A young couple was seriously considering abortion before they visited the Hill Country Pregnancy Care Center in Boerne, Texas.

However, after seeing an ultrasound of their baby and meeting with staff members of the pregnancy center, they began to rethink their decision. As the dad’s heart began to change, he met with the center’s male advocate, and asked how he could best support his girlfriend during the pregnancy. The couple not only decided to have their baby but also signed up for parenting classes at Hill Country Pregnancy Care Center.

Part of the parenting training includes Care Net’s Doctor Dad Course, a key piece in the organization’s Fatherhood Project. Care Net is currently working with 20 pregnancy centers and leading a movement to reach men involved in unexpected pregnancies and offer them education and support in the beginning steps of fatherhood. The Doctor Dad® Course has eight sessions on how dads can support their pregnant partner and infant-toddler.

“We are praising God for the generational impact that will come when each father bonds with his child right from the start and accepts God’s call to lead his family toward abundant life,” said Alex Hettinga, Care Net’s Fatherhood and Family Senior Manager.

The testimony from Hill Country Pregnancy Care Center reinforces the notion that a father is the most influential voice in a woman’s pregnancy decision.

“The father of the baby plays a bigger role in a woman’s decision to choose life or abortion than you might expect,” Hettinga said.

Over the last few years, Care Net conducted two national surveys “” one of 1,500 women who had abortions and one of 1,000 men whose partners had abortions. In those surveys, both women and men agreed: when deciding whether or not to abort their baby, the father of their baby was the MOST influential voice.

Care Net’s 2023 Fatherhood Project is a $400k initiative that funds programs at 20 pregnancy centers along with training, resources, and site visits. Dads are demonstrating measurable growth in their knowledge, planned engagement, and competence around 12 key skills for the health of their partner and child, said Hettinga. They’re also being introduced to the gospel and the heart of God through weekly devotionals. Graduates have been celebrated by their centers through events at minor and major league baseball games, at axe-throwing venues, and at BBQ’s hosted by partner churches.

Jared Clark, the Fatherhood Champion at Skylark Clinic in Brunswick, Georgia, said the project has helped many fathers gain the confidence they need while preparing for the arrival of their child.

“Being able to serve more men at our centers and getting them engaged in Doctor Dad has been the most valuable part of this project,” he said. “Having the resources to help men become better fathers has allowed us to see an increase in the number of women who walk in abortion-minded and choose life because we were able to connect with the father of the baby.”

Robert Barge, the Fatherhood Champion from First Choice Pregnancy Center in Montgomery, Alabama, called the Doctor Dad course a tremendous resource.

“It has become a core piece in ministering to the dads we serve”¦It also has opened up great one-on-one opportunities with dads who sign up when we go through the first session with them,” he said.

To date in 2023, the pregnancy centers affiliated with Care Net’s Fatherhood Project have served a combined total of 4,200 dads, which is a 42% increase compared to the previous year. They have enrolled more than 750 men in the program, and more than 300 have already graduated.

“As the centers in this project reach more men and equip fathers right from the start, precious lives are being saved from abortion and families are being impacted for generations,” Hettinga said. “It’s an honor to invest in these incredible leaders and to see the new hope they’re bringing to their communities and to our national movement.”