For eleven years, Heartbeat has worked round the clock, literally. OptionLine is always open; there is always someone there to answer a call, text, email, or IM. Always.
Full disclosure – I’m on the board of Heartbeat. I’m honored to have been asked to serve.
You see, I’m fully committed to women’s rights and the advancement of women. In my experience abortion doesn’t do much for women. Maybe it’s a band-aid solution to a particular crisis, but most women who have abortions feel as if they have no choice. Many go on to feel that their lives were not necessarily improved.
Now there are lots of ways to fight abortion. We absolutely need legal and legislative efforts. But we also need efforts to meet women who are faced with a crisis pregnancy right here. Right now. And that’s the work of Heartbeat, through OptionLine, through its network of about 1800 affiliates in 50 countries around the world and its service to over 2400 pregnancy help ministries.
Heartbeat’s efforts mean that a time when pro-abortion advocates are declaring that anyone disagreeing with them is waging a war on women there’s actually someone who has sidestepped the chaos of political theater to actually be there for real women.
Is there a war on women? I think so. Look at the currently proposed Senate Bill (S196), often called the Blumenthal Bill for the senator who sponsored it.
S1696, if passed, would, for example:
- Do away with states laws banning abortions before 20 weeks.
- Protect discriminatory abortions that are carried out on the basis of sex/gender or disability. (Tell me, how does that protect girl children? Or any child.)
- Make it more difficult for states to stop telemedicine abortions and require a doctor to be physically present for any type of an abortion, including a medical abortion. In other words, a young girl, say 14, would be able to be diagnosed and advised by a doctor who’s 3000 miles away. Any woman could be. I don’t know about you, but especially when it comes to a significant medical procedure, I prefer a doctor who’s there in person. But women who are disadvantaged or in crisis might have to settle for a doctor 3000 miles away if S196 makes it all the easier for medicine to be practiced remotely.
- Likely affect ultrasound requirements. Hmmmm…sounds rather paternalistic to me. It suggests that a woman is not capable of knowing what’s going on in her own body much less that she is able to make an informed decision. Oh, yes, because when women have full information, many of them choose to not have an abortion.
But the point remains. Where are the supporters of S196 when it comes to a woman who’s overwhelmed by her pregnancy because she lacks the resources – economic, emotional, medical, etc? They can’t be reached.
But Option Line, privately funded and responding to about 15,000 contacts a month, is there. Always.
Early a week ago Wednesday, just after midnight, at 12.08 a.m., an OptionLine consultant was there to take a call from a young woman facing the challenges and difficulties of an unplanned pregnancy. At a time when most of us are asleep, there was someone to listen and to help. That consultant was able to connect the young woman to a local pregnancy help center, a Heartbeat affiliate. We don’t yet know the outcome of this client’s visit; but someone was there for her.
Which makes me ask, just who is fighting the war on women?