Activism

When mobile pregnancy centers meet women where they are, lives are saved

ultrasound, pregnancy

Beth* in San Antonio felt she had nothing to offer her preborn child. She believed she would be a bad mother, that she would be unable to love her baby because she did not love herself. She thought it would be unfair to bring a child into her imperfect circumstances, and she decided to seek out an abortion.

But in Texas, an ultrasound is a requirement before an abortion, and Beth was having trouble getting one. She called several facilities, all of which had a 1-2 week wait. The only place she could get an ultrasound that day was a pregnancy resource center (PRC) equipped with an ultrasound van. The van functions as a mobile PRC, which the team parks in front of local abortion facilities. There, they talk to women heading into the facilities and offer them free ultrasounds and/or pregnancy tests, as well as pro-life counseling, and all of the other services and practical resources typically offered by PRCs.

Beth met with a counselor at the mobile PRC, where she was offered parenting resources, including material assistance. The team promised to stand by her through the entire journey, should she decide to continue her pregnancy — but Beth was resolutely set on abortion. 

But then, Beth saw her child on the ultrasound screen. After a few silent, yet emotional, moments, she turned to the counselor and said, “So, you said you’d help me with maternity clothes, right?”

Beth kept her baby.

Photo: Vans for Life

Many women like Beth have changed their minds after their experiences inside a mobile PRC. There have been so many, in fact – over 800 during a two-year period – that one of San Antonio’s abortion facilities closed its doors. They were losing too much business to the bright pink PRC van.

READ: Mom considering abortion found purpose when ‘she laid eyes on that little baby’ in an ultrasound

It was this success that inspired Eddie Perez to found Vans for Life, an organization that aims to furnish pregnancy resource centers across the country with ultrasound-equipped mobile PRC vans, so that they can more easily provide on-the-spot free help to abortion-minded mothers who are heading inside an abortion facility. The organization plans to hold a benefit dinner the night before the March for Life in Washington, D.C., in an effort to fund the goal of equipping every PRC in the nation with a mobile ultrasound unit. 

The vans are not inexpensive – each one costs $118,000. But they have a remarkably high success rate when it comes to changing the minds of women seeking abortions. Perez estimates that, out of the women who enter the mobile PRC, 90-95% end up choosing life.

“If we can get a mobile pregnancy center van in front of every abortion facility in the country, we can dramatically reduce or end … abortion in this country in a relatively short amount of time,” states Perez.

To learn more about Vans for Life, visit their website.

*not her real name

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