LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo — Resource Health, a pregnancy care center in Lee’s Summit, hopes its clients know they have options.
Alissa Gross, the chief development officer, says the clinic is a faith-based healthcare center established in 1922.
Staff hopes couples will carry their babies full-term, but regardless of the couple’s decisions, their mission is to make sure couples are heard, educated and supported.
“We often say that abortion is a resource issue,” Gross said. “We feel like it’s important that they understand they have options — that they have choices, whether it’s abortion, adoption or parenting.”
Licensed medical professionals will sit down with new patients for an hour-long, first-time consultation.
From then on, couples are supported throughout their decision-making process and beyond.
Services like pregnancy testing, STD testing and treatment, ultrasound, education and mentoring are also offered free of charge through donations and state funding.
The clinic serves about 3,000 people a year.
“Instead of just speaking rhetoric or speaking the things of the day using social media as a platform to express opinions and feelings, really saying I’m gonna get in the trenches. I’m gonna roll up my sleeves, I’m gonna get my hands dirty and do the work of the day,” Gross said. “So we want to sit down and work through that with the client — what are those obstacles, what do those feel like to you, how can we help?"
Gross believes there is a lot of shame and fear surrounding abortion.
That same fear and shame can cause people to hide and further distance themselves from education and resources.
Staff at Resource Health are actively working to break down misconceptions and equip couples to make empowered and educated decisions that is best for them.
“So often, we see a lot of trauma come from choosing abortion and what women and men feel afterward,” Gross said. “Women coming back and saying ‘I didn’t know, I didn’t know this is what abortion was. I didn’t know this is what I was going to go through.'"
Lana Uhl has been serving at Resource Health as the nursing administrator for 10 years.
She has seen first-hand the trauma abortions can cause patients. She felt it was a disservice to patients when healthcare professionals rushed the process.
“Often I would end up driving home, just really broken and sad for those patients, because I felt like they were just hurried through something that’s really monumental in their life," Uhl said. "This is not a quick decision."
She says abortion is not a political issue and hopes people will see the individuals with real lives and real choices to make.
“Our culture says that their grief and pain really isn’t valid because they were empowered to make that choice, so they shouldn’t feel sad afterward," Uhl said. "And so I think a lot of people do suffer in silence."
“That is a misconception about the pro-life movement as a whole, that there’s manipulative tactic or coercion that happens,” Gross said.
One of the core beliefs of the clinic is that men play an important role in parenthood.
Andrew Thom, who had an absent father growing up and is now a father to a 12-year-old, says he decided to oversee the “Dads Matter” program after seeing the impact it has had on his life.
“I can remember just playing ball at the park by myself, and I had to teach myself lot of things and it really hindered my growth in a lot of ways,” Thom said.
Part of the classes are learning about the risk factors of a fatherless upbringing.
Thom says children who grow up without a male-figure are more likely to go to prison, come from violent homes, not finish high school and use drugs.
“We really go into depth of what it means to be a man and how you can be more involved," Thom said. "We actually have a baby basics class for the dads where we teach them how to change a diaper, how to burp a baby, how to feed a baby, how to put a baby in a car seat. All these things that men can step up and do."