Sharing the Truth: We Care About Moms and Babies

Sharing the Truth:
We Care About Moms & Babies

We keep hearing how Pro-Life means you are only Pro-Birth – but we all know that is the furthest thing from the truth . . . especially for every member of the Care Net Family. So let’s unpack this myth a little more below:

myth #1

Pregnancy Centers don't help women after their babies are born

FACT:

Care Net Peninsula provides resources to support moms from the beginning of their pregnancies through birth and beyond.

Beginning with a positive pregnancy test, we offer services and resources to support women through their pregnancies and beyond. We are not only “pro-baby” but also “pro-woman” and set a continuum of care into motion to help women choose life.

Our clinic team will provide a woman with essential medical services during that first visit. These services include a pregnancy test, confirmation ultrasound, and, if needed, STI testing. During this visit, we can also connect each woman with a range of community partners who help meet her other needs, such as insurance (Medicaid), housing, food assistance, church connections, professional counseling, and resources for older children. We aim to ensure each woman we meet receives the proper assistance in her time of need.

Some women we serve will choose to life for their baby and later suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth. We are here to help connect each of them with local advocacy groups, ongoing support, and care – as much as they would like.

We want to ensure that each of our moms (and dads) is prepared and ready to parent, so we offer the option to enroll in our free parenting program, Learn, Equip, and Parent (LEAP). This program includes a wide array of class options and, as with all of our services, is entirely free to our clients (paid with the help of our generous donors).

After completing their classes, our moms will receive one of our Bundles4Babies – a basket or bathtub overflowing with diapers, wipes, baby clothes, toiletries, blankets, bibs, and much more (all thanks to YOU!). We even help with extra diapers and wipes for the first six months!!

We know that women facing an unplanned pregnancy often feel scared and alone. So one of our passions is to connect the women (and men) we serve to one of our local church partners.

We ask each of our clients if they would like to connect with a local mentor who can provide seasonal discipleship for a few months or even longer. We have pulled together a group of mentors (members of local churches) who are there to bring these women (and men) into the caring community of the local church. If the baby’s father is interested, we can also connect him with a mentor!

Our team cares about every woman who walks through our doors. We pray that each one will choose life, but we know some won’t. So we offer a Post-Abortion Recovery group for those who leave our clinic and choose abortion. Why? Because we still care about each of them.

Just like our donors are part of the Care Net Family, our clients are part of the Alcove Health Family. This is what a community in action looks like, and it wouldn’t be possible without each of you.

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Tami Dierberger to Chair Care Net Peninsula’s 36th Annual Peninsula4Life Benefit Dinner

2022 Peninsula4Life Dinner Chair Tami Dierberger
2022 Peninsula4Life Dinner Chair Tami Dierberger

Tami Dierberger to Chair Care Net Peninsula's 36th Annual Peninsula4Life Benefit Dinner

Local business owner, Tami Dierberger, to serve as Chairwoman at this year’s annual Peninsula4Life Benefit Dinner. The dinner will take place on October 20th at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, Virginia.

Newport News, VA – This October 20th, over 600 guests will gather at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, VA, for the 36th annual Peninsula4Life Dinner benefitting Alcove Health, the Peninsula’s only no-cost women’s pregnancy health center. This yearly event brings together local businesses, churches, and individuals to raise awareness and funds for the pregnancy clinic’s medical services and resources.

The 2022 dinner is to be chaired by local businesswoman Tami Dierberger, owner and marketing specialist of Donatos Pizza in Newport News, VA. Tami’s passion for women and the unborn, deep community relationships, and history with the Care Net Peninsula make her the ideal chairperson for this inspirational event.

“I am humbled to Chair the 2022 Care Net Peninsula4Life Dinner and to work alongside a team of incredible individuals that share a passion for life”, says Tami. “I witnessed the life-changing impact Care Net Peninsula had on a young woman that is very dear to me, strengthening my desire to be involved. This annual dinner is extremely important as it helps provide the opportunity for Care Net Peninsula to reach many women right here on the Peninsula, and that excites me!” 

The keynote speaker for the evening will be New York Times best-selling author and radio host Eric Metaxas. For more information or to donate online, please visit peninsula4life.org.

About Care Net Peninsula: Care Net Peninsula, founded in 1986 as Peninsula Crisis Pregnancy Center, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides no-cost services to women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. In addition, Care Net Peninsula operates a medical clinic in Newport News, offering options counseling, ultrasounds, parenting support, and more.

    • Contact: Anne Sych, Director of Development
    • Phone: 757-591-0303
    • Email: anne@cnpeninsula.org
    • Website: cnpeninsula.org

June 14, 2022

The Battle to Protect the Unborn

The Battle to Protect the Unborn

We all have questions as we await the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health case. Recently, Colleen Holcomb, a local attorney and member of the Care Net family, wrote a blog post that details the situation from a pro-life legal perspective. It provides some history, insights, and a look ahead at what comes next for abortion across the country and here in Virginia. 

As pro-life Americans, in many ways, we are living in the days we have been praying for: the day the news declares that Roe v. Wade is dead!

Although it is not yet official, a leaked draft confirmed to be authentic indicates that a majority of the Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. These two cases have supported the Supreme Court’s claim that the U.S. Constitution contains a right to abortion.

Indeed this is great news! But, tragically, the battle to protect the unborn is far from over.

The legal situation surrounding abortion is confusing even for Constitutional legal scholars. The following is just a brief overview of the history of federal abortion law, a description of the current legal landscape, and actions pro-life Americans can take to keep defending innocent life.

The Age of Roe v. Wade

In its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court claimed that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution contains a “right to privacy” and that this right to privacy guarantees a right to have an abortion.

Because of this determination, the Court established a policy (which is not the Court’s job) dictating what kinds of regulations states were allowed to impose on abortion during each of the three trimesters of pregnancy. Roe prohibited the states from placing restrictions on abortion during the first trimester.

The Supreme Court expanded protection for abortion in the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. In Casey, the Court left in place the Roe Court’s claim of a constitutional right to abortion but rejected the trimester framework. The Court in Casey held that any state restriction on abortion before “fetal viability,” meaning the time the baby could live outside the mother’s womb, must not pose an “undue burden” on a woman seeking termination of her pregnancy. This decision and its intentionally vague language empowered the abortion industry to successfully challenge most regulations on abortion at any stage of pregnancy.

The End of Roe v. Wade

On May 2, 2022, Politico published a leaked draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In Dobbs, the Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of a Mississippi law that prohibits abortion after fifteen weeks, the gestational age that current scientific data indicates that an unborn child can feel pain.

The draft opinion indicates that most of the Justices have voted to overturn Roe and Casey, and the idea is music to pro-life ears!

Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito finally acknowledged:

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

So, Roe and Casey have been overturned, but does that mean abortion is now illegal?

Sadly, no. Through the Dobbs decision, the Supreme Court has determined that the Constitution does NOT contain a right to abortion. So, no federal “law of the land” requires states to allow abortion. But similarly, there is no federal law requiring states to protect unborn life. Therefore, in the absence of a federal right to or prohibition of abortion, the legality of abortion falls to the states, as it was before Roe. 

Justice Alito explained in his draft opinion why it is more constitutionally appropriate for abortion policy to be determined by the states: 

We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.

Justice Alito then quotes the late, imminently pro-life Justice Scalia’s words from his dissenting opinion in Casey:   

The permissibility of abortion, and the limitations upon it, are to be resolved like most important questions in our democracy: by citizens trying to persuade one another and then voting.

Immediately following the leak, pro-abortion leaders in the Senate attempted to pass a law that would have enshrined Roe in federal law by establishing a federal right to abortion at all stages of pregnancy, even to the moment of birth.

The Senate currently has a pro-abortion majority, so if the law had been brought to the Senate floor for a vote, the law would have passed. But thankfully, Senate procedural rules require a sixty-vote threshold to invoke “cloture,” meaning to end discussion of any proposed legislation and move to a final vote. Praise be to God; enough Senators opposed the legislation to keep it from moving to a vote.

Federal Legislators on both sides of the aisle are advocating abortion legislation to protect life and to require abortion. So, we need pro-life Americans to stay engaged!

Here are just some pending pro-life federal bills to watch and encourage your Congressional leaders to support:   

    • Born Alive Protection Survivors Act – This act would create a federal requirement that medical personnel must act to save the life of any child born alive after an attempted abortion.
    • Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act This would create a federal prohibition on abortion after the specific time science has indicated a child can feel pain in the womb. Some versions of this bill reference 20 weeks, but scientific advances since the bill’s introduction, have now indicated that children in the womb can feel pain at 15 weeks.
    • Women’s Right to Know Act This act creates a federal requirement that abortion providers must inform women seeking an abortion of their child’s gestational age, fetal development, and the risks associated with the procedure. 
    • SAVE Mom and Babies Act – This would prevent abortion drugs from being distributed through the mail or via telehealth and prevent the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from approving new abortion-inducing drugs. 
    • Heartbeat Bill – This bill would establish a federal prohibition on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected or around six weeks of gestational age. 

What Does This Mean for Virginia?

Twenty-six states have existing laws on their books or pending legislation ready to pass once the Dobbs decision becomes official that will ban abortion either entirely or within the first few weeks of pregnancy. Sadly, Virginia is not one of them. Virginia law currently allows abortion through the first and second trimesters of pregnancy.

In recent years, Virginians passed several laws to protect women and empower them to choose life, but when a pro-abortion majority took control of the General Assembly in 2020, they eliminated these protections.

However, a pro-life majority regained control of Virginia’s House of Delegates in 2021, and the pro-abortion majority holds the Virginia Senate by just one vote. If pro-life Virginians can build on those gains in 2023, we have an opportunity to save lives. Governor Glenn Youngkin has stated that he will support a twenty-week ban on abortion.

What Can You Do to Defend Life in This Season?

Now is an exciting time to engage in conversation about life. According to recent polling:

    • 56% of Americans support the decision in Dobbs
    • 71% oppose abortion after the first trimester
    • 58% oppose taxpayer funding for abortion
    • 65% would support a candidate who supports abortion limits

Despite what the media tells us, abortion is not popular with a majority of Americans.

Now is the time for pro-life Americans like yourself to get involved in the discussion, voice your support for life, continue to pray, fast, march, vote, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, continue to partner with organizations like Care Net Peninsula to support the mothers and fathers facing unplanned pregnancies. Let everyone know that we are not just pro-birth but pro-abundant life! 

Colleen Holcomb, J.D., Guest Author

June 13, 2022

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Why I Am Pro-Life. Why I work for LIFE

Why I Am Pro-Life
Why I Am Pro-Life

Why I am Pro-Life

Why I am Pro-Life.
Why I work for LIFE.
I work to preserve life because life is precious, all life is precious.

I never want another woman to find herself in a room surrounded by people pressuring her to end her baby’s life. I had been married for a few years and we were expecting my first baby. The OB ran the usual tests and one of them came back . . . suspect. He sent me to specialists at Eastern Virginia Medical School. My husband and I went for the appointment. They confirmed my baby had Down Syndrome, Trisomy 21.

The “specialists” at EVMS painted a grim picture of what her life would look like. What our life with her would be like. How she would need extra care. She would not learn at the same pace as the other children and would need special education. How she might never learn to care for herself. They told us that her life span would probably be 50 to 60 years and that she would most likely outlive my husband and me and would need someone to care for her. She would have been our first child – so we would have to consider how we could provide for her beyond the end of our lives. Someone suggested we would need to have other children to ensure there would be someone to care for her beyond our life.

These experts kept telling us the extreme difficulties we would face if we kept her. Not once did they say that there was help out there for families of Down Syndrome babies. Not once did they offer to connect us with resources to help us. Terminating the pregnancy was the only route they suggested.

Emotionally I was spiraling out of control. I needed someone to tell me I could do it – that I could care for her. That everything was going to be alright. That there were people and organizations out there that would provide support. I needed to slow down and process.

My husband was convinced that we needed to terminate our daughter’s life and every one of the “experts” was pushing for the “logical choice” to terminate my baby’s life. I felt alone and pressured to end her life. And I had no time to make the “decision,” it was imperative that the decision be made immediately.

I am ashamed, and I live every day regretting the decision I made.

More than anything, I want women who are afraid to have the help and hope they need to choose life for their baby.

I think if there had been a safe place to process and strong Christian counselors to help me slow down and process, to remember the goodness of God, to find the support I would need to care for my daughter, I would have made a different decision.

I want other women who are afraid and are only hearing how they should end their baby’s life to hear that they are able, that God can strengthen them and provide for them and their baby. I want them to know that God created the baby they are carrying, and He has a plan. I want them to hear the truth, and I want the truth to drown out ALL the lies and speculations the world and the “experts” are telling them.

I pray daily that God would open a way to provide counseling for women like me. Women who are sent into the “specialist’s” office, where the only thing they will hear is that they should terminate their baby’s life.

I am pro-life.
I work to save LIFE.
I work to preserve life because life is precious, ALL life is precious.

May 10, 2022

The Care Net Peninsula Family is built up of so many amazing individuals. You encourage us with the ways you fight abortion in our community and work to provide help and hope to local women so they choose life for their babies. You each have a unique story of how God brought you to this moment to take up this charge and we would love to hear it. 

If you would like to share your story with the Care Net Family send an email to amanda@cnpeninsula.org

 

Meet Carrie Cecil

Meet Carrie Cecil
Meet Carrie Cecil

Meet Our Board of Directors

Carrie Cecil

At the beginning of the year, we welcomed Carrie Cecil to our Board of Directors.  

Born and raised on the Peninsula, Carrie met her husband while attending Thomas Nelson Community College. Together they have three small children, whom Carrie spends her days nurturing and schooling. They are members of Reformation Christian Fellowship in Newport News, where Carrie first heard of Care Net Peninsula through a Bottles4Life Campaign the church was hosting.  

God began cultivating a passion in Carrie’s heart for moms in need during her own pregnancies where she suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It was during that time she came to understand firsthand how a pregnancy, planned or unplanned, is often accompanied by fear and suffering.  

“Care Net Peninsula provides hope and help to the fearful and the suffering moms in our community and I am proud to be part of this ministry!” 

We are excited to have Carrie as part of the Care Net Family and look forward to serving alongside her in the years to come and seeing how God is going to use her within the ministry. And watch out . . . she has a blackbelt in Tae Kwan Do!!  

March 31, 2022

Meet Teresa Chalsma

Teresa Chalsma
Teresa Chalsma

Meet Our Board of Directors

Teresa Chalsma

At the end of 2021, we welcomed long-time Care Net Family member, Teresa Chalsma, onto our Board of Directors.  

Teresa, alongside her husband Brian, has been a faithful supporter of the ministry since 2010. During that time, she has worn many hats in our ministry, and we have loved serving alongside her.  

As a Client Intake Volunteer (CIV), Teresa was able to see first-hand the work being done in our clinic each week. She played a vital role in aiding our clinic team during her shift and ensured clients were provided a warm and welcoming atmosphere.  

Her ability to connect with others and passion to share about the mission and work of our ministry made Teresa the first choice when setting up our Executive Leadership Team for our Peninsula4Life Dinners. In 2020 she took up the charge to chair the team and assisted us in navigating a fundraising dinner through a global pandemic.  

Aside from being “boots on the ground” within the ministry, Teresa, along with her partners at The Roofing Company, generously sponsor our events each year to help ensure all funds raised go directly back into our clinic.  

“I started volunteering and supporting Care Net Peninsula because I felt it was a positive way to serve moms and save babies. I love that all the services are free to women. The staff at the clinic is phenomenal!” 

Teresa holds a bachelor’s degree from Radford University in business and marketing – we look forward to seeing how God can use her skills and knowledge in those areas in the years to come.  

In her free time, Teresa enjoys being with her family. She has been married to her husband Brian for 31 years, and together they share 3 daughters. Teresa and Brian enjoy traveling in their RV, including a yearly trip with their entire family. The Chalsma family are members of Lifehouse Church and spend their time supporting not only local missions like Care Net, but they love to help spread the Gospel through mission trips abroad.  

We know this new season and new role within Care Net for Teresa will continue to bless our moms and babies and help to spread the message of help and hope to so many women across the community who need it.  

teresa-family.jpg

Teresa Chalsma and Family

March 14, 2022

Meet Dyan Gurley

Meet Our Board of Directors

Dyan Gurley

Last year we added another wonderful community leader and long-time ministry supporter, Dyan Gurley, to our Board of Directors. God has been using her to spread his Word and stand for life on Peninsula for some time now and we are thankful to have her as part of the Care Net Family. 

Dyan is a Certified Encouragement Consultant, Licensed Minister, and founder of Alabaster Women Ministries in Newport News. She has a passion for mentoring women of all ages, showing them grace and the love of Christ. Dyan is the wife of a military veteran and a proud Mom and Grandmom, who loves spending time with her family. In her free time, she enjoys sewing, crocheting, baking, and reading. 

Already over the course of the year that Dyan has been on our Board of Directors, she has helped to bridge connections to local churches in our community that were unfamiliar with the work of Care Net Peninsula and our clinic – to spread the message of our ministry that we are here to provide the help and hope local women need to choose life for their babies. We look forward to serving alongside Dyan and are grateful for the many ways she serves our ministry and our moms and babies. 

February 17, 2022

Leesa Conley to Chair Care Net Peninsula’s 36th Annual Walk4Life

LEESA CONLEY TO CHAIR CARE NET PENINSULA’S 36TH ANNUAL WALK4LIFE

Local businesswoman Leesa Conley to serve as chair at this year’s annual Walk4Life Community Event to take place on April 30th, 2022 at Newport News Park.

Newport News, VA January 20, 2022 – This April 30th over 1,000 community members will gather at Newport News Park for the 36th annual Walk4Life benefitting Alcove Health, the Peninsula’s only no-cost women’s pregnancy health center. This annual event brings together local businesses, churches, and individuals to raise awareness and funds for the pregnancy clinic’s medical services and resources.

The 2022 Walk will be chaired by local businesswoman Leesa Conley, Retirement Services Officer at Old Point Trust. Leesa’s passion for the unborn, devoted history with Care Net, and deep community relationships make her the ideal chairperson for this impactful community event.

“My father was the bi-product of a woman in the 50’s who decided to choose life for her unborn baby. Her decision to choose life for my father has birthed in me a deep passion and love for the ministry of Care Net Peninsula. I am honored to be able to carry on the legacy and chair the 2022 Walk4life.”

Registration opens at 8:30 am and the event will begin at 9:30 am at shelters 19 & 20 and will include a community walk through Newport News Park, music by “The Hunts”, family activities, and refreshments. For more information or to donate online, please visit www.peninsulawalk4life.org.

About Care Net Peninsula Care Net Peninsula, founded in 1986 as Peninsula Crisis Pregnancy Center, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides no-costs services to women experiencing unplanned pregnancy. Care Net Peninsula operates a medical clinic in Newport News offering options counseling, ultrasounds, parenting support and more.

February 9, 2022

Meet Pastor Shaun Brown

2022 Board of Directors Shaun Brown

Meet Our Board of Directors

Pastor Shaun Brown

Throughout the year you get to know our team and interact with us in different ways, but a side of that team you don’t get a glimpse of very often is our Board of Directors. These are faithful men and women from our community who have given a piece of their time to the ministry to help us continue to flourish and grow.

We want to take some time this year to introduce you to each of them and say thank you for the work they’re doing behind the scenes.

Pastor Shaun Brown and his family have been a part of the Care Net Family for over a decade, and we were thrilled to have him join the Board of Directors this past year.

“I am truly humbled and excited to be a new board member of Care Net, and excited to see what God has in store for the future of this ministry.”  – Pastor Shaun

Pastor Shaun is the Senior Pastor of Coastal Church in Yorktown and has faithfully led his congregation for over 20 years now. He received his bachelor’s degree from Moody Bible Institute and his Master of Divinity from the Reformed Theological Seminary. He has a passion for serving his community and leading people to the Gospel. 

We have been blessed by Pastor Shaun and his congregation’s commitment to speak for the unborn over the years by having Coastal as one of our church partners. Through the congregation, we have built some beautiful relationships with donors, volunteers, and even staff members over the years. Coastal has even been gracious enough to host and help out with our Drive-In4Life and Pop-Up Church4Life the last two years.  

It has already been a wonderful year with Pastor Shaun on board and we can’t wait to see how God continues to use him in his new role in the ministry.   

February 3, 2022

Joy from Pain

Joy from Pain

When I was a little girl, age 5, my mother had an abortion. There were medical reasons, but the effects of that decision were life-long for her and for my father as well as for myself and likely my other siblings. That moment stopped time for me, and what my parents thought would be the best answer for their situation ended up being a destructive decision that immediately brought remorse for the loss of a child who would’ve been my little brother.

Many struggles came from that painful decision. Most importantly, God used this terrible decision to help my mother make sure I understood that she was carrying a BABY that was taken from the world too soon and that that would never be an option again.

Fast forward 15 years, and my boyfriend and I discovered we were pregnant. We both loved the Lord but were in a promiscuous relationship together and those choices resulted in a pregnancy. There was no doubt that we were keeping our child even though some people pressured us to seek an abortion. We prayed that God would use our daughter to love others well and give us opportunities to share the Gospel with our story.

We have never regretted our decision, and 28 years later we have four children who love Jesus. We know and believe that God worked despite our sin through our repentance for our good and His glory. He is faithful in every situation. The daughter we chose to keep has made us grandparents twice over now, and we are so blessed.

January 14, 2022

The Care Net Peninsula Family is built up of so many amazing individuals. You encourage us with the ways you fight abortion in our community and work to provide help and hope to local women so they choose life for their babies. You each have a unique story of how God brought you to this moment to take up this charge and we would love to hear it. 

If you would like to share your story with the Care Net Family send an email to amanda@cnpeninsula.org