No doubt you have known someone facing difficulties when pregnant. In 1968 Louise Sommerhill, Toronto, Canada, opened a pregnancy center because she saw the need to help those who were facing an untimely pregnancy. The idea rapidly spread through Canada and the United States. Birthright of Greater Kansas City opened in July of 1971 and continues to offer love, hope and support with an all-volunteer staff. We are funded entirely by private donations. We have a central location at 6309 Walnut St. in Kansas City, Missouri.
The essence of Birthright is love, and we truly believe that no problem is so great that, with enough love, it cannot be solved. Whatever her lifestyle or circumstances surrounding her pregnancy, the mom can feel confident that she will be loved and never judged at Birthright.
People often ask about a typical day at Birthright. Each day is unpredictable. A pregnant mom with children may be facing homelessness. Another may drop in for confirmation of her home pregnancy test and has need for job information. Then there may be the pregnant mom who comes for maternity clothes and then confides in the volunteer that her husband is physically abusing her. We do have community resources so we can refer the moms to additional sources of help.
A few weeks ago a mom came to the door saying, “I came here to have my baby.” She was in labor and thought we were a birthing center. Our volunteers made sure she got to the hospital safely
A few special situations have occurred at our center recently. Early in the summer, we received a call from one of the operators at our international hotline regarding a call they had received from a girl from our area who was visiting one of the southwestern states. We initially thought that we were to call to follow up with her after the following weekend, since she was on her way home. But then, the next call that came in our Center was from the girl herself inquiring about abortion laws in Missouri. The volunteer her in K.C. talked to her at length and the girl eventually confided in her. The caller began crying and stated that she really did not want an abortion, but she felt overwhelmed because that’s what her family and friends were telling her to do. Our volunteer explained her rights and made arrangements for the girl to come to our Center the following week. We are thankfully that she accepted our help and continued with her pregnancy.
Our volunteer received a call from a girl who had visited our Center one year ago. After talking to us several times and coming to meet us, she did have an abortion. We know from our founder, Louise Sommerhill, that we must continue to love those who come to us even if they reject our help. During the call last week, the girl expressed how much she regretted her decision and how she feels like a part of her life will always be missing. She discussed going through depression and counseling. She said that she continually thinks about the age of her baby and especially dreads the one year anniversary. Now she would like to become involved in the pro-life mission, so that she can help persuade other girls to choose life.
A lady brought a friend to our Center for a pregnancy test. She soon became emotional just sitting and looking around the living room. She started remembering the volunteer who had helped her two years ago and asked if the volunteer was working that day. Tears welled up in her eyes when she recounted the special care that she had received years ago. Since her volunteer was not on duty that day she left the following note:
“Hi! Have not seen you in about 15 years-you helped me with my second and third sons. It’s nice to know you are still here. I don’t know if I ever really thanked you for all the help and for being such a caring person. THANKS- Sorry I missed a chance to see you again. Bless you for all the work you have done for all the ladies in Kansas City.”
Our work is possible because of the prayers and support of many. We are grateful to all who have any part in our mission.
For info on how you can get involved, visit our website HERE.
– By Glenda Merten, Director