In late July, I had the honor of representing Obria at the 2022 Napa Institute Summer Conference. This annual event is an opportunity for people of faith to fellowship, and discuss issues impacting all Americans. This year’s Summer Conference was particularly joyful as it was held weeks after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Dobbs. The overturning of Roe has been the focus of our prayers for so many decades. Those answered prayers also provide us with more opportunities to help pregnant mothers. With this in mind, I hosted a discussion at Napa about what the post-Dobbs world might be like.
The topic of the presentation was Practical Applications Post-Dobbs: How We Move Forward. Joining me on the panel were David Daleiden, Founder and President, Center for Medical Progress; Kristan Hawkins, President, Students for Life; and Lila Rose, President, Live Action. If you want to have a conversation about how to move forward after Dobbs, these are the people you want to speak with!
Here are some of the thoughts I shared while leading the panel discussion, along with some thoughts I had after the discussion.
The post-Dobbs environment will be one in which the services offered by Obria are needed more than ever. California, where many of our clinics operate, is an abortion “sanctuary” state. We anticipate that many women will be traveling to California for abortions, and other “sanctuary” states - New York, Connecticut, and Illinois - will see a similar influx. This reality puts Obria and clinics like Obria on the front lines of a joyful mission. We get to provide clinical medical services and provide medical facts about pregnancy to women who are scared, confused, and convinced by society that abortion is just another choice with no consequences. Obria is needed more than ever before to be an authentic sanctuary for women who are struggling to choose between life and aborting their baby.
As a result of Dobbs, Obria’s medical expertise can help us lead the conversation about what whole health care for women is and is not. For the first time in decades, issues surrounding abortion are being discussed and debated in a robust way throughout the country. These conversations are happening at the family, friend, and neighbor levels, outside of the usual policy and life-affirming movement circles. Questions about when life begins, what it means to be pregnant, and what responsibilities mothers and fathers have are being asked, often with a sense of urgency and anxiety. Obria has the answers to these questions grounded in science, medicine, and provided by sympathetic medical professionals and first-class medical services.
The dominant culture in the United States drowns out, mocks, and vilifies health care from a life-affirming perspective. Many women - through no fault of their own - do not know what life-affirming health care looks like for pregnant women. Obria will be a key player in educating women about how they can choose outstanding health care that respects their baby and their womanhood. The Dobbs decision gives the life-affirming health care community the opportunity to reengage with women about sound sexual health choices, and the reality that abortion is not just a choice with no consequences, but one that ends the life of a baby, and brings physical and emotional harm to women.
To get women the help they need and deserve, we need to be clear about services that are provided at clinics and create a clear post-Dobbs roadmap for women’s health care. Pregnancy resource centers are valuable members of the family of life-affirming care providers but are not providers of holistic medical services. They are a place where women can get an ultrasound, learn about resources available to them, and talk to counselors who are life-affirming. They are not medical clinics. We need to differentiate what pregnancy resource centers do and what clinics like Obria do. Obria provides a comprehensive suite of whole women's care, as well as services for men. This is a key differentiator from pregnancy resource centers.
The theme of this year’s Napa Institute Summer Conference was the way, the truth, and the life. At Obria, we strive every day to show women the way to give birth, tell them the truth about their health and the health of their baby, and accompany them on the way to being a healthy mother who nurtures the life of her healthy baby. The post-Dobbs world gives us more opportunities to do this than ever before.
We are embracing the challenge with joy.