one another. And, although they may feel a little bruised, love starts when individuals choose to listen, to forgive, to seek understanding, to communicate better, to try again.

Part of the joy of being a Coalition of maternity housing providers is in the variety of perspectives that are included. We are unified in our common work of offering housing to pregnant women, but we differ on many other issues: staffing models, doctrinal nuances, and length of stay, just to name a few.

Because our work as maternity home providers often involves deep personal sacrifice, it is easy for us to bring passion and investment to the conversation. As we begin the work of building the National Maternity Housing Coalition, we may bump into each other just a bit. But as this happens, we have several things on our side.

First is the wisdom acquired from 42 years of holding various works and perspectives together within the same organization. Heartbeat International has been a leader is choosing the difficult but rewarding path of unity amid diversity. Heartbeat has seen again and again that we truly are "better together."

Second, there is the palpable sense of possibility in our work. Whenever leaders from homes are talking to one another, the ideas start flying. In addition, there are deep rumblings of movement in the arena of housing—more interest in starting homes, new programs under discussion, and deeper connection to the pro-life movement. More, new, deeper...all are rumblings of movement.

Finally, we cling to our God who values unity so deeply that He expresses Himself as a union of persons. It is our God, a living unity, who teaches us and gives us the grace to be forgiving, merciful, generous, and kind when we bump into one another.

One of "those" people

ashamedA pregnant woman called the ARIN CARE Line one evening at 11:30pm.  She had found our website on the Internet and was calling to schedule her first abortion recovery counseling appointment.  Oddly enough, she had not yet ended her pregnancy. She was scheduled for an abortion the next day! My skin got goose bumps when she said....

“I know I’m going to need some help. After the procedure tomorrow, I’ll be one of ‘those people!’”

I lovingly explained to her, that I too was one of those people! That actually there were quite a few of us! It seemed to bring her comfort when I summarized just who we ALL were....

Those People Are...

Those people, I explained, are the women, men, siblings, grandparents, and extended family who have chosen an abortion in the past, or been associated with someone who has. Those people are your neighbors down the street, your pastor or his wife, your nephew's teacher, or your son's coach. Those people are your daughter's best friend, your work-out buddy at the gym, your grandmother or friend from school. You're eating lunch with those people at work, studying the Bible with them at church, watching them on TV, listening to them on a CD, or seeing them run for public office. They are those whom you’d never predict would make a choice like abortion.

Those people are individuals who chose abortion when it was legal, or when it was illegal. Either way, those people were deceived into thinking it was the ONLY way out of an unplanned or medically challenged pregnancy. Then realizing, it was too late! Those people ARE EVERYWHERE!  And they are suffering in silence around the world!  WHY?  Because they are too ashamed and too frightened that they will be classified as "those people" when they ask or search for help. I thanked her for calling and for reaching out.

Looking Within...

When people, affected by abortion, have physical or spiritual complication we often don't know how to reach out to them as a pregnancy center, society, church or even as a family member. Unfortunately, those who made a "poor choice," don't often know what to do themselves when their world seems to be crashing down around them. ONE abortion, through a rippling effect, can touch as many as 40 people throughout a lifetime.

Some of those affected may choose to do nothing, stuck in denial for years!  Others may take a courageous step and seek outside help!  

What do we do when approached by the post-abortion client?  How do we treat them?  Do we grant them complete compassion or quietly scold them with contempt?  So we lash out in passive aggressive anger?  Or reach out in Christ-centered love? Do we grieve with them differently than a family who mourns a child lost to miscarriage or stillbirth?

Hmm… something we should think about...

Do our volunteers know how to speak to the client who has an abortion in their past? Are our websites friendly to those clients? Or does our web presence create additional triggers and sensitivities that would further push those hurting away? Have all of our staff, who have experienced an abortion, completed an abortion recovery program? Do we promote a "recovery first" position? 

Let’s work together to make it easier and more acceptable for people to get the healing they need. Let’s make it safe to talk with them at school, at church, at home and even within our families. Okay... but HOW Stacy?

We can start by making sure our physical buildings and web presence is a gift to those who ache from a past choice. WE can be the one person who opens our arms, our hearts and our centers to welcoming those people who just might need our unconditional acceptance. We, at ARIN, wish to help! Our goal for 2013 is to have every pregnancy center reaching out to individuals and families impacted by a previous choice.

ARINAbortion Recovery InterNational (ARIN) has been honored to partner with Heartbeat for the past 10 years. Our affiliates, many Heartbeat affiliated themselves, minister to approximately 40,000 post-abortion clients each year through our CARE Directory and CARE Line. Many of those hurting found our CARE Directory through the Option Line web-link. Many journey through a recovery program and then go on to receive further healing through our Recovery Encore brochure and website.

With the passing of certain legislature and the upcoming 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we expect the number of those affected by abortion will greatly increase. We need your help to care for those wounded. If your center provides after abortion support, we'd appreciate sending clients your way. Please drop us an email here: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Whether you have an active abortion recovery program, need some help bringing yours up-to-speed or are prayerfully considering starting one; we are more than happy to help get YOUR program and center ready for ready for the individuals and families impacted by abortion. Phone consultations, center walkthrough, literature and web reviews are all something we enjoy doing to help pregnancy centers, medical clinics and other counseling agencies open their doors, and hearts, to the client who’s abortion affected.

"Abortion Recovering International, Inc. has been a HUGE help in getting our abortion recovery program and website up and running. We were really having a hard time trying to decide if we should renew our membership with ARIN because we felt like we were not getting any response from people needing help. However, ARIN helped us see that there were women seeking help but our approach and website was not "welcoming" to them. ARIN offered a lot of valuable information as well as their time to help us know what direction to go. I am so glad we decided to renew our membership!" 

       ~ Melissa Howard, Sound Recovery, GA

Our goal is for those people impacted by abortion is to find personal peace for their heart, mind, soul and spirit. We’d love to help YOU reach those hurting in your community!

Just One of Those People, Who is Divinely Forgiven...

Stacy Massey

President / Founding Partner Abortion Recovery InterNational, Inc. - arininc.org
CARE Directory and CARE Line - abortionrecovery.org
Recovery Encore - recoveryencore.org

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