Knoxville Pregnancy Crisis Centers Stepping Up Services After Roe Ruling


Abortion service providers prepare to Tennessee’s so-called trigger ban to take effect now that the county supreme has reversed Roe against Wade, considering options that include patient navigators who can help women get abortions in other states, as well as financial assistance to do so.

Tennessee anti-abortion advocates are also bracing for the new landscape. Beyond grassroots protest efforts in clinics, there is a sophisticated network of multi-million dollar organizations working to “save unborn children” from abortion.

The health centers have served as the embodiment of the movement in action and will continue to do so as the post-Roe landscape evolves.

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Many use marketing strategies aimed at deflecting the “abortion-prone woman”.

One such “interceptor” group, the Human Coalition, operates a hotline in Knoxville that provides counseling and refers “women determined to abort” to local health care providers who do not offer abortion services. abortion.

Human Coalition, a Texas-based nonprofit with a budget of nearly $19 million, operates in only a handful of states but says it has developed a nationwide network of healthcare centers designed to reach women at high risk of abortion.

“Our telecare clinics and women’s clinics strive to provide women with medical care and connect them to tangible material and financial assistance,” said Jeff Bradford, president of the Human Coalition, in an email this week. last at Knox News. “This is the future of the pro-life movement, regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, and we are fulfilling that mission right now.”

Bradford said the Human Coalition also operates telecare clinics in the Memphis and Nashville areas that are staffed by local residents.

The State of Tennessee has allocated $3 million in this year’s budget to the Human Coalition. This money funded call centersaccording to the Associated Press.

Human Coalition did not provide specifics as to where, specifically, it refers to pregnant women. There are two crisis pregnancy centers in Knox County, the Catholic Charities Pregnancy Help Center and the Hope Resource Center.

What services are offered by pregnancy help centres?

Andrew Wood, executive director of the Hope Resource Center in Knoxville, said the center's work will continue now that Roe has been overthrown.

Hope Resource Center, which operates in a brick building near the University of Tennessee campus, markets itself as a “free health care center for women offering medical care by licensed professionals for reproductive health issues, education and connection to community resources”.

The center says it empowers women to make reproductive decisions, and its website promotes a “holistic” and compassionate approach. The Hope Resource Center offers free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, STD tests and treatment, Pap tests and health exams.

Hope Resource Center executive director Andrew Wood does not anticipate a marked change in the center’s operations since the Supreme Court’s decision was announced on Friday.

“We are open today, we will be open on Monday,” he said. “We have served the community for 25 years, we saw a need in our community and we stepped up. We will rise Monday morning and continue the work to which we have been called.”

So what does the Hope Resource Center provide to its pregnant patients after they give birth? Online and in-person parenting classes, mentoring and material assistance, Wood said.

“We do 70 to 80 baby showers a year,” he said. “Once they finish school, we organize a baby shower for them. They will receive everything they need for the first six months, clothes, nappies, wipes.”

The Hope Resource Center has already seen an ‘increase’ in clients over the past six months, Wood says, which he attributes to both Planned Parenthood and the Catholic Charities Pregnancy Help Center who have lost their facilities due to fire.

“For people who are in difficult situations, they are looking for a place to go,” he said.

Regardless of what happens after Roe v. Wade, said Wood, the focus of her clinic will be “how can we best serve women in our community. We need to reach them, they need to know we’re here. These are conversations we’ve had and will continue. to have moved forward.”

Hope Resource Center counsels pregnant women and offers postpartum support.

According to a Facebook post, the center has provided 823 medical appointments so far this year.

“We will probably be a lot busier”

Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, which runs a variety of programs including food pantries and permanent supportive housing, has six pregnancy centers scattered around the area that steer pregnant women away from abortion. He also runs the Rachel Project, which offers hope-based counseling to women after an abortion.

“We’re trying to prepare” for the aftermath of Roe vs. Wade, program manager Sandy Davidson said. “We think we’ll probably be a lot busier.”

The Catholic Church opposes all abortion services. “This teaching has not changed and remains unchanged”, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Although the center offers free pregnancy tests, the focus is on providing post-pregnancy support to new parents with its Earn While You Learn program.

Earn While You Learn includes DVD lessons that participants can take in exchange for “baby bucks” redeemable for items like car seats and diapers. Participants are enrolled from birth to 2 years old and can choose from over 250 lessons available on DVD – on labor and childbirth, financial counseling, relationship lessons, infant and toddler care, toilet training and teething.

“These are wonderful lessons,” Davidson said.

Catholic Charities has a 24-hour helpline and recently reopened its adoption program, Davidson said. It provides referrals for rent, medical bills, utilities and housing, has a lactation consultant and a car seat program.

“It’s a one-stop shop,” Davidson said.

Catholic Charities offers services in Spanish and Swahili and recently began outreach to the Swahili-speaking community in Western Heights, Davidson said. On the medical side, the organization plans to start offering ultrasounds and STD screening tests.

The capacity of the program depends on the number of volunteers. They have over 30 right now and about 150 customers, Davidson added.

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