It is not unusual for abortion to be framed as the only choice for women facing unplanned pregnancies, or for families in need struggling at the prospect of another baby on the way. Yet life-affirming options are available. Though they are frequently maligned by the abortion industry, pregnancy resource centers can mean the difference between life and death for a preborn child, and a helping hand both during and after the pregnancy. Yet part of the problem many face is knowing how to navigate the many resources available during an unplanned pregnancy. A new organization, endorsed by the American College of Pediatricians, has stepped in specifically to help with that.

The Pregnancy and Life Assistance Network (PLAN), a project of the Susan B. Anthony List Educational Fund, helps with collaboration between assistance programs and members of the communities they serve, with the goal of empowering women and families through comprehensive medical, social, and material support.

Currently operating in Georgia and Virginia, PLAN’s goal is to connect those in need with assistance programs, and to provide those programs with aid that enables them to keep their doors open. Connecting and engaging with the community is another part of their strategy, as that allows people in crisis to know where to go when they need help. And finally, PLAN is working to develop a comprehensive list of services, so they can identify underserved geographic areas, or care that is not available. By understanding what help is needed and where the PLAN network can work to change that.

READ: Report: Most pregnancy centers get no public funding, but save communities tens of millions of dollars

Some of the organizations that PLAN supports in Georgia, such as the Morning Center, provide comprehensive prenatal and postpartum care, as well as counseling and educational classes on things like breastfeeding and finances. Other organizations operate baby boutiques to defray the cost of things like baby clothes and supplies. Obria Medical Clinic offers similar programs, as well as support for pregnancy loss. Women who need safe homes to prepare for their futures can find those resources as well.

In Virginia, there are seven sub-regions to connect people to 124 different assistance programs in PLAN’s Primary Network. Their directory includes a core group of programs which have specifically joined the PLAN Network and an extended network of more assistance programs that offer aid to women and families.

“We need PLAN,” Meaghan Lane, a member of the PLAN Board of Managers, said in a statement. “If we would just work together and organize… we could change the culture, where children and families thrive and communities support one another.”

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