Texas: Maternity Farm Instead of Abortion


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Status: 05/05/2022 12:26 PM

In Texas, abortion is prohibited from the sixth week of pregnancy. So the woman wants to help pregnant women who are forced to carry their babies until the end of their pregnancy. They are often victims of domestic violence.

Written by Julia Kasten, ARD Studio Washington

Aubrey Schlackman stands in the wind on a wide meadow and points to a line of trees on the horizon. Here, about an hour’s drive north of Dallas, a woman in her 30s wants to open a maternity farm: a large community center and homes for women and their children, on a site the size of 50 football fields.

The idea for a maternity farm came to a mother of two when, right after shopping, she passed a farm that was for sale on her way home. Not just a vague plan, but a complete, detailed vision, Aubrey says – like a bolt of lightning. “I think the Lord gives us feelings that motivate us and shows us how to practice charity. And for us, that’s it.”

‘You have to be a supporter of the mother’

Aubrey by “we” means her husband Brian and at the same time about a dozen volunteers. The divine vision met the young woman in a ponytail, cowboy boots and the logo of her newly founded aid organization “Blue Haven Ranch” on the green shirt at the beginning of 2020. Long before abortion laws in Texas were tightened to such a degree that legal abortion was impossible virtually.

She herself is against abortions, says Aubrey over dinner in a Mexican restaurant. “But I think if you make a law that limits people’s choices, you still have to help with that choice. You have to be pro-mother. If you’re really pro-life, you have to take action.”

Many victims of domestic violence

And that’s what Aubrey does: For the actual farm, a project worth millions, it’s still fundraising. But the money is already enough to help five single mothers. Aubrey pays rent and living expenses until the child’s first birthday. All women already have several children.

Many were victims of domestic violence. One of her subjects, who already has three children and was abused by her husband, has already decided to separate. “Because the relationship was so painful, she didn’t want to bring another child in this situation and she couldn’t find a way out. That’s why she wanted an abortion.”

Because of the new Texas abortion law, which bans abortions after the sixth week, it’s already too late for that. The woman and her children ended up with Aubrey through a Christian counseling center.

On the other hand, respect Christianity

In contrast, Aubrey expects her mothers to come to the community gathering once a week. Sometimes there is Bible study, and sometimes women are trained to write autobiographies. At the end there is always a communal dinner cooked by yourself. Women don’t have to convert to Christianity, but they do have to respect it, Aubrey says.

Much more important to her, the women should be able to live with their families on their own and without financial assistance even after a year of being cared for. Therefore, there is a huge focus on more training. “One was a hairdresser and now wants to be a lactation consultant. I am paying for her training online. She is working on it now. Soon she will have her license. So she will be able to add $20,000 to $30,000 a year to her income and be in a much better place to look after.” themselves and their children.”

Aubrey Schlackman wants mothers and their families to produce as much food as possible on the farm themselves.

Photo: Julia Kasten

No men to visit, no love affair

In addition, women must contractually pledge not to receive any man in their homes and not to enter into a romantic relationship. So they don’t accidentally get pregnant again while trying to get their lives together.

The mothers themselves do not give interviews. In a glossy video posted to the ranch’s website, Aubrey’s first mother, Beth, praised the experience: “Without Blue Haven Ranch, it would have been hard to climb the mountains of life. It’s just hills now. Blue Haven is a godsend.”

Aubrey actually has more women in need than places. And if the US Supreme Court were to invalidate the right to abortion, it expects more support. She hopes that many other evangelicals will also make offers of help such as hers.

Maternity farm instead of abortion

Julia Castin, ARD Washington, May 5, 2022, 8:18 a.m.

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