Prevention, intervention, education, and restoration help women and men work through all the options
by Alex Wondaal with Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (July 2018) – The large green house on Ridge Road used to be home to the Meeter family of Lansing, and Marge Meeter, an interior decorator, lived there her whole life. She never married or had any children, so she bequeathed the property to First Church PCA (next door) upon her passing. Now First Church PCA is using the house to help young women prepare for motherhood. The large green house on Ridge Road is the Lansing location of PASS—Pregnancy Aid South Suburbs.
The PASS website explains, “PASS pregnancy care centers are here to support you while you make decisions regarding your pregnancy. We are here to listen and offer help whether you choose abortion, adoption, or parenting.”
PASS takes a holistic approach to pregnancy assistance, offering four categories of services—prevention, intervention, education, and restoration.
Prevention includes a class called “Impact” taught to high school students in an attempt to prevent unwanted pregnancies outside of marriage. These classes are taught in over 30 schools in the south suburbs, private and public.
Intervention is offered to women who are already pregnant and who need to make decisions about their pregnancy. As the PASS website explains, “Whether you’re considering terminating a pregnancy or have already done so, abortion is a serious matter that can have a lifelong impact on you and even those who are important to you. At PASS we won’t judge you for your decision, but we do believe you deserve to have everything you need to make an informed decision; a decision that you won’t ever look back on and regret.” PASS offers ultrasounds to pregnant women, and Dilbeck says nationally, 78% of women who see their ultrasounds decide not to abort. However, at the three PASS locations, 88% of women who see their ultrasound decide against abortion. PASS provides information about parenting or adoption for women who choose not to terminate their pregnancy.
The education category of services includes Abundant Life, a parenting education program. These classes involve fathers as well as mothers, and the new parents are taught relationship skills and basic life skills. Fathers are even given welding and CDL training, so that they can help support a family. The expectant parents are encouraged by counselors, and given supplies and goods needed to raise a baby.
The final section is restoration, because PASS recognizes the dramatic impact pregnancy and abortion can have on a young couple’s life. The Hope & Healing Program is specifically designed for both women and men who have gone through an abortion experience. The program is confidential, and it is led by women and men who can speak from their own personal experience.
Founded in 1983, the PASS organization is not affiliated with any particular church or denomination, but it is a Christian faith-based group that teaches the gospel to its clients and is openly pro-life without being judgmental. Church membership or religious affiliation is not required to receive care from PASS. PASS clients include many non-religious women.
PASS does not use any of its funds politically. Instead, they focus on what Dilbeck called the “front lines of the prolife movement.”
In addition to the Lansing location, PASS has centers in Chicago Heights, Tinley Park, and South Holland. PASS receives no government funding, so the organization depends on donations from the community. According to Executive Director Tim Dilbeck, 79% of funding goes directly towards programs, which is 14% higher than the national average for non-profit establishments.
In Lansing, PASS is located at 3116 Ridge Road.