by Laura Lewis MD, CCFP
Every year across Canada, individuals voluntarily seek help at local pregnancy centres. The support they receive may include a range of services – free of charge and available to all.
Last year alone, 31,717 clients chose to attend one of our affiliated pregnancy care centres for help. Many of the clients cared for would be considered vulnerable, marginalized, and lacking support. Many were women who were unsure about their pregnancy decision, uncertain about their choice, and some felt pressured to have an unwanted abortion as that was the only choice available.
Pregnancy care centres exist to provide a safe environment for a woman to make a pregnancy decision that is fully informed, evidence-based, consistent with her belief system, and free from external influence. The staff and volunteers respect a woman’s right to make her own decision and seek to provide her with medically accurate information on all three options: abortion, adoption, and parenting.
After serving as the executive director of Pregnancy Care Canada for the past five years, I have seen the value of work being done each day. And as a medical doctor, I care that the information provided is medically accurate. Our national network of 80 affiliated centres continues to seek new ways and improved ways to serve women, men, and families, reaching out for help. Unfortunately, the good work done at local pregnancy care centres is at times mischaracterized. Perhaps starting a new conversation about the societal importance of pregnancy care centres would be helpful.
May we not overlook the value of local charitable organizations that compassionately care for the vulnerable in our midst – with integrity and great love. One might refer to this as charity at work.