WASHINGTON, DC, Nov 18 — Texas, the land of ranches, has spawned a new kind of ranch — the maternity ranch. It’s the brainchild of Aubrey Schlackman of the town of Argyle, a little more than 40 miles outside of Dallas. And it is called Blue Haven Ranch, a place for struggling single pregnant mothers who are in need and who want an alternative to abortion.
“I see it as a community where we’d live with these moms and just do life. There are other programs out there in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and they all have their niche. With ours, we focus on single pregnant mothers who already have children. We’d take them in at any time during their pregnancy and continue helping them up to a year postpartum. We want them to be independent when they are done. We figure, if we are going to do something like this, we want to do it long enough and the right way so that every woman we help has a stronger future.”
It’s been more than a year now since Aubrey had a “vision” of what she says she had to do. During that period of time, she’s made considerable progress in making Blue Haven Ranch a reality.
Now, two months after Texas enacted a controversial law banning the abortion of pregnancies after about six weeks; the Supreme Court has still not acted to overturn what is known as the Texas “heartbeat law” in recognition that the first heartbeats of a fetus usually can be heard in the space of a month and a half. The law is still in place despite extraordinary efforts of pro-abortion forces to have it overturned, but abortion advocates are not about to give up on reinstating their so-called right to terminate pregnancies at will. But, while the ban might increase the need for the service that Blue Bonnet Ranch, pregnant single moms will still need help. And so, Aubrey is not likely to give up. She may not have the brick-and-mortar facilities that she would like to have at her disposal, but she is coping and is already providing hope for the women who need it.
A local newspaper, The Cross Timbers Gazette, profiled Aubrey and her quest not long ago and described what she is doing as “life-changing.” Noting that while she continues to fund the full establishment of her Blue Bonnet facility, she is making every effort to use the resources she already has to help. For example, the paper says that one mother who is getting help from Aubrey and her colleagues “has two children and is expected to need a cesarean section when she delivers her baby. Sadly, she cleans houses for a living and had shared with Aubrey that she didn’t think she could take more than two weeks off from work after having her baby. With help from Blue Haven Ranch, this mother is receiving help with bills and rent to lessen the burden so that she can take the necessary time she needs to be with her children and their new sibling.”
A lengthy special report published earlier this week in the Washington Post went into great detail about what sparked the idea of Blue Bonnet Ranch for Aubrey and the progress that she has made in making her dream come true. The author, reporter Stephanie McCrummen, said that when she came up with the notion of building a maternity ranch, she described her ultimate goal to her husband this way: “It would be a place for struggling pregnant women who decide to have their babies instead of having abortions, a Christian haven where women could live stress-free during their newborn’s first year of life. It would have individual cottages for mothers. ‘Host homes’ for couples who would model healthy marriages. A communal barn for meals. Bible study. The whole plan was clear, and when she told her husband later that night, he said, ‘Yes, this is what we’re supposed to do.'”
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