We continue our series on Maternal & Early Childhood Issues with a look at Morning Star Pregnancy Services. They do an outstanding job working with women facing unplanned pregnancies.
The Harrisburg location for Morning Star Pregnancy Services at 2509 Front Street is relatively new, but the service itself is celebrating its 50th year in existence in 2022. The mission remains the same—helping women with unplanned pregnancies and with their sexual health. It offers a number of free health services, including pregnancy testing and ultrasound exams, along with education and support after the pregnancy. Morningstar does not provide or refer for abortion services but they help you to consider all options, including abortion, parenting and adoption. Bottom line, they are there for support.
“We know that all mothers would like to feel loved and supported in their pregnancy and beyond. We are also able to reach out to the fathers of their children and offer them support and education as well,” said Morningstar Executive Director Linda Plummer. She says they see a range of women and men who have just had a positive pregnancy test and just can’t see beyond the immediate challenge.
“The majority of women don’t want an abortion. They just feel like they don’t have another solution.”
Morningstar will schedule regular visits for clients and will monitor the changing circumstances as the weeks progress. As the circumstances change, so do the perspectives.
6:12 “the first time they come to Morningstar and feel that they have no alternative but abortion, they change on their second visit when we invite them back in a decision-making process on a weekly basis. They may come the second time and say, well now my boyfriend says maybe we can have this baby or now my parents are saying they will support me.”
Plummer also points out that 25 to 30% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Morningstar will help to determine the viability of the fetus through ultrasound testing.
“Because a lot of those pregnancies end in miscarriage, what we see here is that women grieve that loss of the baby so in the process, they recognize the idea that if I had gone through with an abortion, I would have been carrying this burden and I would have been mourning the loss of that child.”
They’ve been around for 50 years and must be doing something right for folks to keep coming back. The commitment to providing care and support without judgement has translated into a very impressive statistic.
“80% of the time that women who come here who are at risk for an abortion will decide to have their child.”
Plummer says many of the 20% who choose otherwise later return in a subsequent pregnancy.