This summer, both sides of America’s biggest cultural divide will be stand next to each other upon the opening of a pro-life crisis pregnancy center next to an infamous abortion provider. The Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns (CPC) will stand athwart Planned Parenthood, breaking their monopolistic hold on choice, and, God willing, save thousands of unborn lives.
In 1980, the CPC was established with the mission “to protect the physical, emotional and spiritual lives of women and their unborn children.” Today, it remains the largest Christian pro-life organization in the state of Maryland. Four locations served 1084 women, gave $238,000 in material aid, and assisted roughly 8,000 other women through their 24-hour hotline in 2019 alone.
The center provides free health essentials and services to mothers and their newborn while instituting a system for distribution of material aid that incentivizes mothers to return for anything they may need in the future. Pregnancy tests, sonograms, prenatal vitamins, peer counseling, and baby clothes to name a few. All this is done to make choosing life seem less daunting to mothers who are considering abortion.
“Most women do not get abortions because they have a choice, they do so because they think they don’t have a choice,” said Tom Schetelich, chairman of CPC’s board of directors.
Welcoming and embracing expecting mothers opens the door for relationships to form, not just between mothers and CPC staff, but between the mothers themselves. Testimonials from former clients speak to the powerful bonds that are created through these relationships. This is not a place for mothers to be merely dissuaded from abortion before being sent home. Rather, CPC is a place where the life and well-being of mother and child is cherished.
Motivated by their faith, the Center for Pregnancy Concerns turns the travesty of abortion into an opportunity to spread the gospel message to the thousands of troubled women who walk through their doors looking for help. “The goal of a pro-life organization is not just life, it is abundant life in Jesus Christ,” Schetelich said.
In 2017, a new and unique opportunity came to fruition for the center that would allow them to further pursue such a goal. It came in the form of a decrepit, derelict, and dilapidated, yet indispensable building went up for auction at 328 N Howard Street in the heart of Baltimore. Indispensable because sitting directly adjacent to this piece of property, at 330 N Howard Street, stands Planned Parenthood.
Phone calls from pro-lifers walking down Howard Street swarmed the CPC offices, alerting them of the building that was up for auction and urging them to place a bid. Late nights, emergency board meetings and resolute urgency commenced within the ranks of the CPC. Realizing the unique opportunity 328 Howard street presented, they put forth a bid and waited.
In January 2017, with funds from two anonymous benefactors, the CPC won that auction, paying $94,500.
But the story doesn’t end there.
Gretchen Carney, Director of Development at CPC said, “The place was a wreck. You could look up and see the sky.” It took more than a year and tremendous financial commitment just to get the building up to code. Consequently, CPC found themselves $500,000 short of what they needed to finish the project.
Providentially in 2019, another anonymous donor called the CPC explaining their willingness to cover the half a million-dollar balance and make this 5th location become a reality. The check arrived within two days.
“328 Howard Street is a story about the faithfulness of God…All that we needed, He has provided.” Carney said.
The CPC is unlike many pro-life organizations in that it recoils from any talk of politics. Forgoing political alignment while dealing with such a politically charged issue may initially seem self-defeating. Refreshingly though, their work makes partisan bickering from lawmakers in faraway places seem as out of touch and unimpactful as they likely are. Likewise their decision to move next to Planned Parenthood is not motivated by a spiteful, contrarian, “own-the-libs” attitude. The center refuses to label those who would take a different position on the abortion question as an enemy, Planned Parenthood included. Their issue lies with the act itself.
It is because of their genuine love for God that the CPC serves and protects His born and unborn children. They are a shining example of what it means to be a pro-life christian.
At long last, a real choice is coming to a crisis-stricken city full of crisis-stricken women. Lord willing, thousands of lives will be saved and enriched thanks to the Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns. May God continue to bless them and their efforts.
To support the CPC, please click the link here.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.