Since the fallout after the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade abortion decision, pregnancy centers across the country remain on high alert after dozens of incidents of violence, vandalism, and intimidation against them have been reported.
"We were preparing but we couldn't have imagined the response, the backlash from that," Toby DeBause, president of Crisis Pregnancy Center of Tidewater Keim Centers told CBN News. "There's so much anger."
DeBause shared an example of that anger at one of his center's five locations.
"They put "Jane's Revenge" on our window, spray painted the anarchy A on it," he explained. "Whoever did that must have surveilled our place and found that one moment to kind of sneak in there. They had to move quick."
DeBause said his clinics are seeing a record number of patients following the fall of Roe.
"We saw 2,021 women in the year 2021," he said, "And this year so far we've seen 20 percent more women than we saw last year."
But fake online reviews criticizing their work are also on the rise as well as abortion advocates posing as patients to harass workers.
The centers recently implemented high-tech security measures with better surveillance and more control over access to clinics. DeBause said the improvements will likely total about $100,000, which represents a significant cost for the ministry.
"We've had to put the technology in place that when they come in that we can have confidence about who's coming in and that they can get in quickly," he said. "We want a system that will allow them very quick access."
Armed guards also now patrol the area.
"We had hired a professional security firm and told them when Roe gets overturned, we want your guards to be on our premises and they have been since Roe was overturned," the president of the center said. "They come out there covertly and overtly. Sometimes you don't see them but they're there. And sometimes you see them. So that's a huge change for us."
State officials and local law enforcement are also getting involved in keeping the centers safe.
"Our governor, our attorney general has reached out to us and other pregnancy centers letting us know that they care, they're concerned, wanting to do what they can in this moment," DeBause noted. "We have been so encouraged working with the local police departments. They've really stepped up, increased patrols around our locations."
The need is growing nationally as Philadelphia's Pro-Life Union office, which recently had a brick thrown through its front window and was vandalized, tightened its security.
"We have gotten cameras," volunteer Phaedra Anderson said during an interview with CBN News. "Some of our centers have actually even hired outside security officers to be out there 24 hours a day."
Despite the recent attacks, Anderson said more people are giving to the group's mission of rescuing the unborn.
"There has been an increase in financial support," she explained. "We got a donation for our maternity home for $2,500 after the ruling. Our applications for volunteers have beefed up. I think that this has lit a fire under some people who say,' Now I need to do something.'"
In the end, DeBause explained he and his staff plan to continue the work God has entrusted to them as they look to Him as their true source of protection.
"The Lord is our light and our salvation whom shall we fear," he said quoting from the Biblical passage of Psalm 27. "The Lord is our stronghold whom shall we be afraid? Even if the army encamps around us, we're not going to have fear, we have confidence. So our confidence is in the Lord," he said.
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