The Pro-Life Office and the Pro-Life Advisory Board of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington, guided by our Bishop to promote the sanctity and legal protection of human life from conception to natural death through prayer, pastoral care, public policy and education.
CareNet Pregnancy Center: a ministry of compassion
CareNet Pregnancy Center — founded in 1975 — is a Christ-centered organization to educate, support and empower men and women before, during and after an unplanned pregnancy while uplifting the sanctity of human life. This nonprofit organization empowers men and women considering abortion to choose life for their unborn children and find abundant life in Christ.
“I feel that the whole success of saving lives revolves around if the people who are serving them are engaged,” said Lyndi Zembrodt, executive director, when describing her volunteer staff.
CareNet Pregnancy Center is one of three local life-affirming organizations that will be honored at the upcoming Life’s a Ball hosted by the diocesan Pro-Life Office. Life’s a Ball will be held Feb. 12 at the Airport Marriott, Hebron. Tickets are available by calling Faye Roch, director, Pro-Life Office at (859) 392-1500. The other two honorees are New Hope Pregnancy Center and Rose Garden Home Mission, Covington.
“Every client that comes in receives the same information,” said Ms. Zembrodt.
Information provided to couples includes an explanation on fetal development and the development of their child based on the time of pregnancy.
“We do have to answer questions like ‘What type of abortion is available to me?’ With that we delve into our sourced medical information about what each abortion option does,” Ms. Zembrodt said.
It is important, she said, to use the sourced medical information to make sure moms understand the medical aspects of every option. CareNet also provides a free ultrasound to allow moms to determine where they are in their pregnancy.
“Education is our greatest tool, because once people are truly informed, 90 percent of people will not choose abortion,” Ms. Zembrodt said. “If we can do the things like pay for Google ads that offer a free service, such as an ultrasound to determine their gestational age, and they come in our doors where we are able to offer them service, they will choose life 90 percent of the time.”
Ms. Zembrodt said offering parenting education is her favorite part of her job.
“My favorite program is the Fatherhood Program because it is so cool to see a guy start to bond with his unborn baby,” Ms. Zembrodt said, explaining that fatherhood does start before the child is born.
CareNet’s vision is a culture where women and men faced with pregnancy decisions are transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and empowered to choose life for their unborn children and an abundant life for their families.
The organization currently has three locations Cold Spring, Florence, and Williamstown.
“Two of the three are medical and Williamstown is going medical in January, so we are very blessed,” said Ms. Zembrodt.
CareNet’s staff has expanded from 12 to 17 in the last year. They offer an internal training program for their RN’s to gain the skills of limited obstetrical ultrasound. CareNet is funded entirely by donations and, Ms. Zembrodt said, “the community support demonstrates that they want us here.”
That support has allowed CareNet to be one of the most accessible organizations in Northern Kentucky, offering a 24-hour help line for those in need.
“If they call us one of our staff will answer that phone and take care of their need,” Ms. Zembrodt said.
CareNet does acknowledge that women do sometimes choose abortion and some have had a previous abortion. Ms. Zembrodt described this work as the business of compassion.
“We understand that there are women who have chosen abortion and we want to reconnect them to God, we want them to accept the forgiveness that he has to offer,” Ms. Zembrodt said.
CareNet offers 19 different programs to help couples with not only the pregnancy but also parenthood and their relationship with each other.
Ms. Zembrodt has been working at CareNet for 15 years and has been active 30 years in pro-life ministry.
“I don’t get tired of it because of the fact that I get to see people overcome and become great parents,” Ms. Zembrodt said.
New Hope Center: Loving, compassionate and understanding
New Hope Center began as a small a pregnancy care center in 1989 and has since grown to three locations providing life affirming resources in the Northern Kentucky community. Each location offers ultrasounds, parenting programs and mentors to men and women experiencing unexpected pregnancies or challenging circumstances during pregnancy.
Karen Glass, executive director, said that ultrasound machines are “their most important tool” for helping women see that they are carrying a baby.”
New Hope Center is staffed by 12 employees, five educators and about 35 volunteers. The compassionate staff are an important reason why 82 percent of New Hope clients chose life for their unborn baby.
“Many times moms come here abortion-minded and feel like abortion is there only option. After meeting with our mentors and seeing their baby up on the ultrasound screen they choose life,” Ms. Glass said. “We call the ultrasound rooms our miracle rooms because that is where moms choose life for their baby … Lives are saved in our ultrasound rooms, but lives are transformed in those mentoring rooms. That’s where we can share Christ, that’s where we can teach them (clients), equip them and empower them to become successful parents.”
In 2021, the New Hope Center staff served about 400 clients during more than 1,200 visits and provided over 4,600 services and providing clients with more than 25,000 diapers. New Hope Center maintains an environment of love and understanding to help young people, especially those who may have grown-up without parents or without supportive parents, develop positive parenting skills from a dedicated staff willing to share.
New Hope Center also offers a variety of programs to help clients after their child is born. One is a parenting class called “Earn While You Learn,” to help soon-to-be parents learn about fetal development and parenting tips, while earning items such as cribs, diapers and other necessities, as they go through the stages of pregnancy and early childhood. They also offer a Fatherhood Program for dads.
“Everything we do is free to our clients,” Ms. Glass said. And the pregnancy care center is funded 100 percent by donations.
New Hope Center has created an after-school peer ambassador program for students and has also developed an abstinence program, which is presented at schools — specifically middle schools — to educate students in healthy sexual development and how to say “no” if they are being pressured into having sex or engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior.
“It’s exciting to watch them grow during these classes and have the courage to say no,” Ms. Glass said. “We have a great group of educators, and we are always looking for more.”
For women struggling with negative emotions around a previous abortion New Hope Center offers a confidential “After Abortion Mentoring Program.”
“Myself and this amazing staff are here to help make clients feel welcomed in a loving, non-judgmental way. From the moment a client places that phone call they need to feel that. As soon as clients walk in our door, they need to feel loved, cared for, and safe. Our staff and mentors are loving, non-judgmental, and it shows in a powerful way. Our center is a welcoming, peaceful, calm and safe place which is something I believe people pick up on immediately. When you have a compassionate staff, it makes all the difference in the world,” Ms. Glass said.
When asked about her favorite part of the job, Ms. Glass could not pick one saying, “Oh my goodness, it is all of it together.”
New Hope is looking forward to what the future holds.
“God is moving in some powerful ways here at New Hope and we are excited to see where he takes us in 2022,” Ms. Glass said.
New Hope Center’s 2022 goals are to expand their ultrasound program by increasing hourly availability. Expanding the fatherhood program and adoption outreach. Marketing will play an important role in these goals. Marketing outreach is a crucial part of New Hope’s ability to share their work and mission with those who need it. Google business ads, billboard campaigns, and social media pages are all ways New Hope Center spreads the word and awareness of their mission, work and willingness to serve those in need.
“If we can reach women and be the first place they turn to, we can make that difference in the choice of abortion or life for their child,” Ms. Glass said.
Rose Garden Home Mission — creating a culture excited for life
The Franciscan Daughters of Mary opened their first mission in 2005, before moving to a larger facility in 2010. Their mission, the Rose Garden Home Mission, offers women pregnancy tests and counseling to help them choose not only life, but the best life for their baby and themselves.
“We take a vow to uphold the dignity of every human person from the moment of conception to natural death. We see the pregnancy center as a way of living that out,” said Mother Seraphina Marie Quinlan. “This counseling is to check in and see where they are at, talk to them about what true love is and the dangers of contraceptives and abortion.”
The Mission has a 4D ultrasound machine, that was donated by the Knights of Columbus. In addition to these resources the Franciscan Daughters wanted to offer needed materials for women during pregnancy.
“We wanted to provide everything these women could possibly need and so we started giving away these baby baskets,” said Mother Seraphina. “These baskets have just about everything mom needs from clothes, bottles, bibs, wipes and diapers to hygiene items, blankets, even a handful of items moms would need for themselves. We also have car seats, pack and plays, cribs, any specific need that they have. If we don’t have it, we will try to acquire it.”
Last year the center helped 1,487 children from 612 different families. Moms visited over 5,000 times last year and the Mission gave out 212 baby baskets, 6,318 packages of diapers and 194 car seats. At this year’s Christmas Giveaway, 862 children received toys. Even other agencies in town refer people to the Mission’s pregnancy center.
One mother-to-be, while in labor, stopped by the center to let the sisters know she was on her way to the hospital, Mother Serapina said. Before returning home, she stopped at the Mission again to make sure the sisters held her baby. Another woman came in with her two-year-old to meet Mother Seraphina because, she told Mother Seraphina, “he is only here because of you.” Mother Seraphina said she had shared her excitement about the woman’s pregnancy, and it made the mother realize that she wanted to have this child.
“In the 16 and a half years that the center has been open, I only know of two women who did not choose life,” Mother Seraphina said.
The center is run by 100 percent volunteers, no paid staff anywhere, and everything is donated.
“The community in this area just really loves babies and what we do, it is just a beautiful thing. One hundred percent of every donation goes completely to the work,” Mother Seraphina said.
The Franciscan Daughters desire to be a support for every mom in need and to help provide anything needed as the baby grows.
“It is great to see the need we are fulfilling in this area. I love these people, they are family to us, and it is all about serving Jesus through loving others,” Mother Seraphina said.