While abortion facilities continue to close all over the country, pregnancy resource centers are growing and helping numerous women (and men) find hope and practical help to meet the needs of their families. Some of those pregnancy centers are even moving into the very buildings that once housed abortion facilities, and are transforming them into places that save the lives of preborn children.
One center, Clarity Clinic in Dubuque, Iowa, wrote last year about its hope to expand, as its 2,800 sq. ft. had begun to feel cramped. The goal of Clarity’s expansion is to create better storage space, better accessibility for pregnant mothers, and separate entrances for those seeking medical or educational services. The center has saved many lives since its founding in 1993. The center, like most, is depended on to provide a variety of services including free pregnancy testing, limited ultrasounds, post-abortive counseling, parenting education classes, and access to items such as diapers, baby clothes, baby toys, and other necessities. The center also gives access to adoption services if the mother chooses to place her baby for adoption. All of these services are free to the women seeking them. The building the center currently occupies used to be a Planned Parenthood facility which referred for surgical abortions and distributed the abortion pill. Now, it is no longer a place of death, but a place of life and hope.
But Clarity Clinic isn’t alone; other pregnancy centers have also reclaimed shuttered abortion facilities in a sort of symbolic redemption. LifeCare Clinic and Women’s Choice Center, two other centers in Iowa, were formerly Planned Parenthood facilities; now they care for preborn children, born children, and their parents. One of the more well-known transformations is the headquarters for 40 Days for Life in Bryan, Texas. Once a Planned Parenthood where many abortions took place, the building is now used to save lives.
Some women go back to visit the places where they once aborted their children. For some, it is traumatizing. However, for others, it is a step toward healing. Writing Bible verses on the walls, singing praises, praying, and sometimes even performing exorcisms have all been used as methods to purge the buildings of the horrors they once held.
Pregnancy centers strive to be the places where hope and life can be found, even when it may seem impossible. These centers are the arms reaching out to women who are in crisis, potentially with no one else to help them bring another life into the world. They provide emotional support as well as physical support to these women and their children — but they can only do this with the support of their local communities, and with the help of those who donate their valuable time and resources, putting their pro-life values into action.
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