There have been a lot of hashtags, twitter trends and articles floating around the last week or so about fake pregnancy resource centers. The tweets and articles are short on facts and long on hysteria regarding what a pregnancy resource center is, and does.
Here’s what Wakota really is and what we actually do: Wakota is a small non-profit organization dedicated to helping women and families in our community who need help, housing and material assistance (diapers and wipes, maternity clothes, baby clothes, pack ‘n’ plays, etc.) , education and training, resources, referrals and support.
Abortion advocates are “exposing” pregnancy resource centers for not referring and offering abortions or birth control. They cite centers who shame, blame, preach and pressure women who may be pregnant. These advocates are claiming that centers lie about the dangers of abortion. They also mention that employees are non-medical poseurs. If there are clinics that blame, shame, lie or pressure women, then we at Wakota agree that those centers are doing their clients a disservice.
At Wakota, our ultrasounds are offered twice a week and are performed by a licensed, registered nurse and overseen by a medical doctor. We have a Medical Director, who oversees our operations and conducts regular quality control measures. We work with many medical practices in our area, and commonly refer to two within a two-mile radius of Wakota. Based on our relationship with them, they will see women without conditions, e.g. no insurance, immigration status, previous conditions and more. These providers have systems in place to allow for sliding scale fees or assistance with obtaining insurance.
The information Wakota provides to women regarding abortion and fetal development comes directly from the Minnesota Department of Health. As a recipient of the Minnesota Department of Health’s Positive Alternatives Grant, our grant agreement specifically prohibits us from referring for abortions, and cause a loss of these funds.
Wakota is much like the little engine that could – doing big things on a small budget in an even smaller space . Wakota sees more clients than any other pregnancy resource center in the Twin Cities (for example, we served 330 women + families in May 2017 and 340 women + families in June 2017).
Wakota will serve anyone who needs our services – without regard to any other factor. If someone needs our help, we will do our best to give it or find a way to get what is needed. We do not exclude anyone based on sexuality, religion, race, sex or any other factor.
We do not judge, blame, preach or pressure anyone. We meet each person where she is, how she is, with love. We respect the inherent dignity of each and every person.
Wakota offers free pregnancy tests, free limited ultrasounds, material help, education and more. We offer referrals for legal issues, adoption, as well as help for those victimized by domestic violence or sex trafficking. Our services are given without condition or requirement because we recognize that some of our clients have very real and immediate needs for basic necessities such as food, shelter and cannot begin to think beyond those needs until their lives are more consistent. We do offer an incentive program for those interested in participating, what we call “Wakota Learns.” This programming was developed after conducting an eight-month survey of our clients and asking them what they needed. Wakota Learns is ever evolving to meet our clients’ needs and currently features group and one-on-one classes for affordable housing, finding safe and affordable childcare, breastfeeding help, intro to doulas, childbirth, life coaching, fertility awareness and car seat safety. We are adding a women’s entrepreneurial class later this summer to help empower women to establish and grow their business ideas.
There is nothing fake about what Wakota does. We meet real life situations with real, practical help.