Wisconsin pregnancy resource center sees uptick in clients following abortion ruling
WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Planned Parenthood has been flooded with calls after abortion was halted in Wisconsin Friday, but so have pro-life organizations. We got a rare look inside one of their pregnancy resource centers.
The stories being told inside these centers are extremely personal. We were asked not to show anyone or anything identifiable. That's also because the centers are on high alert after dozens around the country have been the target of violence.
Within hours of the Supreme Court overturning a nearly 50-year law protecting abortion, vandals left their mark on a Virginia anti-abortion pregnancy center.
"Many centers have had to add security cameras, had to have more coordination with the police and all of these measures are very important but they also do take funding," said Gracie Skogman, Wisconsin Right to Life legislative director.
Skogman met up with us at one of Wisconsin's largest pregnancy resource centers that's now forced to spend over $6,000 on added protection because they're committed to staying open.
"They need our support. These women need our support and we need to ensure that they can remain safe to do the vital work," said Skogman.
Inside, the center feels like home, with toys strewn about, comfy couches and bright colored walls. It's serving women with a holistic approach.
"And we believe that these centers are giving women hope, they're giving them a real option. And they're offering free classes. They're offering baby formula if needed, cribs, diapers, just a multitude of critical support services," Skogman said.
As Planned Parenthood estimates 20,000-30,000 women will travel to Illinois to end their pregnancies, Right to Life is already seeing an uptick in clients -- 41% more compared with this time last year, including one who showed up Friday not knowing what to do.
"So there was a woman who had an appointment scheduled for an abortion and she had actually had abortions in the past, but after the decision she was in critical need of support and someone to talk to," said Skogman.
She talked to a counselor for 45 minutes, then came in and got an ultrasound and information on free pregnancy and parenting classes and free baby essentials, even a crib and handmade blankets.
Right to Life is now working with Wisconsin lawmakers for more funding that could even lead to free day care.
"It's at the stage where we are drafting legislation, taking lots of meetings, and I'm telling you it's going to move fast because there is a lot of support, a lot of support for this," said Skogman.
We know there are women out there who find themselves in the biggest, most difficult decision of their lives.
Right to Life has a pregnancy helpline that also includes information for donations. Here's the link.
Planned Parenthood is available by clicking here.