NPR : Fresh Air

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Involved For Life: Pregnancy Centers In Texas

While the number of abortion providers has been decreasing, the number of pregnancy centers has been increasing. According to The New York Times, there are now approximately 1,800 abortion providers around the country, compared with 2,500 pregnancy centers. These centers, largely run by Christian groups, discourage women from getting abortions and offer help during their unplanned pregnancies.

Some of these centers have been criticized by medical experts for giving incomplete or inaccurate information about abortion. Carolyn Cline is the executive director and CEO of Involved for Life (IFL), a ministry partner of First Baptist Dallas. It also runs the Downtown Pregnancy Center of Dallas, which offers alternatives to abortion for women with unplanned pregnancies and provides counseling, ultrasounds, adoption options, STD screening and treatment, and parenthood classes. Most of the clients are women with low incomes. The website claims that "in 2010, 257 babies were saved from abortion as women who came to our center for education and counsel regarding their unintended pregnancies were offered support for a life choice."

IFL operates a similar center geared toward collegiate and young professional women, called the Uptown Women's Center. It also runs a mobile sonogram unit. According to the website, "the one-of-its-kind bus was developed and designed for ministry in the most dangerous place for the pre-born: the parking place in front of an area abortion clinic. ... Sonograms on Site offers a safe, confidential place for those on their way through the doors of an abortion clinic to hear the truth of the Gospel, the ability to visualize their baby on the screen of a sonogram machine and be offered support and help through the ongoing ministries of the DPC (Downtown Pregnancy Center) or UWC (Uptown Women's Center)."

Fresh Air's Terry Gross spoke with Cline about the center's services, and about how the mission of the center affects the information it presents women on the medical and psychological consequences of abortion.

A full transcript of this interview will be posted later this afternoon.

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