This is a special episode of CareCast, Care Net’s podcast on family, faith, and life, with Roland Warren, Care Net’s President and CEO. This special episode of CareCast was recorded live at Care Net’s 2023 National Conference in Mobile, Alabama. One of our keynote speakers was Brandy Meeks. Brandy has served in the pro-life movement for well over a decade. Her passion and energy for the mission increased while she served as a pregnancy center director in her early years.

Later, she was recruited as the director of marketing and research application at the Vitae Foundation. Brandy and her husband Matt would go on to launch Cornerstone Marketing Strategies, building a company that assists pregnancy centers using research-backed digital marketing strategies.

After the Dobbs decision was announced in 2022, Brandy became president and CEO of the Vitae Foundation, an organization facilitating life-saving research while applying the findings to create messaging strategies to help make abortion unthinkable. Roland sat down with Brandy during the conference to chat about her work and her keynote address to our attendees. Listen in on Roland and Brandy’s conversation.

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What follows is a portion of the transcript from the CareCast interview with Roland Warren (RW) and Brand Meeks (BM) that was held during Care Net’s 2023 Conference. 

RW: Brandy, good to see you. Thank you for coming to the 2023 Care Net Conference here in Mobile, Alabama.

BM: Yeah, how exciting to be here. It always feels like a family reunion. Seriously, you walk around, you see so many familiar faces, get to get so many hugs from people that you haven’t seen for a year and you really feel like you’re encouraged when you walk away from this week and you can go back and take on the battles that are ahead of us. It’s pretty amazing.

RW: Yeah, this is the biggest conference we’ve ever had, 1600 people. It’s been amazing just to see all the vendors and all the kinds of allied ministries that are connected to what we’re doing and just all coming together to support the pregnancy centers that are really on the front lines. I tell people they’re the tip of the tip of the sphere and it’s an important time. So what I want to do is talk a little bit about your ministry, Vitae Foundation, and your work there and how you got connected in and what is the kind of ministry and role that you play in this important role?

BM: I would love to do that. I’m actually going to go back a little bit further. I was a pregnancy center director, so I attended conferences like this before I came on staff with Vitae Foundation the first time, and I was drawn to their research specifically because their research allows us to be able to market and message to women who are actively considering abortion and obviously that’s such an asset to the pregnancy centers, right? So that we can spend, as pregnancy centers, more time focusing on women and babies and families and the men that need us, right? And less time on having to figure out what kind of message works.

So Vitae Foundation was this wonderful gift to me as a pregnancy center director and so when I had the opportunity to come on staff with them I couldn’t turn that down. It was an amazing blessing. So the research is what we focus on. We’ve done over $3 million worth of research, emotional research on how to communicate about the life issue.

RW: Gotcha, and what do you find are some of the kind of important aspects in terms of the communication techniques and ways that folks should speak to folks facing pregnancy decisions that you’re kind of advising pregnancy centers around?

BM: Probably one of the biggest things is when you are, when a woman is actively considering abortion or finding herself in an unexpected pregnancy is to talk to her about her, right? Focus on her.

We have what we call a pro-woman approach. That doesn’t mean that we’re leaving the men out of it but it does mean when a woman comes to us that we need to talk with her about her situation and not look past her and just talk about the baby.

And so that’s a different approach than maybe what we had been doing traditionally and sometimes it’s kind of counterintuitive for those of us that have been raised pro-life, right? We want to save all the babies. We also want to save all the women. So that is something that’s really come out, out of the research that we really take great pride in trying to protect and make sure that we carry that message forward.

And the pregnancy centers, they receive it really well and they really understand that now to make sure that they are, they’re focusing on the woman who is coming to them with that issue at that time.

Listen to the full interview and hear Roland and Brandy discuss how you can find access to more research and how they are fighting the battle for life on several fronts, all while serving the family. 

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Watch the Keynote: Brandy Meeks 2023 Care Net “Abundantly More” Conference