That’s been the experience with Women’s Center-Sharonville, which opened this past July. In case you’re wondering, this was not exactly a planned pregnancy; opening a women’s center in Hamilton County had not been part of our strategic plans. But when we discovered that a late-term abortion facility was operating there, Elizabeth’s New Life Center got involved with the faith-based groups rallying to defend their community. We did a feasibility study and were positively impressed with the results.
Deciding to open a women’s center in Sharonville had much less to do with expanding the Elizabeth’s New Life Center network of pregnancy resource centers than filling the need for a sustained and substantial pro-life presence directly across the street from the abortion clinic. Although there are other, laudable ways to minister to women contemplating abortion, Elizabeth’s New Life Center specializes in a model that features free pregnancy tests, 4D ultrasound scans on the spot, and consulting in a safe, loving environment. We know from experience this model works and, especially when a center is placed in proximity to the abortion center, provides direct competition for women’s hearts and minds.
However, it costs money to open and operate a center—a lot of it. It requires great effort, too. We would have to find a suitable building and then renovate it so that we could offer clients medical services while guaranteeing their privacy. We would need signage and permits, equipment, supplies, trained personnel, etc. The list, like a pregnant belly, kept growing.
We prayed about whether we should go ahead with this “pregnancy.” In a stressed economy, could we afford it? Understanding the urgency of the situation, however, generous donors in Dayton were so moved by the plight of those vulnerable women and children that they branched out in their giving. A building became available. Focus on the Family graciously stepped in with a generous grant for an ultrasound machine. We found trained people willing to work there. It would have been faithless to ignore the evidence: God wanted to give birth to a new women’s center.
Now, just a couple months later, Women’s Center-Sharonville is already finding its legs. In the first month of operation, the center served 65 women, and 68 percent of the abortion-vulnerable clients changed their minds to carry after receiving our services. It’s a proud, proud day—not because of anything Elizabeth’s New Life Center accomplished, but because of what we’ve witnessed: the God-given miracle of birth, in this case, the birth of a life-saving pregnancy medical center in Sharonville.