Abortion-vulnerable women in the Archdiocese of San Francisco and Northern California will have wider access to pro-life counseling and medical services, under a collaborative of pregnancy resource centers launching Oct. 1, Respect Life Sunday.

The coalition, Options United for Life Northern California Pregnancy Resource Collaborative Network, includes Options United, a Pasadena-based a nonprofit pro-life digital advertising provider and call center. Options United helps crisis pregnancy centers that often feel isolated and overwhelmed by the ever-changing marketing and communication challenges of today.

In cooperation with the archdiocese and seven surrounding Northern California dioceses, the network will bring clients to dozens of local nonprofits serving thousands of families. Currently these clinics operate at about 30 percent capacity. The plan is to build capacity, collaboration and community via digital marketing, while respecting the autonomy of each individual pregnancy center or clinic. Similar efforts in Southern California have generated 15,000 inquiries per year with over 5,000 referrals to local ministries.

“This type of unity and collective marketing is what is so needed in our often fragmented efforts,” Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone said. “The ability to offer local, practical and life-affirming resources in a collaborative spirit is integral to our pro-life mission of helping one another and of helping women choose life.”

United for Life, a nonsectarian pro-life educational organization founded in San Francisco in 1971 by Father Francis Filice, is funding the network’s first year of operations.

Counselors with a wide variety of backgrounds receive extensive training to enable them to respond to callers, most of whom are abortion-vulnerable women asking for help with an unwanted pregnancy and often wanting to terminate it.

Lack of financial resources is the top reason women seek an abortion, said Vicki Evans, respect life coordinator for the archdiocese.

“If our centers/clinics can offer the medical, financial and emotional support needed, the reasons for abortion – which seemed so compelling at first – seem more manageable and women are more likely to choose life. This is the goal.

Full story at Catholic San Francisco.