The fact that pregnant single women refuse to relinquish their babies is a source of irritation for antiabortion advocates like Flip Benham, director of Operation Save America, an extremist protest group that broke off from other extremists at Operation Rescue. “We could adopt a child in a second. We have everything available. . . . But [the women] aren’t going to do that,” Benham told me. “Because they’re selfish.”
Benham suggested there was an exception to the poor results CPCs are having. Angela Michael, a fifty-seven-year old former registered nurse and frustrated CPC volunteer in Illinois, has taken a different approach to crisis pregnancy work. Instead of directing women to a separate CPC, four days every week Michael parks herself–literally, in a customized RV–in front of an abortion clinic in Granite City, Illinois, a despairing strip of crumbling steel mills prairie, and scrap yards a few miles upriver from East St. Louis. As a result, she claims she’s stopped forty-two hundred women from having abortions and has facilitated forty-two private adoptions in the last several years–a number that staggers other CPCs–including two children she and her husband Dan have adopted themselves.