I-Team 8

Family services agency bracing for influx of new babies due to abortion ban

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana’s near-total ban on abortion has organizations who work to support new mothers and young children bracing for an influx of babies into their system.

Places like The Villages of Indiana say they have their work cut out for them.

Shannon Schumacher, CEO of The Villages of Indiana, said, “My fear is that many of the women who will find themselves unintentionally pregnant and would have terminated their pregnancies, are going to be the women who are struggling the most.”

Schumacher says her organization was able to serve 1,600 pregnant women or families with small children last year. However, according to Indiana’s termination report, there are nearly 7,000 women getting abortions every year since 2015.

“We have a staffing shortage. So, even if we do have pregnant women who are reaching out to us for our Healthy Families program, we have a lot of concern because we can’t get our home visitors hired,” Schumacher said.

While the organization does not make any political stance on the issue, Schumacher says it is vital for Indiana to be prepared to support these organizations. This month, state lawmakers promised to give additional money and resources to help programs like The Villages of Indiana.

The abortion ban doesn’t outline how these organization will or should handle what is expected to be a major increase of new babies.

“We do a lot of special needs adoptions,” Schumacher said. “We really find families who will open their hearts, in their homes, to babies who have severe medical and developmental needs, because we do know, we absolutely know we’re going to see more of those babies.” 

Schumacher says local churches have stepped up to help the organization in any way they can, but she emphasized having a baby goes beyond just the birth.

“What’s [the mother’s] housing look like? Does she have access to job? Is there childcare? Can she get to that job? Can she get to that childcare? Can she afford that childcare?,” Schumacher said. “They need support. They absolutely, 100%, need support and to make sure we have services wrapped around those new moms.”

If you or someone you know is in need of support, Schumacher suggests starting with their partner, My Healthy Baby. You can call their hotline at 1-844-624-6667.