Conservative Spotlight: Care Net


At times, pro-abortion activists and politicians claim that the pro-life movement wants to cut off a needed option for women without offering anything in return. They say that pro-lifers have little compassion for women who cannot cope with having a baby. Care Net is one of the pro-life organizations that prove otherwise.

“We have 700 pregnancy centers in the United States and Canada,” says Kurt Entsminger, new president of Care Net. “We helped 300,000 clients last year, and 70,000 of them were pregnant women.” All services at Care Net-affiliated centers are free of charge, he said.

“These centers offer free pregnancy tests, peer counseling, post-abortion support and other practical help to women and men facing pregnancy-related concerns,” says Care Net literature. “Our focus is women in need . . .. In 2000, approximately three million women were forced to deal with the fear and trauma of an unplanned pregnancy. Too many times, they found that they could turn to no one for help.”

Care Net, a non-profit Christian organization, also offers an Option Line (1-800-395-HELP) that features counselors and referrals to pregnancy centers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “We have an advertising campaign on billboards across the country,” said Entsminger. “We are now getting 50,000 calls a year.” Care Net estimates that one of its 10,000 billboards is seen three billion times annually. Care Net, along with Heartbeat International, has also taken over, which receives 25,000 visits a week and performs a function similar to the Option Line.

Care Net centers not only connect pregnant women to doctors for medical care and to adoption agencies, they help women struggling with trauma after they have aborted their babies. Men, who sometimes have their children aborted against their will, can also suffer after an abortion. “Some men experience instability in relationships with women, inability to bond with children, sleeplessness and nightmares,” says Care Net. “There are often avoidance behaviors or addictions and sexual dysfunction. A lack of confidence, depression or fear of failure or rejection is often noted. Some men cope with uncontrollable rage or loneliness and numbness.”

“We have done surveys which show that when women who have had abortions are asked if they would have had an abortion if they had known a positive option was available, most say no,” said Entsminger. He said that at most, 3% of abortions are due to rape, incest, or health concerns. He said that Care Net favors the Informed Choice Act (HR 195, S 340) sponsored by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R.-Fla.) and Sen. Jim Bunning (R.-Ky.), which would “authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make grants to non-profit tax-exempt organizations for the purchase of ultrasound equipment to provide free examinations to pregnant women needing such services.”

“NARAL and Planned Parenthood are on record opposing the Informed Choice Act,” said Entsminger in a press release trumpeting the bill and Newsweek’s June 9, 2003 issue that featured a series of photographs of unborn children. “They don’t want women to see ultrasound pictures because they know ultrasounds deter women from getting abortions.”

Care Net, previously known as the Christian Action Council, was founded in 1975 by Dr. Harold O.J. Brown with assistance from Dr. C. Everett Koop (later surgeon-general) and the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer. It will hold a National Pregnancy Center Conference at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, Ga. on Oct. 2-4, 2003.

“Abstinence is the best choice to avoid emotional, physical and personal consequences of sex outside of marriage,” says Care Net literature. Perhaps not only abstinence education is needed for both sexes, but self-respect training for girls, who apparently don’t know how to say no: “One thousand sexually active teenage girls were asked what they most wanted to know about sex,” Care Net reports. “Eighty-three per cent of them responded that they wanted to know ‘how to say no without hurting the boy’s feelings.’”

Entsminger noted one sphere in which the country’s approximately 2,000 pro-life pregnancy centers are deficient. “We need to locate centers better,” he said. “We are not reaching the inner cities very well. For example, over half of pregnancies to black women in the District of Columbia end in abortion.” Said Matt Waters, Care Net vice president, “Our opposition is in the most populous places.” So now, said Entsminger, “We have hired an African-American woman as a coordinator to expand our presence in inner cities.”

He said that pro-lifers who believe that a political or legal end to the abortion epidemic is near at hand are ignoring reality. There are other ways to “make a dent in the problem,” he said.

Care Net may be reached at 109 Carpenter Dr., Suite 100, Sterling, Va. 20164 (703-478-5661; fax: 703-478-5668; e-mail:; website: