It’s a typical day at the Pregnancy Center. The first shift has already arrived; the doors are unlocked, and the rooms have been prepped when a young woman enters the center. Fear covers her like a thick fog. She works her way to the reception desk, barely able to make eye contact. The sweet volunteer working behind the desk on this particular morning has a warmth that fills the room. She tenderly welcomes the young woman and asks how Prestonwood Pregnancy Center can help her this morning.
And so, the young woman’s appointment begins. Volunteers and staff will boldly walk into this client’s life and circumstances, helping her navigate the decision before her. They will point her to possibility and share with her truth wrapped in hope, love and grace.
This young woman is the first of 40 clients we expect to serve on this day. And many of them believe abortion is their best option. Some will have called the center earlier in the week, others made their appointment online in the dead of night, and still, others will just walk in without giving us any notice. Each young woman is unique. And yet they are all the same. Unique in their hopes, fears, dreams and burdens. The same in that they all are seeking answers.
Prestonwood Pregnancy Center (PPC), like pregnancy resource centers across the nation, is a special ministry. It’s not special because of the staff who works there—although those who are called to pregnancy ministry are definitely gifted. It isn’t special because of the volunteers who faithfully serve—although they are the most servant-hearted and compassionate among us. PPC is special because the Lord works miracles every day at pregnancy centers such as ours … saving babies—and often the parents as well.
Every day, pregnancy centers provide compassionate support to women and men facing difficult pregnancy decisions. These centers are safe and confidential spaces offering free pregnancy tests, confidential education about options, ultrasounds, resources and more.
We want those who are considering abortion to come to us instead of going to local abortion providers ... We are safe; we are free; we are Gospel-centered and life-giving.
Every time a woman goes to a pregnancy center instead of an abortion facility, a spiritual battle takes place … life versus death, light versus darkness, truth versus lies.
We often hear this daunting abortion statistic: More than 60 million babies have been aborted in America since the horrific Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. But the statistic that is less well known is the number of babies who’ve been saved through the valiant and heroic efforts of those working on the front lines of this battle for the sanctity of all life.
During 2019, PPC saw more than 12,000 clients—90 percent of whom chose life for their unborn children. We also witnessed 340 salvations and 72 adoption referrals.
Yes, pregnancy centers are making a difference for life!
One of the greatest gifts to the pregnancy center movement is the ultrasound. There is such power when a young mother or father sees their child growing and developing in the womb. There is also the gentle persuasion of a baby’s heartbeat. As the sonographer engages the Doppler and the sound of the baby’s beating heart fills the room, often that’s when we see the walls that a parent has built around their heart begin to break down.
The young woman I mentioned at the beginning of this article—the one who was the first to walk into the center that day—well, she was pregnant and terrified. In her mind, the quick and easy answer was abortion. She just didn’t want her life to change. The nurse took that woman’s hand into her own and reassured her, “We’re here to help. You have time. Don’t react but respond to your situation … Take a deep breath. The moment your pregnancy test showed positive, I know your life changed … Now let’s navigate in what ways it will change.”
It was now time for her ultrasound. As the nurse began the exam, a beautiful image of the baby the Lord was knitting together in this woman’s womb appeared on the screen. The baby measured nine weeks. The picture was stunning. But that young momma barely gave it a glance. She could hardly cope with the truth of her situation.
Then the nurse engaged the Doppler. As the thump, thump, thump of the baby’s heart filled the room, a tear trickled down this mother’s face. She asked, somewhat hesitantly, “Is that my baby’s heartbeat?”
And in that moment God performed a miracle, and a life was saved.
We’re at a pivotal time in our nation. The lines have been drawn, and states are aligning themselves with life or death regarding the issue of abortion. This January, in churches around the country, we will recognize the sanctity of all human life. It comes on the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. So as believers, we must educate people on the sanctity of life, inspire them to stand for life, and mobilize them to serve those in crisis.
Photo courtesy: Kelly Sikkema W./Unsplash
Leanne Jamieson serves as Executive Director of Prestonwood Pregnancy Center. If you’d like more information on the work of pregnancy resource centers, feel free to e-mail Leanne at [email protected]