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Tacoma resource fair hopes to provide alternative to 'crisis pregnancy centers'

 A van parked underneath trees in a grassy park, a pink tent to the right with people talking underneath.
Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates
Rachel Herbst and local organizers in Tacoma put together the Grit City Community Resource Fair on Saturday June 24, 2023. The fair served as a hub for cash and food programs, birth control and STI testing.

Rallies across the country this weekend marked the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decisionthat ended the nationwide right to abortion.

But in Tacoma, Washington, volunteers organized a different kind of demonstration.

Rachel Herbst has been a volunteer for Planned Parenthood in Tacoma since 2016, and she’s never heard more people in her circles talking out loud about abortion than in the last year.

"But I also heard a lot of people say like, 'well, you know, it's okay, because it's protected here in Washington state,'" Herbst said.

Even in heavily pro-choice Washington state, advocates estimate that abortion-providing facilities are outnumbered 2-to-1 by so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” – religious centers offering pregnancy resources, but encouraging women not to abort.

There are five in the Tacoma area alone, according to, a project by researchers at the University of Georgia.

As a response, on Saturday, Herbst and local organizers put together the Grit City Community Resource Fair, a hub for cash and food programs, birth control and STI testing – without an agenda, Herbst said. The state Department of Social and Human Services, Boys and Girls Club of South Puget Sound and other nonprofits and government agencies were scheduled to come.

"This is what supporting families actually looks like," Herbst said, "not forcing people to keep pregnancies that they don't want or can't afford."

Care Net of Puget Sound, a "pro-life charity" often-identified as a large crisis pregnancy center in King and Pierce Counties, did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Preliminary statistics from the state Department of Health show induced abortions in Washington state last year increased by nearly a quarter, driven largely by out-of-state residents.

KNKX's Cara Kuhlman contributed reporting.

Scott Greenstone is a former KNKX reporter. His reporting focused on under-covered communities, and spotlighting the powerful people making decisions that affect all of us throughout Western Washington.