September 2023 | Edited by Steve Moberg
Tanisha & Marquis* went to Resource Health for testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STI). Every woman seen in RH’s STI clinic also receives a free pregnancy test. Everyone was surprised, especially Tanisha & Marquis, when her pregnancy test was positive. Initially, they were determined to choose abortion. And, as far as they were concerned, the sooner the better.
But Kathy Edwards, RH’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “After seeing their baby on the ultrasound screen and talking with our compassionate staff, they chose life. Tanisha and Marquis expressed tremendous gratitude for our calm, compassionate, informative team and the services they provided.”
New efforts to reach those most at risk for experiencing an unexpected pregnancy drove STI clinic appointments up by 42% in the first month. “This summer, we launched a streaming commercial that has been viewed over 111,000 times.” Kathy said this service helps potential clients become familiar with their services and builds trust so they’ll return when pregnancy becomes a reality.
Kathy also shared the story of another client, a young woman named Zara*:
“The world stood still. The tiny plastic stick in her trembling hand felt like it weighed a metric ton. She knew the course of her life would forever be altered. A friend had recently become pregnant, and Zara was taking this pregnancy test for fun. She had just started a new job and had been in a long-term committed relationship, but had recently had a one-night stand with another man. She didn’t know which man was the father. If it was from the one-night stand, she wanted to abort the baby. But if her partner was the baby’s father, she would let him decide.
“Zara had two ultrasound appointments at Resource Health. She leaned in during the scans but continued to express her feeling that she couldn’t have a baby with a man who wasn’t her partner. Anita, the nurse performing the scans, encouraged Zara to take as much time as she needed to think through her decision and how it could look long term.
“When Zara came in for a third ultrasound, she was still undecided and told Anita she tried not to think about the pregnancy when she wasn’t at one of her appointments. During the scan that day, Zara saw her baby for the first time. As tears filled Zara’s eyes, Anita asked if she could pray for her.
“Zara came in for a fourth scan and asked to take pictures of her baby home with her. She was surprised to see her baby moving this time! We showed her fetal models when she asked about her baby’s development. This conversation allowed us to discuss things like taking prenatal vitamins, setting up Medicaid, and seeing an OB/GYN. That day, Zara agreed to speak with Hailey, our Education Coordinator, about available resources and enrolled in our Mom Strong program.
“A few weeks later, Zara was amazed to discover SHE WAS HAVING TWINS! She established prenatal care and showed a commitment to her pregnancy. Throughout her pregnancy experience, Zara faithfully attended and engaged in our Mom Strong classes. And although she struggled with some medical issues, Hailey provided resources and the support Zara most needed. During their time together, Hailey and Zara talked about God and what it means to have a relationship with Him.
“After Zara’s healthy babies were born this spring, she brought them to Resource Health to introduce them to our team. Mom completed our Mom Strong program and is exploring our Mentoring program in one of our partner churches.”
Kathy pointed out that online abortion pill sales, “Plan B,” and the morning-after pill are providing easy and private abortion alternatives. But Resource Health is developing new ways – in addition to the streaming commercial and STI clinic – to reach the most abortion-determined. “We’ve been so encouraged to see our virtual center gaining momentum. Over 49% of the engagement through the virtual center chats are abortion-determined women, exactly with whom we want to talk. 50% are vulnerable to choosing abortion but not firmly decided. We find that of abortion-determined women who call and make appointments, 69% show up for their appointment. Our internal statistics show that women who walk through our doors and receive ultrasound services will choose life, on average, 83% of the time. When the father is involved, that number increases to 91%.” RH has also begun canvasing medical clinics, social services facilities, schools, and universities to make Resource Health known where potential clients are.
Kathy thanked GEPC. “Your partnership has encouraged us and provided support for expanding programs. In a dark culture that continues to suppress light and cast shadows of untruth, we appreciate your partnership more than ever. Our calling is to be light in a dark world. Thank you for standing with us to advocate for the unborn, empower families, and be a light in the darkness. As the song says, ‘Til He returns or calls us home, here in the love of Christ we stand.’ May our work glorify and please our heavenly Father and add daily to His Kingdom.”
*Client names have been changed for privacy