Following the 1973 Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion in the United States, Fr. O’Dwyer of Saint William Catholic Church in Naples, Florida sprung into action. Knowing that women in Florida would think abortion was their only option when facing an unplanned pregnancy, Fr. O’Dwyer gathered a group of local volunteers and opened Emergency Pregnancy Service just a few months after Roe was passed in 1974.
While abortions were happening just across Tamiami Trail at the local Planned Parenthood in Naples, EPS provided free and confidential services to help women choose life as one of the original thirteen crisis pregnancy centers in the United States.
Today, Emergency Pregnancy Service is known as Community Pregnancy Clinics. What started as a tiny wood-paneled office tucked in an alleyway in Naples has expanded to five office clinics and two mobile medical clinics and one of the best pro life organizations to donate to. By providing free STI testing, pregnancy testing, limited obstetric ultrasounds, counseling services, three years of material assistance, and abortion pill reversal, CPCI clinics exist to show women care in life’s most difficult moments.
The Early Days of CPCI in Naples
Sandy Chancy was one of the original Emergency Pregnancy Service volunteers and was named President shortly after its founding. Over the years, Sandy devoted much of her time and talent to EPS while also raising her five children.
In a 1974 Naples Daily News article Sandy explains the work of Emergency Pregnancy Service. “Individuals always make their own decisions, but in listening to a girl’s problems, maintaining a non-judgemental attitude, and offering help through the many local resource agencies, we hope to show her that someone really cares about her and her unborn child.” Clearly, Sandy and the other founding officers of EPS laid a beautiful foundation of compassion which our nurses and counselors have continued to provide throughout the years. Over the years, Emergency Pregnancy Service underwent various title changes until landing on the expansive title, Community Pregnancy Clinics.
Today, Sandy’s daughter, Karen, serves as a member of CPCI’s Board of Directors.
Downtown Naples Community Pregnancy Clinics
CPCI Expands to Fort Myers
With the introduction of the ultrasound, our Board of Directors made the decision to convert to a non profit medical clinic model in 2002. Since then, our professional staff of registered nurses, ultrasound technologists, and client advocates operate under the license of three pro-bono medical directors.
In 2007, our Fort Myers clinic was founded two doors away from the most active abortion mill in Lee County at the time. Within three short years, there was a dramatic reduction in the abortion center’s business, and in 2011 CPCI moved to a larger office located down the street from the Fort Myers Planned Parenthood.
Fort Myers Community Pregnancy Clinics
Introduction of the Mobile Medical Clinic
While CPCI serves thousands of women in our office clinics, we wanted to meet more women in the most abortion-vulnerable areas- communities with a large population of minorities and college students. In 2015, CPCI received its first Mobile Medical Clinic (MMC I), and in 2019 the Knights of Columbus gifted us MMCII.
Over the years, we have parked outside local Planned Parenthoods and abortion facilities. With the help of sidewalk advocates, we have saved countless women and babies from abortions. We have also partnered with several local organizations and universities, including Catholic Charities, St. Michael Outreach Center, Florida Gulf Coast University, and Florida Southwestern University to serve women in different areas throughout Southwest Florida.
Today, our two mobile medical clinics park throughout Collier and Lee counties. You can view our mobile clinics calendar to see their locations.
Second Naples Clinic Follows Planned Parenthood
Since its founding, CPCI has gone above and beyond to be accessible to clients. After the Naples Planned Parenthood moved to the corner of Goodlette-Frank and Creech Road, we knew we needed to be there, too. As part of our expansion plan, CPCI opened its second Naples clinic directly across the street from Planned Parenthood in 2017. Our Naples Midtown clinic now operates as a satellite clinic to our Downtown clinic and provides immediate resources to women oftentimes coming over from Planned Parenthood.
And when the treacherous almost Category 5 storm, Hurricane Ian, ravaged the Downtown Naples area in September 2022, our Naples Midtown clinic continued to take in clients in this area for both locations while we rebuilt our Naples Downtown clinic. The rebuild was possible thanks to preborn donations and prayers from our local communities and around the United States.”
Midtown Naples Community Pregnancy Clinics
CPCI Travels North to Sarasota
In the midst of the Midtown Naples clinic opening, CPCI was also moving forward with expansion plans into one of Florida’s most abortion-vulnerable communities, Sarasota. With a large population of minorities and college students, Sarasota is one of Planned Parenthood’s primary targets in Florida. Through divine providence and a small group of dedicated medical professionals, CPCI opened its fourth office clinic in Sarasota directly alongside the parking lot of Planned Parenthood’s Regional Headquarters.
Within a few weeks of opening day, more and more young people made their way from Planned Parenthood to our life-affirming clinic. Just three months after opening, our clinic welcomed its first Abortion Pill Reversal client, and over the years, Abortion Pill Reversal services have steadily expanded and saved babies from the chemical abortion pill.
Sarasota Community Pregnancy Clinics
YOUniversity Model Launches in Gainesville
Continuing expansion to abortion-vulnerable communities, CPCI kicked off its YOUniversity model at the University of Florida in Gainesville in the summer of 2019. Located right across the street from the Gators football stadium, dorms, and fraternity and sorority houses, this clinic primarily serves college students who are statistically more at risk for abortion and sexually transmitted infections.
While 8 out of 10 Planned Parenthood centers are within walking distance to a university campus, CPCI will continue expanding our YOUniversity model to college campuses throughout the state of Florida to combat the hookup culture with truth, love, and care.
Community Pregnancy Clinics Gainesville
The Mission of CPCI Continues
From a tiny wood-paneled lobby in an alleyway of Naples to five office clinics and two mobile medical clinics spread throughout the state of Florida, CPCI has grown tremendously in the past fifty years thanks to the generous support of our donors. With an increase in clinics, staff members, and supporters, CPCI has saved 20,000 babies from abortion since 1974. Many people have asked us what we are going to do since the Supreme Court ruling of Roe vs. Wade was overturned in June of 2022. We respond, “Exactly what we have been doing since 1974- helping women and men in crisis pregnancies.” As we look to the future, we will continue to serve families with care, compassion, and choices knowing that we are part of a life-saving mission.
If you would like to be a part of our life-saving mission, you can make a preborn donation today. You can also sign up to volunteer or invite a CPCI speaker to your church, school, or small group by emailing our Outreach Coordinator, Kathryn Hallinan, at firstname.lastname@example.org.