Guest Column

Entre “pro” neurs — delivering life-affirming women’s healthcare

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The Guiding Star Project of Duluth, Minn., and The Obria Foundation of Orange County, Calif.,  announced they are teaming up to create a game-changing solution for the delivery of women’s reproductive health services.  It’s called Guiding Star and, according to Founder Leah Jacobson, “We are creating the product that can replace Planned Parenthood.”

Here’s how the two groups plan to leverage their strengths to make this happen.

The Obria Foundation unifies existing pro-life medical clinics under a single life-affirming medical model and brand, similar to a franchise arrangement.  Guiding Star creates comprehensive wellness centers nationwide for women and families that uphold natural law and promote a refreshing “new feminism” affirming women in their unique natural abilities—ovulation, gestation and lactation.  So, Obria will be the medical office housed in the Guiding Star building along with other life-affirming resource providers.  The plan is to establish an Obria Clinic within every Guiding Star local affiliate.

Together, the two groups are committed to working together to create a nationally recognized, life-affirming brand that delivers high-quality, whole-life healthcare for women.

“The overarching goal in collaborating at the national level is to galvanize the courageous leadership of many pro-life organizations and form regional alliances to compete with retail, independent and online abortion providers,” explained Kathleen Eaton Bravo, founder and CEO of Obria.   In addition to Guiding Star, Obria is working to establish at least 10 affiliates throughout the U.S. this year.

Guiding Star’s Jacobson adds, “Working together nationally and with local affiliate partners, we will have a greater impact on saving babies, reaching more youth, honoring the feminine abilities, and strengthening women and families by delivering services in a comprehensive manner consistent with Christian morality.”  Guiding Star is talking with dozens of communities who want to see such a collection of services under one roof.  Working together makes perfect sense.

Fledgling to Flourishing

Since 2012, Guiding Star has collaborated with local pro-family resources in Minnesota and Florida to come under their umbrella.  In Tampa, Florida, they partnered with the former Life Choices Women’s Care Center in 2015.  They now operate as Guiding Star Tampa, a 4,000 sq. ft., pro-woman, pro-child and pro-family focused center that goes beyond pregnancy-related services.  At Guiding Star Tampa clients can access certified lactation consultants, midwife services, instruction in modern natural family planning methods, new moms and dads parenting support classes and even a menopause support group.  When the Obria Medical Clinic is fully operational within the next four months, a wide range of medical services will also be available.  So, what don’t they offer?

“We honor a woman’s unique abilities; we don’t disable them.  So we don’t prescribe birth control or chemical or surgical abortion,” explains Ana Stooks, Executive Director of Guiding Star Tampa.  She explains how their business model delivers services differently.

“When a woman walks into our center it looks like a high-end OB/GYN office. It’s located in the best part of Tampa.  It’s a warm, hospitable environment here.  Many of our clients are from lower-income zip codes, but they’re driving past other clinics and coming to us.  They light up when they come through the doors. This does not feel like a low-cost clinic.  They feel safe and esteemed here,” says Stooks.

“We know 60% of women considering abortions are already mothers.  So, we offer a child-watch area, so mom can drop the kids in a safe environment while she goes to the medical office down the hall.”

“We are a life affirming center!” Stooks says with enthusiasm.  “If we can just meet a woman where she is at and really listen to her and surround her with every kind of support that affirms and builds her up, she will have the confidence and tools she needs to be the very best mother she can be.   If she’s really not in a position to parent, she can make a life choice for her child she can have peace with.”

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“Having said that, I’d reiterate that Guiding Star houses a full range of services for any woman.  We are not a ‘crisis pregnancy center’ per-se.  With Obria’s electronic medical billing efficiencies, we can really serve all women–from homeschool moms with six kids to women seeking menopause support to women facing an unplanned pregnancy.  But the principle is the same—to support a woman where she is at.  Our family lounge with coffee and refreshments is a beautiful place where women can replenish, rest and relax,” says Stooks.

“If a mom can get re-charged just by coming to us, dropping the kids and maybe enjoying some quiet time in the family lounge or taking part in a support group meeting or hearing a great speaker, she’s going to be a better mother when she leaves here, adds Stooks.

Along with a medical office of the highest standards, Obria will also bring cutting edge educational outreach and social media capabilities targeting youth to the Guiding Star Project, according to Eaton-Bravo.  These are the modern weapons in the fight to keep young girls better informed than Planned Parenthood’s technologically sneaky tools from which they purvey hormonal contraception, chemical abortion pills and surgical abortions under the misnomer of reproductive health.

New Class of Entre”pro”neuers Rising

Jacobson and Eaton-Bravo are a part of a class of rising “entreproneurs” throughout the United States who are finding ways to meet women’s healthcare needs in more honest and meaningful ways.  With Planned Parenthood’s authenticity in serious question, the time is ripe for the comprehensive health services that meet women’s needs for holistically integrated and dignified care.

“It costs $250,000 a year to operate one of our clinics,” says Eaton-Bravo, “and we’re up against the billion-dollar a year Goliath, Planned Parenthood.  It’s going to require an army of people who believe in what we’re doing to support us and make this happen.”

To learn more about these dynamic organizations and their partnership visit their websites at www.obria.org and www.guidingstarproject.com.  With your support, 2016 just might be the year that these smaller, nimbler whole-life medical clinics deliver a strategic blow to the abortion Goliath.

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