How Some Kids With A Van Are Changing The Pro-Life Movement

David Pomerantz

On March 13, in Dallas, TX, an organization you’ve probably never heard of is going to revolutionize the pro-life movement.

It starts with a kid from Philly, a bus in New York, and an idea that brought him quite by accident to the city where Roe v. Wade started — the city where he hopes abortion will finally meet its match.

David Pomerantz, 23, does not look like a pro-lifer or a practicing Christian. He looks like a vegan hipster with emo hair. As a matter of fact, he sort of is a vegan hipster with emo hair. If you visit his loft apartment in an industrial section of downtown Dallas, he will offer you fermented tea with organic honey. You can lounge in a beanbag chair and talk about art while he surfs his Macbook and plays indie music and talks about Jesus.

A polite, friendly young man with a laconic kid-from-nowhere accent and a direct blue gaze, David Pomerantz — “Dave” to his friends — does not jibe with the stereotypical image of the angry activist holding signs outside a clinic. And he doesn’t mind, because that’s not the kind of pro-life activist Dave is.

He hails from Philadelphia, but he was attending Word of Life, a two-year Bible institute in New York, when he met Chris Slattery and Julie Beyel of EMC (Expectant Mother Care), a Manhattan pregnancy resource center. He was astonished to find that EMC had formulated a “new model” for approaching women outside abortion clinics.

EMC had a bus equipped with a sonogram machine. By approaching women outside the clinic with the offer of free help, with no mention of a pro-life ideology, they were able to see a staggering success rate. In fact, by their estimate, about 70% of women who got on the bus for a sonogram decided not to abort. In one day, they saw nine women decide on life for their children.

They did some simple math, and realized that if this success continued, 15 to 25 women a week, or about 800 a year, would choose life.

Excited by the possibilities inherent in this new approach, Dave contacted his friend and mentor Joe Baker, who flew in from Philly to see the results firsthand. Equally impressed, the two began to ferment the idea that would become Save the Storks.

Dave was already planning on attending Southwestern Theological Seminary in Dallas, so he headed down south. With Joe Baker developing the art and marketing, and the generous help of Dallas-based organization Get Involved for Life and other private donors to bring to life a sleeker, smaller, more mobile ultrasound vehicle, they were off and running.

Save the Storks was born. Or, if you prefer, flown in through the window.


“We don’t want to intimidate anyone. We don’t want to force anyone. We just want to serve.” Dave is the Local Director for Save the Storks. Today, along with Daryl Harshbarger, Head Female Client Advocate, and Julie Beyel in town from New York, we are having pizza (some of it vegan) in Southeast Dallas. Dave is explaining to me why Save the Storks is a new kind of pro-life action.

“No one is offended by our activism,” he says. “We’re delivering a loving message in a strong way.”

Here’s what happens: a woman is walking up to an abortion clinic. She is approached by Dave or Daryl or another member of Save the Storks.

“Hi, how are you? Would you like a free ultrasound?”

This is the approach. There is no dangling rosary, no graphic pamphlet, no doom-and-gloom. Just an offer of free help from a non-threatening, friendly, smiling young person.

And then there is the Stork bus.

The stork was chosen as the mascot because of its comforting, unoffensive, nostalgic connection to motherhood and pregnancy. We can all remember old cartoons where a smiling stork would fly in a window and lay a swaddled baby in a crib.

What Dave and the others weren’t aware of until later is the text of Job 39:13-17.

The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully, but are her feathers and plumage like the stork’s?

She abandons her eggs on the ground and lets them be warmed in the sand.

She forgets that a foot may crush them or that some wild animal may trample them.

She treats her young harshly, as if they were not her own, with no fear that her labor may have been in vain.

For God has deprived her of wisdom; He has not endowed her with understanding.

This is the kind of thing that makes you whistle the Twilight Zone theme music.

The Stork bus, however, is free of all Old Testament references. It is a bright, lovely blue on the outside, and the inside is clean and free of clutter, with a welcoming but no-nonsense clinical feel. There is a little couch for the mother to sit on and speak to a counselor, and a padded bench where she can lie comfortably.

The ultrasound machine pulls out from underneath the bench. It is operated only by a licensed sonographer whose work is frequently reviewed by an OB/Gyn. In the back there is a small private toilet for pregnancy testing. It isn’t the slightest bit cramped or unpleasant; these mothers get only the best. The completed bus with the ultrasound machine was paid for by private donations to the tune of about $140,000.

The Stork bus is by no means the first mobile ultrasound vehicle — it was Chris Slattery’s mobile sonogram bus that inspired Dave and Joe in the first place — but it may be the smallest, lightest, and most practical. It doesn’t require a permit or special permission to park. It will fit in a parking space or even at a meter.

It is an abortion clinic’s worst nightmare.


So now this woman, who was going to go into an abortion clinic, is able to have a pregnancy test and a sonogram without ever reaching its doors.

But what happens now? She’s heard, “Yes, you’re pregnant! You’re this far along! There’s your baby! Here’s his heartbeat!”

So what does she hear next? “Good luck with that?”

Nope. Save the Storks is directly connected to Get Involved for Life and the two pregnancy centers it operates in Dallas, one uptown and one downtown. Also, needless to say, any expectant mother will be welcomed by whatever pregnancy center is closest to the bus at the time. The Stork team is prepared to call a cab for the mother if she needs a ride.

In other words, unlike the abortion clinic, the Storks and the pregnancy centers are in it for the long haul. They are going to get her what she needs to take care of herself and her baby, body and soul.

I don't know about you, but I would be totally comfortable peeing in there.

“The heart of this ministry is the Gospel,” says Dave, after asking for more vegan marinara sauce. “There are two causes every Christian should take up: orphans and widows. This encompasses both.”

It is part of Save the Storks’ mission that every woman who steps on the bus hears the Gospel message. While this may seem off-putting to some, to the Storks it is an essential aspect of caring for the mother that goes along with the physical support and counseling she will receive through the pregnancy center.

“She is just as important as that child,” says Dave. “We aim to improve her quality of life… The major issue here is the devaluation of life, and the answer to every injustice on earth is the church of Jesus Christ.”

“Our ministry is designed to meet all the needs of the woman,” says Daryl. At the pregnancy center, every mother will receive whatever her personal situation calls for, be it help with affordable medical care, legal aid to escape from an abusive boyfriend, life skills counseling, mental health counseling, spiritual guidance, and more.

Which of course begs the question: if the Storks’ mission is in fact successful and Dallas pregnancy centers see 800 or so more mothers every year, how will they handle the added demand for resources?

The answer is simply: us.

“The churches need to stand up and start giving to their local pregnancy centers,” says Dave.

Without the generous help of good-hearted people giving what they can, pregnancy centers can’t work, and by extension neither can the Storks.


Daryl Harshbarger, Head Female Client Advocate. I don't think it's a requirement that you be extremely cute to be a part of Save the Storks, but it obviously can't hurt.

Abortion clinic workers and management are used to seeing protesters outside their clinic. What they are not used to is a name brand.

The Save the Storks bus is slick, recognizable, welcoming, and — horror of horrors — it sits in between a mother and the abortion clinic doors. With a simple offer of no-strings-attached help — “Would you like a free ultrasound?” — and a bright, comforting image, it appeals to the desperate woman before she reaches the clinic.

She is not confronted. She is offered help. And while I firmly believe that virtually all sidewalk counselors and activists outside clinic are there for no other reason than to help women, the Storks are able to present help first. That is the key. The average clinic sidewalk approach is, of necessity, “Please don’t kill your baby. Here’s why. And here’s help.” Because they have their awesome bus, Save the Storks are able to say, “Here’s help. Now please don’t kill your baby. Here’s why.”

Because they don’t have to lead with agenda, there are no warning bells for a desperate and defensive mother. There is only a friendly face.

This new model will absolutely revolutionize the front lines of pro-life activism.



Joe Baker, National Director

What is the battle cry of the pro-abortion movement? “Choice!” It is their mantra. What do you constantly hear from abortion advocates? “These desperate women feel like they are out of options.”

Right here, on four wheels, parked in front of the clinic, is another choice — one they might not even know they have. Inside that bus is an image of their baby waiting to be seen. Connected to that bus is a support system — in short, options.

Dave and the team have high hopes, and they should. The approach is breathtakingly simple and, if early tests are any indication, profoundly effective.

As mentioned, the Storks take to the streets of Dallas on March 13. Meanwhile their website is up and running at with the purpose of raising money to take the program national. A Save the Storks bus is not cheap, and it takes people to run it. While Dave and his team get things off the ground in Dallas, Joe is in charge of building a national movement.

The thought of a Stork bus in every major city in America should bring a smile to your face. Every one of these buses represents hundreds of lives saved every year.

I have met Dave and the gang. I have been on board the Stork bus. And I have never been more excited about a pro-life idea than I am about this one.

You probably are having the same reaction I did. You are probably thinking: “What can I do to help?”

First: spread the word. Use Facebook, Twitter, Twitbook, whatever, to share with people how awesome this is.

Second: go to now and volunteer. They need all kinds of stuff — bloggers, artists, counselors, you name it — all across the country to be part of their national team of Save the Storks volunteers. Whatever your talent is, Save the Storks can probably use it to help get Stork programs off and running across the country. You — yes, you! — can be a part of this movement from the ground up.

Third: donate if you can. Save your Starbucks money for a few days and buy a ridiculously cool Save the Storks T-shirt. Wear it and tell people about it. (I promise they’ll be curious.)

In just a few days, Dave, Daryl, and their remarkable bus hit the streets of Dallas, the city where abortion rights were born. As a native Dallasite, I hope what started here is ended here. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Save the Storks becomes a major factor in helping Dallas — and the country — see an end to abortion.


Kristen Walker is a writer and comedian who makes people mad on the Internet. She is Vice President of New Wave Feminists and enjoys taxidermy, yachting, and 19th century French poetry. Stalk her relentlessly for fun and profit.

  • Heather Verhagen

    I’m with Carol on this. Allowing a woman to have a free service that will inable her to make a better informed decision is brilliant. SO many regret having abortions after doing so. I believe that the mental well being of women is effected negatively due to the guilt that is felt. (Guilt should be felt, but they need to be presented with the idea of forgiveness.)

    Personally, I find myself praying every time that I pay my taxes. I don’t want to fund abortion…have the blood of children on my hands. I feel the president cares more about his ajenda than he does about the views of his people, even though many of their consciences are being /will be severely violated.

    Food for thought:
    Abortion: $300, Adoption: $30,000.

    Day 20-21 ‘fetus’ has a heartbeat. What is a primary way a doctor or emt decides if someone is dead: He/she checks for a heartbeat.

  • Donna K Carnley Kasper



  • rawrcakes

    I’m semi-pro-life atheist. I feel like abortions should only be done if necessary, such as the carrier is at risk or the child is severely deformed and will never be able to have a happy life. I’ve heard about people complaining that a girl who was raped would have to suffer every day if she get’s pregnant, but this is not the only option! She can always adopt the baby out and then it’s done, there will be nothing to remember her of the events after that so long as her family is courteous enough not to bring it up.

    As for incest and everything else, it was their mistake, and they need to suffer the consequences.

  • rawrcakes

    I’m semi-pro-life atheist. I feel like abortions should only be done if necessary, such as the carrier is at risk or the child is severely deformed and will never be able to have a happy life. I’ve heard about people complaining that a girl who was raped would have to suffer every day if she get’s pregnant, but this is not the only option! She can always adopt the baby out and then it’s done, there will be nothing to remember her of the events after that so long as her family is courteous enough not to bring it up.

    As for incest and everything else, it was their mistake, and they need to suffer the consequences.

    • BDHA

      I certainly don’t think abortions should be used as a form of birth control, but how can you say that incest is a person’s problem, and they need to suffer the consequences? There are incestuous relationships that began as forceful/coercion. Should both people, including the one without a choice, be punished? Also, why would I want to put my body through nine months of pregnancy (which can be pretty tough and cause health issues–just like abortion) when it wasn’t my choice to have sex? I realize there are people out there wanting to adopt, but, depending on the woman and her mental state, you would be condemning her to a nine month sentence. And I say this as a woman who was raped and ended up pregnant as a result. I miscarried (thankfully in my mind), but I can’t fathom how someone could have the nerve to tell me to essentially suck it up and not be selfish during the most horrible moment of my life. Caring for my personal mental and emotional health is NOT selfish or callous, nor would it have made me a murderer.

      • SarahP

        This should not suffer the sins of the either sinning parent. This is Biblical but even if you don’t believe in the Bible it is common sense. It is not the child’s fault how it is created and should not suffer. Abortion is never an option unless it is to save the life of one is extreme cases where one or both could die and honestly how often does that ever really happen? I don’t know the recent stats but I will ask an OB/GYN Doctor that I work for and see if we can find it. It is extremely low and next to none if any at all. Thanks! God Bless!

      • SarahP

        the person committing the crime should be punished. I understand the victim suffers. but why should the child be punished. I think if the victim does not want the baby she should give up for adoption. That is all. Either by abortion or giving birth vaginally or by C-section. Her body is forever changed. She has to decide in her heart and head what the best decision should be made. I just feel abortion should not be a consideration at all. It is barbaric to kill a child in anyway and even in the womb. Too bad they can’t take the baby out of womb and place it into a womb of a mother that can’t conceive and let her carry it and make it hers. That would be cool! Peace!!!

    • SarahP

      have you not seen how many mistakes are made by doctors saying “they think” your baby has this or that only to be born fine?! And the ones that are born and live for a day, a month, a year etc are a blessing no matter what they have!!!

  • Teresa Vallieres

    I think this is wonderful because the woman still has a choice….. She can check out what they have. She is still free to make her coice after the encounter. Pro choice should have positive attitude because the choice is still the womans!

  • Leah Wu

    I love this idea! I hope it spreads far and wide. I would love to help… but I live in California. I signed up for the savethestork newsletters, so hopefully they’ll keep us updated as this great resource spreads across the country. I’m totally buying t-shirts!

  • Leah Wu

    I love this idea! I hope it spreads far and wide. I would love to help… but I live in California. I signed up for the savethestork newsletters, so hopefully they’ll keep us updated as this great resource spreads across the country. I’m totally buying t-shirts!

  • Leah Wu

    I love this idea! I hope it spreads far and wide. I would love to help… but I live in California. I signed up for the savethestork newsletters, so hopefully they’ll keep us updated as this great resource spreads across the country. I’m totally buying t-shirts!

  • cdl123

    Finally, a positive approach.

  • cdl123

    Finally, a positive approach.

  • Joe Baker

    We are working hard on a couple different Bus projects right now! Please consider partnering with Save The Storks here:

  • Walt

    If this organization also provided education on options for contraception, I’d be all for it.

    To the supporters of ultrasound laws – should a judge be obliged to watch a video of an execution before rendering a death sentence? Should the Apple store show customers videos of the factory workers polishing screens with organic solvents for 12 hours a day before before they buy iPods?

  • Izabela Dav

    yay :)

  • Brian

    You Christians stand outside of abortion clinics with your picket fences and you fill the internet with judgement. I wonder what Christ would say if he saw you “fighting for his cause.” Think of the adulteress woman who by law was suppose to be stoned. Christ said whoever is without sin cast the first stone. Well go for it! Convince the mothers they’re murderers. Convict them of their guilt! I’m so disappointed that in a rare article that shows a grassroots movement of love, you still argue about the “legalization” of an issue. LIKE IT MATTERS! Who cares if it’s legal or illegal?!?! If you say it’s not what God stands for, then go out and educate those that are struggling with that decision. Provide support or help. Do something besides sit on here and tell the world the way it should be.

    • Judy Kannady

      Ummm I think that’s what “Save the Storks” is trying to do. And you’re being a bit judgmental. How do you know we don’t provide support and help? Do you?

    • NukeDoc

      Brian is an odd name for a woman to have…

  • Anne

    Recently I was discussing just this with a relative. I have talked to several people regarding having something like this. I was told it would never happen. I feel great joy with what ‘Save the Storks’ are doing. I feel that women are coming to abortion clinics because they don’t know what else they can do.

  • BillMonroeisboss

    Actually, Mr. Pomerantz looks EXACTLY like a Christian ( i don’t know how the young emo Jesus folk look like down in DFW but in Mpls–yep) Anyways, greek nor jew we’re all one in Christ–and I am thankful for you guys stepping up in love and truth and reaching out to the seared consciences of those who don’t see this as murder. God Bless!

  • Cindy Bear

    I am Christian and pro-life and I think this is wonderful. It’s about time someone did what Jesus told us to do – lend a hand instead of a judgment.

  • Brooke

    I find in heated conversations like these NO matter what you say someone is going to be offended…. chew on this, EVERYONE that is “PRO” choice has already been born…. As a mother of two, and knowing the struggles of pregnancy, childbearing & rearing… it is NO one’s right to murder a baby …. a person….. I feel sorry for men often as they don’t have a choice if they wanted their child to be born…. I mean, truly, please think about this instead of going off on whichever side you’re on….. Woman should be allowed to see their baby on an ultrasound…. I think murdering a person would go down significantly… there is something miraculous about seeing your baby & their heartbeat. So glad my dad is alive and the abortion his mother tried to have didn’t work as he was the result of an affair…. funny thing is, he ended up being her favorite child. I wish this was nothing to debate or argue about….. its considered manslaughter if a woman dies and her “fetus” but not if she chooses? Our Society is truly messed up in many ways.

    • Sally

      The “Pro-Life” father of my child wanted me to have an abortion, though he wouldn’t say the word “because he was Pro-Life”. I on the other hand, had my child because I am Pro-Choice and that was my choice. I made the choice that was right for me, I can’t presume to decide what is right for another woman.

  • swimkin

    I am pro-life and Christian and have an adopted daughter who was adopted from a teen mother. My daughter means the world to me and I would not have had the chance to have her if her mother had opted for abortion. Even if they decide to not abort and not keep their baby there are loving couples whose lives will be enriched by the adoption of these babies.

    • swimkin

      Oh and btw my daughter is also pro-life. How could she not be?

  • Lucy Grow

    Love it!!! We are here to love and serve one another, and this sets the bar high. Thank you and may God bless

  • Cherish

    I am pro life, but made the choice to abort at 17 years old. I wish there would have been a Save a Stork van in the parking lot when I was 17, a runaway and being abused. That decision has broken my heart for years. 10+ years later, God has rescued, redeemed and restored me and blessed me with 3 storks and hopefully adopting another 2 in the future =) This is so important what you are doing! God always creates life with a purpose and destiny BUT when people put up picket signs of hate instead of loving people through their storms, they might miss the rainbow after the storm instead of being a vehicle of light to help reveal that rainbow sooner <3 Bless you guys for what you are doing! Save a Stork is now on my daily prayer list =)

  • SandyinCali.

    I cried when I read this story….I was just telling my daughter two days ago that if someone could set up a ultrasound room across from an abortion clinic and mothers could see their child… I’m sure it would change their minds….then we read this story today!! Thank you so much!!!! We are going on your site right now to see how we can support you!

  • beth

    Is it just me, or does the author seem fairly pre-occupied with mentioning he’s vegan?

  • lucaspinduca

    Hey! I’m preacher in Brazil. I want this t-shirt. How do? :]

  • JLWright

    Well done “MY” good and faithful servant!

  • Tony &Teresa Nestico

    I would love to have this in Canada, I am really impressed with the van and the help that the women get, finally a smart pro life movement. Awesome job and God bless you.

  • Sally

    But does Save the Stork help for the woman and child after the child is born, or is she just strongly “encouraged” to give the child up for adoption? Pro-Life implicates there is real concern for the child after it is born, but often falls short of that.

  • Paul Muriello

    Confirmatory ultrasounds don’t facilitate informed medical decision making. A pregnant woman knows (or at least suspects) there’s a fucking fetus inside her, that’s why she’s going to the clinic in the first place. If STS were actually interested in informing mothers they would look for signs of fetal abnormalities, as well as discuss the risks and benefits of pregnancy and abortion.

    Also, just because STS isn’t beating women over the head with their agenda doesn’t mean they don’t have one; clearly they are banking on women experiencing guilt enough to turn them away from abortion upon seeing the fetus. This article is garbage.

  • ilovecookies

    What a brilliant young man. I am sure all the children whose lives have been saved will thank him. Well done Dave and keep up the good work.

  • brisonc3

    Paul Muriello said

    “They don’t talk with her about all the negative outcomes of unwanted
    pregnancy for both her and her child. They don’t talk about the medical
    risks of pregnancy. They don’t talk about the financial burdens, or the
    restrictions she might face as an ostensibly single mother. These are
    the kinds of things that are necessary for true informed consent, but
    these are the things conspicuously absent from STS’ game”

    that is because human lives aren’t about “being affordable”. If this
    is true then we should terminate the homeless since society can’t
    afford them and they are a burden and obviously suffering and would be
    much better off with their suffering ended. This can be achieved by
    having a court declare the homeless no longer having legal personhood
    and therefore no legal significance as “persons” legally just as fetuses
    are denied their humanity simply because they are not legal persons,
    but still are living members of the human species. So the logic is
    sound. This is the logic of the pro-choicer.

    No woman has to be a single mother since she has the ability to give
    that child away just after birth so a childless couple can have the full
    parenting experience from the very beginning. So that excuse is taken
    away also.

    No one ever said there would be no consequences or difficulties in
    allowing a child to live, but then again the girl herself and the guy
    she was with made that so-called “unwanted” child, but there is no
    difference biologically between a “wanted or planned” child and an
    “unwanted” one and the Constitution demands all humans be treated
    equally under the 14th Amendment. The Constitution makes no distinction
    between “wanted” and “unwanted” children. The law only sees children.

    A little inconvenience is the natural outcome of bad choices. It
    isn’t going to be and should not be free of any burdens. Suffering
    burdens is what happens when you make a grave error. There are outcomes
    that are not comfortable that you still have to endure and face. That
    is just life. So are you saying woman have a right to be exempt from
    life and it’s lessons which sometimes are painful?

    What strange logic from the pro-choicer.

    I could make the same argument about a man who “makes the agonizing
    choice” to have forced intercourse with a woman, seeing her not as a
    person, but as a “thing”, like a fetus which is the side effect of his
    choice. His decision to do what he has done is a “choice” and “just a
    choice” like many other choices men make in life. It is neither right
    nor wrong, bad or good, moral or immoral since such distinctions are to
    be made by the chooser and his God, not dictated by government, law or

    You can’t punish him for his choices because that is forcing one’s
    morality on him who may not see anything wrong and have no regrets for
    what he did just as you say woman don’t regret killing their children.
    In fact he may end the whole encounter by killing his victim to spare
    her having to live with the aftermath. This is an act of kindness and
    mercy just as pro-choicers claim the termination of an “unwanted” fetus
    is merciful since no child should have to grow up with a parent who
    hates them. This is the logic and thinking of the pro-choicer.

    “but women are persons” you would say. No, that is a decision of
    the one making the choices and having the power to make choices
    according to his conscience and in consultation with his concept of his
    God or higher power. It is a very personal and private decision not to
    be interfered with by government, or religious fanatics.

    Puberty has alot of pain and discomfort to it. Should teenagers have
    the right to have hormone therapy to suppress and shut down puberty
    since some teens actually try and commit suicide from the side effects
    of puberty? Some even succeed in suicide. Since puberty therefore can
    kill teens should they then have a choice as to whether or not they
    have to endure it?

    This is the logic of the pro-choicer.

    Lastly, this act of the man against his victim may be an issue
    pertaining to his personal health as he has discussed with his doctor or
    psychiatrist. Engaging in these acts brings clarity to his mind on
    certain things, things or I may never understand, but then again, this
    is personal and private. What his condition is is private and medical
    in nature and therefore protected by privacy as is the choices this man
    makes in consultation with his God and his doctor(therapist).

    This is about his health and his health alone, which the Courts have
    ruled has an almost religious protection around it, free from government
    influence and cohersion. It is his choice alone and no one has the
    right to judge him.