Braintree display features mother-daughter duo grateful for services provided by a Boston PRC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Teresa Larkin, Vice Chairman for External Relations
Boston, MA, September 27, 2023 – The Pregnancy Care Alliance of Massachusetts (PCAll) announces its first billboard, part of a long-term, state-wide public awareness campaign intended to highlight ways that pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) support women in crisis pregnancies. PCAll’s digital billboard, funded by a Boston-based foundation, will reach approximately 344,000 viewers during its four-week run along I-93 at Wood Road in Braintree.
Two designs alternate during the digital rotation and feature Lindsay, a local mother and her 8-year-old daughter, Aubree, smiling into one another’s eyes. Lindsay’s own words comprise the text. One quote reads, “No judgment, just love and support.” The other states, “My daughter is such a blessing!” PCAll’s creative campaign tagline, #ThereForMe, is placed prominently beneath the duo’s photo, underscoring the mission of each PRC: to be present for and offer safe and compassionate care to women in need.
Lindsay, a former client at the Boston Center for Pregnancy Choices (BCPC), chose to participate in the billboard’s design “without any hesitation” as soon as she was invited. “I think it is so important for others to know about places like the Boston Center for Pregnancy Choices! I am just so honored to bring light to not only the public but to anyone who finds themselves in a crisis situation.”
“Being pregnant at 17 was a very scary yet humbling experience to go through,” she said. “As you can imagine, I received certain ‘looks’ and questions from my peers at school and from people I didn’t even know. Once I was connected with BCPC, they absolutely made me feel like a person with feelings. I felt heard and helped, like this wasn’t going to be the end of my life, and I can still achieve and accomplish many things while still being a young parent.”
Diane O’Toole, BCPC’s executive director, echoes Lindsay’s comments about the Center’s purpose. “We strive to create a safe space for women and men to think through all of their options regarding their pregnancy and receive medically accurate information, emotional and material support.”
“Our clients love us, and they consistently report that they are highly satisfied with our services and would recommend us to a friend,” she said.
Results from a recent public records request support O’Toole’s statement. After operating for more than four decades in Massachusetts, there have been just three meritless complaints against the state’s PRCs.
PCAll’s Vice Chairman for External Relations, and Executive Director of Your Options Medical, Teresa Larkin, explains specifics about our state’s PRCs.
“In Massachusetts, 22 organizations provide free pregnancy confirmation services that include lab-quality pregnancy testing and options counseling. These centers either provide on-site ultrasound exams or refer for ultrasound. Many also provide parenting classes, material resources and referrals to community organizations that provide additional support services such as housing and health insurance,” Larkin said.
“In addition, 6 centers provide free nearly unlimited material resources for pregnant women and their families. Three maternity homes provide safe housing, education, and job training. All of these organizations rely on private donations and receive no state or federal funding. Most have been operating anywhere from twenty to thirty years and have helped tens of thousands of families.”
Formed after then-Attorney General Maura Healey issued a consumer warning against PRCs, and in the wake of attacks on their facilities in July 2022, PCAll’s primary purpose is to educate the public about how these vital community resources serve women in need – at no cost.
The group issued a response to Healey’s advisory. It also compiled a fact sheet and handout meant to dispel falsehoods. Perhaps most compelling is the 2022 impact report PCAll published, which outlines resources donated and clients served.
“People also need to educate themselves so they can dispute the lies and misinformation that they might be hearing,” Larkin said. “Do you know where your local pregnancy center is? Find out! Support it in whatever way that you can, be it your time, talent or treasure.”
Without such support, Lindsay’s story may well have ended differently.
“The people at BCPC let me know I had choices, that I was safe,” she said. “And they assured me that whatever I did choose, they were there with counsel and support for me. That has had a huge positive impact on my life today.”
“If I can give back in any way possible to BCPC, reach others while doing it and spread the message of love, support and encouragement that BCPC gave me, I am truly honored. I guess that is the best way to describe how I felt when I was asked to do the billboard – and why I wanted to participate.”
Since Lindsay’s photo began running on September 18, additional women, all former clients of PCAll member PRCs, have agreed to participate in future billboard designs. PCAll’s first billboard will run through Sunday, October 15.