By Mary Sedeño
Special to The Texas Catholic
Strategically located next to one of Dallas’ few remaining abortion centers, the White Rose Women’s Center sits on the front lines of the battle for life.
Located off of Central Expressway, the White Rose Women’s Center has been in the business of helping women in crisis pregnancies since 1985.
Father Joseph Neilson, O.C.D., had helped open two crisis pregnancy centers in other parts of the country where he served and when he came to Dallas, he founded what was then St. Joseph’s Helpers. The operating name of the center was changed because Father Neilson believed that women were less likely to approach an organization called St. Joseph’s Helpers.
Over the past 30 years, however, the White Rose has steadily grown, offering counseling and other services to women, and donated items for their children. Along with the Central Expressway location, two others on Greenville Avenue are now part of the White Rose organization that serves nearly 4,500 clients each year. The organization includes 65 volunteers and six staff members, three of them medical professionals.
In 2014, for example, the White Rose served 4,367 clients, a 9-percent increase from the previous year. They performed 1,114 free ultrasounds and answered 833 calls on the 972-BABY-DUE hotline.
Among the many free services the White Rose offers, one that center officials say has made a big difference to clients, is The Magdalene Program.
Launched in 2013, the program provides comprehensive care to the women served by the White Rose.
“Our main focus is pre-natal care, education and mentoring in a faith-filled setting,” Kay Klauck, director of The Magdalene Program, said.
Located in the Greenville Avenue office next door to Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas and across the street from Presbyterian Hospital, participants in The Magdalene Program receive all their prenatal care on-site by the medical director, Dr. Joseph Behan, an OB-GYN.
Through the program, the women meet twice a month for classes that range from parenting to financial awareness and everything in between.
“A large focus for us is to give these women their self-esteem back and show them that they are unconditionally loved — by us, by the others in the program and, most importantly, by their heavenly father,” Klauck said.
The program, Klauck said, is designed so women in crisis pregnancies do not find themselves in the same situation again.
“This program came out of the fact that we kept seeing the same women come back two, three even four times,” she said. “We knew we had to get to the root of the problem, which is education, mentoring and love.”
Klauck believes the emotional support and faith centered program is helping to change hearts and minds.
Since its launch The Magdalene Program has enrolled 70 women and 36 babies have been delivered.
The future of The Magdalene Program and the White Rose is a bright one, Klauck said.
Amid discussions in the community that the Routh Street Women’s Clinic next door may close at year’s end, Cristina Caine, the executive director of the White Rose Women’s Center, said the White Rose will continue its mission.
That priority is to reach women considering abortion before they make abortion appointments. The approach is very effective, Caine said.
“We are eagerly anticipating the day they will finally close, “ Caine said of the abortion facility next door. “Yet our mission will continue with the same urgency since there will be thousands of innocent lives still in danger of being aborted.”
For more information on the White Rose Women’s Center, please call 214-821-6292 or visit saintjosephshelpers.org.