'Real Options' pregnancy center sees radical increase after name change, ultrasounds

by Karen L. Willoughby |

(Real Options)A billboard offers women Real Options to consider for an unborn child -- showing a mother's love.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Christian Examiner) -- When Real Options began to offer ultrasounds to pregnant women the pregnancy care center in Santa Clara County California that changed it's name in 2009 finally took off and began to save almost three times as many babies than it had previously. 

The Crisis Pregnancy Center of Santa Clara County opened its doors in September 1981. It was the second pro-life center in California, and the fourth in the nation.

"We're ecumenical," said Valerie Hill, Executive Director since 2007, and a volunteer since 1989. "We pride ourselves on being the body of Christ, working together to care for women who are facing life-altering decisions."

Under Hill's leadership, the CPC of SCC changed its cumbersome name to Real Options in 2009. That and other changes led to nearly a threefold increase in babies' lives saved -- from 250 a year before the changes to 729 in 2014.

"Last year 1,428 parents were saved from abortion," Hill told Christian Examiner. "Our goal this year is that at least 1,000 babies -- 2,000 parents -- are saved from abortion."

An increase in its operating budget allowed it to expand from being merely a resource, or information, center to become a medical clinic offering free ultrasounds for women with a positive pregnancy test. It also changed locations for its three centers.

The first center had been located in Mountain View, in what today is the heart of the Silicon Valley high-tech area. That first resource center became a medical clinic in 1999, to include no-cost prenatal care for uninsured women. Real Options today has three clinics: in Mountain View, Central San Jose, and East San Jose, relocated in 2012.

"That's when we learned the great outcomes we'd have with more strategic locations," Hill said. "We share a parking lot with a local abortion clinic. That's when we saw a huge increase: 66 percent more babies saved that year.

In 2009, Real Options received a grant from Focus on the Family's Option Ultrasound Program, to offer ultrasounds to every client with a positive pregnancy test. Nationwide statistics indicate that 78 percent of women who see an ultrasound of their unborn baby decide not to have an abortion, according to an article on LifeSiteNews.com.

All three clinics today are located within proximity of local abortion providers.

"We have no agenda with abortion clinics," Hill emphasized in the interview. "We are targeting their locations to offer women another choice, giving them another place to come to for support and medical services so that they can take time to be informed of all of their choices. We want them to make a choice that they can live with."

"We are a compassionate medical model," Hill continued. "We share all options [with those who come to one of the clinics], hoping they will make life-affirming decisions. We believe if a woman is equipped with full information given in a compassionate environment, then they will make a life-affirming decision. 'It's your choice' -- that's our tagline. We're here to love them no matter what they choose."

Real Options' records show that 91 percent of the women they see choose life for their babies. An unofficial estimate -- California does not require mandatory reporting  -- is that perhaps 35 abortions take place each day in Santa Clara County.

"I think we've made some headway," Hill said. "We saw one major abortion provider leave San Jose last year, which is good, and we saw one abortion clinic close their doors in our community."