The ins and outs of a local crisis pregnancy center

The Happy Trail

By Emma Holmes

Crisis pregnancy centers can, theoretically, be hugely helpful for people faced with unexpected pregnancies. These organizations serve to find and offer resources to help inform pregnant clients of their options (parenthood, adoption, abortion), and fund the necessary medical services.

However, because crisis pregnancy centers are often established and funded as non-profit groups, their donors’ social and political stances can frame the organization’s motives and intentionally or unintentionally influence a person’s decision during this potentially stressful time. In Tacoma, the primary crisis pregnancy center is Care Net Pregnancy and Family Services of Puget Sound.

The following is an email exchange with Executive Director Kim Triller, in which my goal was to clarify the ways Care Net navigates its funding and subsequently approaches clients’ options. Here’s the some of the answers I received, and the options Care Net offers should you or someone you know desire to use their services.

What is Care Net’s number one priority when people call their center with a crisis pregnancy?

“Our first priority is to listen to the individual and ask good questions to determine in which way we can serve her/him best.”

Does Care Net promote abortion as an equally viable alternative to parenting and adoption?

“Care Net Pregnancy and Family Services of Puget Sound is a woman-focused organization. We understand that the choice to determine which option (abortion, adoption or parenting) should be made by the pregnant woman without coercion, pressure, judgment or fear. For this reason, our trained and certified client advocates will present each option in a neutral way and allow each woman to determine the pros and cons of each option for herself.”

Is Care Net a religiously affiliated organization? If so, what religion/ sect? Is there an original founding organization?

“Care Net Pregnancy & Family Services of Puget Sound is a faith-based organization who serves all people who call or come through our doors with compassion, respect and dignity. It does not matter the background, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, creed, or socio-economic status of the individuals we serve. … Care Net Pregnancy & Family Services of Puget Sound was organized as a non-profit in 1982 and serves in King and Pierce Counties in Washington State. Care Net of Puget Sound has our own Board of Directors who determine and approve the services that we offer. We also have an Advisory Board, 46-member Medical Advisory Council, Legal Advisory Council and currently has over 40 medical professionals serving in our organization.”

Does Care Net receive government funding, either at the Federal, State, or Local level? If so, what percent of the organization’s costs are subsidized?

“Care Net Pregnancy & Family Services of Puget Sound does not receive any Federal, State or Local government funding. Our main source of funding (71%) comes from individuals who care deeply about women making pregnancy decisions and the support they need in their lives after their pregnancy. The rest of our funding comes from churches, businesses and foundations.”

CareNet offers:

  • 24/7/365 Helpline, 1-877-NOT-ALONE
  • Free Pregnancy testing, options education
  • Free Limited Obstetrical Ultrasounds
  • Free STI screening and follow up consultation
  • Free Medical Consultations for our patients
  • Free Early Bird Prenatal Classes
  • Free Childbirth Education Classes (in some of our Center locations)
  • Free Breastfeeding classes (in some of our Pregnancy Center locations)
  • Women’s Mobile Medical Unit in select locations in Seattle/King County (services are at no charge to our patients)
  • Free Parenting Classes: couples, Teen Moms, Fathers, group and individual
  • Free Maternity and Baby Supplies
  • Community Referrals and Resources
  • Free Perinatal Hospice support and referrals to community resources
  • Free Pregnancy Loss Support groups
  • Free Presentations in Sex Trafficking Awareness, Healthy Relationships, and Teen Life Skills.

They do make it very clear that they are not ever intended to be a family planning clinic. They offer free consultations, services and material resources to people faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Care Net Puget Sound is in Tacoma at 1924 S. Cedar St., but has several other locations throughout King and Pierce counties. To schedule an appointment in Tacoma, you can call (253)383-2988.

If you are seeking abortion services, you can contact Planned Parenthood at (800)769-0045 or Cedar River Clinic at (253)473-6031.

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