January 2020

Laura Lewis MD, CCFP

I am proud of how pregnancy care centres across our nation cared for the vulnerable when much of the world was shut down.

When many businesses and organizations closed their doors in 2020 because of COVID-19, PCC-affiliated pregnancy care centres did not. Instead, they asked, “What can we do? How can we still help?” Centres went to work virtually and continued to support clients and provide supplies, while abiding by government health regulations.

Recently two Global news articles (Global News Dec. 21, 22, 2020) accused the federal government of mishandling funds and named pregnancy care centres, alongside the Bank of China. It seems an odd pairing. I cannot comment on the Bank of China angle but will speak to the latter.

In 2020, many helping organizations received the necessary support to keep their doors open and their services viable. Like the other helping organizations, pregnancy care centres are registered charities and have every right to access this support. Few would argue the legitimacy of using Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) funds to ensure a single mom has somewhere to go for support and material goods such as diapers, wipes, and formula.

As the Executive Director of Pregnancy Care Canada and a family physician with 22 years of experience, the quality and accuracy of the work we do are very important to me. We are the largest organization in Canada, serving and supporting pregnancy care centres. We are a faith-based, Christian organization, and yes, our work is an extension of our faith – to serve and love others. Our faith motivates our actions, yet there is no expectation that those receiving our care share these beliefs or share our worldview regarding unexpected pregnancy and abortion.

Here are some truths about PCC-affiliated pregnancy care centres –

  • Centres fill a gap in many communities for individuals uncertain or pressured about what to do regarding their unexpected pregnancy.
  • Centres do not provide or arrange for abortions and are clear about that. Every client signs a limitation of services form, which indicates this, before receiving care at one of our affiliated centres.
  • Centres do not limit a woman’s right to choose but seek to provide a safe place where she can work through the pressures she is facing and be empowered to make her best decision.
  • Centres also provide support for women and men working through the grief of a prior abortion. Many access this support.
  • Clients voluntarily seek support at our affiliated centres. They choose. It’s part of the “choice platform” that should exist to ensure no woman is pressured into a pregnancy decision she does not want.

It seems that the media’s ear is bent towards an unflattering narrative regarding pregnancy care centres; these are often stories from a small, but vocal group. We know their narrative is false and one-sided. However, we don’t show up each day to appease these views and accusations. Instead, we use our energy, time, and resources to show up and compassionately care for those often marginalized in ideological battles. We are here for the women, men, and families looking and asking for our help.

We respect that we live in a nation with diverse opinions and world views. We recognize and accept these differences. While the made-up narratives are frustrating, we believe that Canadians have the wisdom to identify and ignore old, false accusations.

We believe we are supported by many as we seek to uphold every Canadian’s right to access accurate information and compassionate support when impacted by an unexpected pregnancy. So we press on, using our time for good.

Originally published on the Pregnancy Care Canada blog