If God wills it

Reflections from the desk of CEO, Sara Patterson

In just a few short months, the abortion landscape has changed dramatically. We are now living in a post-Roe, abortion-free Wisconsin—what we’ve hoped and prayed over for decades. Women who might quickly have opted for an abortion in the past are facing a “Now what?” moment. And we have an unparalleled opportunity—and obligation—to prove how much we care about and want to make a difference for women facing an unplanned pregnancy.

Since June, we’ve made increased efforts to connect with abortion-determined women who are considering crossing state lines to end their pregnancies. We’ve had a record number of inquiries, and, thankfully, many are coming to see us first. The combination of our brick and mortar facility and a mobile clinic that now serves five locations throughout South Central Wisconsin mean more women can easily access our resources.

When they visit our nationally accredited medical clinics, they receive top-quality, compassionate health care. They hear facts about fetal development and their own physical health, and the truth about abortion and its effects. They have a one-on-one session with a trained medical professional. Some receive a free ultrasound, a picture of their baby’s beating heart.

We give a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy the information she needs to make a truly informed decision. But we don’t stop there: We share the many ways we will support her throughout her pregnancy and beyond. And many find the courage to say “yes” to their precious child.

One thing we see time and again is that housing continues to be one of the biggest challenges our clients face.

Our current facility, The Elizabeth House, can serve up to seven women and their babies. There women find not just housing but love and acceptance from a family that walks beside them. They learn new ways to live and hope for the future. They find a safe place to build the resources and skills they need to thrive.

But The Elizabeth House is full and has a waiting list. Which is why we’re conducting a feasibility study to look at opening a second facility.

We’re envisioning not just a maternity home, but a resource center that provides parenting classes and resources, agency support, material goods and community referrals, a built-in childcare center, and perhaps a thrift store to provide job opportunities. A place that says to the community: Motherhood is something to be celebrated and supported and resources to support life are abundant.

While this project is in the works, we’re quickly moving to meet moms’ current needs. We’re offering more parenting education, more aftercare housing. And we’re looking at how we can further subsidize housing for graduates of The Elizabeth House so we can serve more moms on our waitlist.

With the help of local churches, we’ve established a benevolence fund. Did you know 77% of workers in Wisconsin don’t have access to paid maternity leave? And you can bet if you’re a young single mom in an entry-level job you’re in that 77%. This fund plus financial counsel from our care coordinator provides a safety net at a critical time.

This is an exciting time to be a part of this ministry. Let’s come together as ambassadors and advocates for women. Let’s help carry their burdens so they can become the women and moms God has called them to be.

If God is calling you to get involved in our expansion plans, please contact me at 608-259-1606 or email Sara at sarap@carenetdane.org