“This is an all-out war on pregnancy centers.”
That’s how the Rev. Jim Harden, president of CompassCare Pregnancy Services in Rochester, New York, framed the current rhetorical – and physical — attacks on crisis pregnancy centers.
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Harden has been speaking out against this violence while attempting to shatter some of the claims from politicians and activists who oppose crisis pregnancy centers.
The Firebombing of His Clinic
Harden’s Buffalo clinic was among those centers firebombed by individuals purportedly infuriated over the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Women’s Health Organization ruling last month that overturned Roe v. Wade and returned abortion laws to the states.
The faith and crisis clinic leader said the building faced severe damage in early June, weeks before the Dobbs ruling was released. With a leaked draft version of the decision circulating at the time, crisis pregnancy centers and churches like his faced furor and damage.
“All the glass in the facility [was] broken, and the fires were lit, and the damage was catastrophic,” Harden said.
Watch him discuss the attack, the ongoing debate over pregnancy centers, and more:
Rather than receiving support from New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and other state officials, Harden said politicians have decided to launch an investigation into crisis pregnancy centers to explore whether these organizations are sharing incorrect medical information.
Hochul attracted quite a bit of attention this month for calling pro-life Americans “neanderthals,” something Harden responded to quite fervently.
“[Hochul has] referred to us as subhuman she called us ‘neanderthals,'” he said. “I mean, it’s like something out of a dystopian novel.”
No Support From New York
While a few state officials denounced the violence at crisis pregnancy centers, Harden said his organization hasn’t received any phone calls from officials like Hochul offering help or expressing dismay over what unfolded.
“It has been a little disappointing,” he said. “And instead of reaching out and saying, ‘Hey, let’s enforce the law equally, let’s protect all of our citizens equally,’ Governor Hochul essentially sent $10,000,000 to [abortion providers].”
Harden’s monetary claim surrounds a New York State grant program called the “Abortion Providers Support Fund,” which is giving out $10 million to 63 abortion clinics across the state — including nine Planned Parenthood locations — to expand their operations as they prepare to welcome more women seeking abortions from out of state.
The second round of funding will be $15 million and will include independent clinics.
Harden found this remarkable, considering no additional resources from the state have been offered to help protect pro-life organizations like his that have been under attack.
However, Harden praised local police for providing help and protection and said CompassCare has ramped up its own security and protocols.
“I had to relocate my family for a time due to the threats,” Harden said.
Pushing Back on the Narrative
The pro-life leader also rebutted claims from some like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) that crisis pregnancy centers are deceptive organizations bent on tricking women into keeping their babies.
“Pregnancy centers who provide ethical medical care and comprehensive community support, those are the truth tellers. Those are the ones providing true informed consent,” he said. “We’re the ones that are actually reaching women considering abortion and helping them understand, not only her specific medical condition but how that medical condition would be impacted by an abortion.”
He said organizations like CompassCare help women see their options and what life looks like if and when they decide to keep their children.
“Pregnancy centers like CompassCare provide the unmet health and resource needs of women facing unplanned pregnancy,” he said, noting that they offer baseline healthcare to women, including pregnancy diagnosis, information on how far along a pregnancy is, and STD testing.
Beyond financial help, Harden said his organization offers services surrounding aid and insurance, parenting classes, mentors, and more.
“We believe that all people are made in the image of God and deserve a blessing and protection — both the mother and the child, equally,” Harden said.
Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International, also joined CBN’s Faithwire for a similar conversation earlier this month:
‘An All-Out Attack’
Harden knows some are bent on stopping him and his crisis pregnancy clinic from operating.
“They have an all-out attack on shutting down pregnancy centers’ ability to actually reach and serve women seriously considering abortion,” he said. “[New York Attorney General Letitia James is] asking Google to wipe us off the map so that they can’t find us.”
James sent a June 28 letter to Google criticizing the tech giant for allowing crisis pregnancy centers to show up in abortion-related searches on Google Maps.
“[Crisis pregnancy centers] exist solely to intercept and dissuade pregnant people from making fully informed decisions about their healthcare such as the choice to obtain an abortion,” her letter read.
Democratic politicians at the national level have also taken similar action, asking Google in a June 17 letter to censor these clinics from “Google search results, ads, and Maps.”
Despite this pushback, CompassCare and other organizations like it show no signs of slowing down. With abortion restricted or banned in many states, more women will be in need, and these centers plan to keep helping.
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