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Letter: A deeper dive into standingwithyou.org

Ray responds to the letter "Abortion is not the answer to difficult pregnancy decisions."

A person holds a letter with the text "letter to the editor" overlaid on the image.

I’m writing in response to Chloe Kramer’s letter touting her club’s support for people facing crisis pregnancy . I hope her education at North Dakota State University improves her research skills. She writes that pregnant people in our community need not turn to abortion to resolve difficult situations—instead, she urges them to consult the website standingwithyou.org for assistance. Well, unlike Kramer, I actually went and looked at it, and found that it simply aggregates links to similar websites. And searching the site for “Housing,” “Affordable Housing,” or “Childcare” results in the unhelpful return, “No state resources found.” Under “Healthcare,” there’s a single resource located in Grand Forks offering treatment of sexually transmitted infections,.

The state of North Dakota recently allocated over $1 million to fund such “alternatives to abortion” as the Women’s Care Clinic in Fargo. What can those who forgo abortion receive there? If they’re willing to sit through enough classes on YouTube (a seven-minute video on the importance of the prenatal care they can’t get at WCC; a one-minute video of instructions on preparing potato tacos), they receive vouchers they may exchange for clothing (itself often donated by other organizations) in sizes up to 6X.

Kramer’s letter underscores the inadequacy of consideration for those pondering abortion, who do so for myriad reasons. Rather than direct taxpayer dollars to duplicative groups whose primary service is just providing referrals to other organizations, perhaps legislators might dedicate resources to developing affordable housing.

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated the cost of raising a child to the age of 18 in the U.S. at $233,000+. This doesn’t include the price of college. A package of donated onesies doesn’t provide a parent with solutions to homelessness, the lack of satisfying employment, unavailability of dependable childcare, mental health issues, or physical health crises, some of which do not develop until after a pregnancy is established. The maternal mortality rate in the U.S. was 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2019 (more than twice that of Canada). As long as this country continues to do so badly even at ensuring the survival of people giving birth, no one can call it “pro life.” And to offer the feeble portfolio of services at standingwithyou.org as adequate support for the following 18 years is at least disrespectful if not absurd.

Hilary Ray lives in Moorhead.

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This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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