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One of Blue Haven Ranch's momsScreenshot/Blue Haven Ranch

DALLAS, Texas (LifeSiteNews) —A Texas couple is offering shelter to single mothers with children who are facing a difficult pregnancy, in what they hope will become a maternity ranch. 

Blue Haven Ranch is a pro-mother, pro-baby project to assist mothers in a crisis pregnancy by offering them an alternative to abortion in the Lone Star State. The project is a Christian ministry outreach run by Aubrey and Bryan Schlackman.  

The couple began in 2020 by opening their home to women in a crisis pregnancy, offering counsel, food, and financial help. Having long desired to own some acreage out in the country, Aubrey and Bryan then decided to begin working toward an expanded version of their crisis pregnancy work. The couple explained in December 2021 to The Daily Signal that they were looking to purchase about 100 acres of ranchland a few miles north of the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area. With the purchase of the land, they hoped to build houses to accommodate 20 pregnant women at a time together with their children. 

Aubrey explains on her website: “The idea of a Blue Haven Ranch came for us in January of 2020, the idea of creating a safe haven for single pregnant mothers with children, to live in a community with other moms and kids so that they can feel supported, while also having other families there to disciple them in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and love and serve Him, all while being surrounded by acres of farmland, and being able to walk through counseling and farm-therapy with other people there to support them: a new life sanctuary.” 

Blue Haven Ranch currently assists five women with housing in apartments or rentals in the city of Dallas, with more women on a waiting list. The intention behind the work is to help these women heal from an often abusive or abandoned relationship, and to offer the space, time, and financial means for them to become self-supportive without feeling they need to end the life of their unborn child. 

The special focus of the outreach is toward abortion-minded women who already have children. Aubrey explained to LifeSiteNews that very often such women feel that they are not able to support another child. Blue Haven Ranch provides eight weeks of financial support to allow them real maternity leave from work, as well as housing until a year after the baby is born. Mothers are given assistance to find work that will allow them to support themselves and their children after they leave the ranch home. 

Speaking of the future plans for a full-blown ranch, Aubrey says on her website, “It will be a safe place, where these mother-led families can come, and heal, and have time to come up with a plan for a self-sufficient future over the period of two years.” This period will be “a time of healing,” she continues, “supported by community, Gospel-discipleship, and nature—a new life sanctuary, where legacies can be changed for generations.” 

As part of the healing ministry, Blue Haven includes a Bible study for the women who come to them, through a program called Embrace Grace 

Blue Haven Ranch has received increased attention since Texas’ heartbeat law, SB 8, took effect on September 1, prohibiting abortions after a baby’s heartbeat can be detected. Most recently, the  British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) published an article on the Ranch that writes about Blue Haven sympathetically while simultaneously criticizing its Bible study and the recent Texas Heartbeat Act. The article claimed that “many women do know when abortion is right for them – and because of SB8, this has become much harder.” In response to the coverage, Aubrey told LifeSiteNews that she was happy that at least the work of Blue Haven Ranch was getting out to the public, and that more women would know that there are real alternatives to abortion. 

When asked if Blue Haven Ranch is considering similar maternity ranches elsewhere in Texas or in other states, Aubrey told LifeSiteNews that she wants to keep the project local and close to the women on the ground that are in need, but that she also hopes to make Blue Haven Ranch a model that can be adapted by other pro-life groups and projects throughout the country. She explained that while in Texas the project will be a full blown ranch, in a city on the coast it would probably look different to accommodate the circumstances of the women in need. 

Women in the Dallas/Fort Worth area who face a crisis pregnancy, and who wish to apply for help from Blue Haven Ranch, may do so here.