Live from Music Row, Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – guest host Aaron Gulbransen welcomed Chelsey Youman, Texas state director and national legislative advisor for the Human Coalition Action, to the newsmaker line to describe the pro-life services Human Coalition Action offers to pregnant women.
Gulbransen: On our newsmaker line we have Chelsey Youman with the Human Coalition Action. How are you this morning?
Youman: I’m doing well. Thanks for having me today.
Gulbransen: Chelsey, can you tell us about the Human Coalition and the work that they do and also the work that happens here in Tennessee?
Youman: Thank you so much. Yes, I’m just so grateful to be able to partner with an organization like Human Coalition who cares for pregnant women in need. And it really is that simple. Our goal at Human Coalition is to make abortion two things, unthinkable and unnecessary.
And that last part is where our work here in Tennessee comes in. We want women who have been told that abortion is their only option and who are struggling maybe financially or with domestic violence issues or with housing struggles and to know that abortion is not their only option. There is support and care and love available to her that is necessary for her life, and that’s where our work comes in here.
Gulbransen: I always like to ask this multiple times because one of the rules of marketing is we like to repeat things. So to get it to stick out in people’s minds, what’s the best website to find more information on y’all?
Youman: Yes, I’m glad you put that out there. Humancoalition.org is the best place to learn more about our organization. We do have a unique model where we are based. We have a telecare clinic where women, we want her to have immediate care. Our average client, we speak to within 24 to 48 hours of her abortion appointment.
So time is critical and of the essence, and we meet her where she’s at, which is typically in her phone when she finds out she’s pregnant with an unwanted pregnancy, she googles where do I get an abortion? How do I order abortion pills online? Here in Tennessee, even though abortion is illegal, she’s still very much able to drive three hours to the nearest clinic or find an abortion on her phone. And so that immediacy to care where she calls in immediately on the phone with a licensed nurse is incredible. We serve Memphis, Knoxville, and Nashville. Our next partnership is with our service pregnancy resource center where we provide in-person care with our partners there. And it’s really become a fluid model and innovative model in a post-Roe world.
Gulbransen: That’s amazing. That’s amazing work. The interesting question would be how has or has it at all, how has post-Roe impacted how the Human Coalition, does business and have there been any increased or lessened challenges? What’s the world been like for y’all?
Youman: I think that it’s changed in terms of the way women get abortions. As I mentioned, they go online now. She can order abortion pills without ever seeing a doctor in person and without ever leaving her home from her house. It’s mailed internationally to her doorstep.
And that’s the world we live in, which is why meeting her online and letting her know that other support, care, and options are available is critical. And the other thing that’s happened is there are more women to serve. There are still pregnant women in need everywhere.
So we’ve actually served about 3,800 families since last May. And my favorite statistic is that 456 children, little Tennessee babies’ lives have been saved by the program and our partnerships with just such incredible people on the ground who really know her care about her. And want her to ultimately get on her feet to a path of independence where she can parent.
Gulbranen: So that’s 456 human lives that have been saved in the state of Tennessee. Maybe one of them might grow up to be a governor one day. Maybe one of them might grow up to cure cancer for all we know. That’s a major number that is tangible. That’s amazing.
Youman: Yes. We’re very hopeful for the future. It increases every month as we continue to serve these women. There are about 37 life decisions in April alone, and that number, as I mentioned, goes up every month and we’re just grateful for the work there. She might have more children, or at least one, maybe more at home, and have difficulty affording rent.
She might need help with a job. We’ve had women come to us on a Friday night, and their partners were going to kick them and their two-year-old out of the house for not having an abortion. And that’s the type of critical immediate care that we’re discussing. It’s important work.
Gulbransen: A lot of times the pro-life movement from the political standpoint gets accused of being, we’re for the right to life, and then don’t care once the child is born. You guys fill in that gap, essentially, right? That’s a lot of what you do.
Youman: Yes. And I always say the backbone of the entire pro-life movement for decades has been care for women. We have pregnancy resource centers. There are 2,400 across the country. This infrastructure’s been in place for a long time because we wanted Roe to be overturned. We want women to have better options. We want to care for them and not neglect them.
We want them to actually feel empowered to make the choice they want, which is usually parenting. Our favorite thing we’ve learned about women seeking an abortion is that 76 percent of them say, if my circumstances were different, I would prefer to parent. And that’s a powerful gap-filling thing that we step into and do.
Podsiedlik: I’ve got a question, not to switch up who’s asking the questions here. I’m Megan, by the way. When it comes to you saying that things are being pushed online, I’m just wondering how does something like the Human Coalition fight against or fight for that space of being seen as an option?
Is it a search? Do you pop up first on search results? Do you guys do outreach? How do you guys tackle the fact that what you’re saying about women now seeking the answers by going and typing some things on Google?
Youman: Yes, it’s the same marketing as Planned Parenthood uses. We are going head-to-head with the entire abortion industry when it comes to marketing techniques online and to say our real competitor for these women in their children’s lives is out there and active and has $700 million from the federal government.
And that is our competitor. We want to put them out of business for their clients. And our goal is just to reach her in those same ways. It’s got to be innovative, it’s got to be effective. And most importantly, it has to give her hope because once she switches from fear to hope, her life changes forever, and so do her little unborn babies.
Podsiedlik: That’s so interesting that they’re pushing so hard with so much money to, it’s like a, obviously it’s run like a business or an industry that I just find that kind of in a strange way, terrifying. What you’re doing sounds amazing as far as how it affects these women who feel like they just don’t have those options.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Chelsey Youman” by Human Coalition Action. Background Photo “Pro-Life Supporters” by Human Coalition Action.