Capital Care Network, in Columbus, Ohio, is a one-of-a-kind women’s health center. They do perform abortions, but before doing so, they offer the woman the services of something no other abortion clinic in America can – a fully licensed adoption agency on site.
Molly Rampe, founder of the Choice Network, said that “It’s not just a brochure being handed to women. It’s face to face. We’re here.” And that personal presence makes a difference.
One of the myths surrounding abortion is that a woman walks into an abortion clinic, says get rid of it, climbs on the table and walks out baby-free. But abortion providers know that the greatest problems with abortions can come in the aftermath, if a woman goes into a deep depression over her decision. Any reputable abortion provider makes certain the woman seeking an abortion knows what she is doing and has considered all the options. It is the myth of the words “abortion on demand” that have led to so many waiting period and counseling laws.
But if the option of adoption is just presented as a conversation, it doesn’t resonate properly. That is where Choice Network makes a difference.
Adoption is not a comfortable word for most women. It can conjure images ranging from warehouses of unwanted kids to “selling” a baby to nightmare foster parents who abuse children. Just telling a woman she can put her child up for adoption still leaves her panicked over the costs of carrying the baby and giving birth, not being able to work and support herself or her existing children. But the counselors of Choice Network can answer all those questions and many more. They can show the woman the kind of families, real families, who want to adopt a child. She can explain the options for affording prenatal care and delivery costs. She can even suggest parents who would be willing to maintain contact with the birth mother, relieving the woman of any regrets about being cut out of her child’s life forever.
There is another service that Choice Network is providing. Too many times a woman doesn’t know exactly when she became pregnant and has not had prenatal care that properly assesses the development of the fetus. In those cases, she could be denied an abortion because she is beyond the legal limit for receiving one without a medical need. Sometimes, women seeking abortions have histories with other children that lead the state to be monitoring the pregnancy and preparing to seize the baby as soon as it is born. For these women, adoption as an option prevents them seeking an illegal late-term abortion or having a baby put into the flawed foster system. It gives women control over what they probably feel is an out-of-control situation.
Choice Network is a brilliant idea, and one that is really needed everywhere. “Choice” does not mean always aborting a fetus. It can mean choosing an alternative to abortion, an alternative that benefits the mother, the child and those persons who want to be parents. The Choice Network helps turn a no-win crisis into a win-win-win.
In every legislature, but especially in those that have thrown up so many barriers to abortion, bills should be introduced that would help place full-service adoption agencies in abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood facilities, creating that perfect point where pro-life and pro-choice combine.