The decision of an abortionist to come to town sparked a dream of providing something better for babies as well as young men and women in a small Louisiana community. Something better has come in the form of a new pregnancy care center, which will be opening soon.
Heartbeat International’s Life Launch Grant program helps the Opelousas Pregnancy Center dream come true.
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Abortion provider Dr Rashonda Dean opened a women’s clinic in her hometown of Opelousas in 2018, claiming she would not perform abortion there since she is not licensed to do so. .
However, Dean performs abortions at two other facilities not far from Opelousas.
Dean has been accused on social media of intending to use the Opelousas clinic to refer clients to its other clinics for abortions. At an Opelousas board meeting that year, Dean denied that she would perform abortions there.
But nothing would stop Dean from referring the women at his Opelousas clinic to an abortion clinic.
According to statistics from Louisiana Right to Life, Dean had performed approximately 15,000 abortions between 2012 and 2017. The fact that many abortions left residents of the Opelousas area wondering if Dean would have time to see the patients for more. thing.
From worry to action
The opening of an abortionist-run clinic in Opelousas has also sparked concern from community volunteer Yvonne Normand and Dr. Kathy Allen, Ph.D., State Director of Louisiana Black Advocates for Life.
Allen noted in an email interview that “Seventy-nine percent of abortion centers in the United States are located in or near a minority community, and here in Louisiana, 60 percent of all Abortions each year are obtained by black women, although blacks comprise only 32% of the state’s population.
Allen added, “In Louisiana and many other states, blacks are disproportionately uninsured or underinsured, and are therefore more likely to be targeted by abortion clinics posing as health care providers in low cost.”
Heartbeat International has recognized Opelousas as a community that could be the target of abortionist tactics, according to Sara Littlefield, Heartbeat’s Life Launch Grants Specialist. The to agree supports the start-ups of new pregnancy support centers with training, resources and matching grants – focusing on helping pregnancy in underserved communities.
When Normand heard that the abortionist had opened a women’s clinic, she said to herself, “We can’t just sit there and sit idly by.
As coordinator of the Opelousas Ministerial Alliance, she mobilized and brought together some local pastors. Ten to twelve ministers attended the first meeting and twenty to the second.
In a telephone interview, Normand recounted how Stuart Amidon, a pastor at Christ Church Opelousas, attended his meeting and asked, “Why aren’t we looking to start? [a pregnancy care center] here?”
Within months, they appoint men and women to a board of directors, get their 501c3 papers and look for a building.
Throughout the meetings, Normand was impressed by the enthusiasm of the pastors to start a pregnancy center.
“The spirit of these ministers who are young and have young families – these are the people around the table who really insisted on this and moved forward,” noted Normand. “These men see the value of life and were so excited. They made sure the job was done.
The board hired Mika Hernandez, RN, to be executive director of the Opelousas Pregnancy Center. Hernandez is also a doula and lactation consultant. She was involved in fundraising, planning programs, setting up the clinic, providing ultrasound training for herself and her team of nurses, and receiving donations of diapers, clothing and of furniture.
“Mika did a great job finding resources,” noted Normand.
Normand added, “Our location is wonderful – right on Main Street on a property that a church allows us to use free of charge for one year. Mika has arranged it in an attractive way. The building looks great – inviting young people and relaxed to think about the choices and how they will achieve their child’s life.
Many companies and individuals have volunteered to help.
A nearby Christian school made financial donations, as did families and individuals. A paint store donated paint for free. One restaurant donated part of its sales day proceeds. The Diaper Collective in Arcadiana, Louisiana deposited diapers. Hernandez said on the centre’s Facebook page: “We have been well received and found great support in the city of Opelousas.
Heartbeat International Life Start-Up Grants Program Help
Hernandez said via video, “We caught the attention of Heartbeat International,” which showcased its Life Start Grants program.
Littlefield, Heartbeat Grants Specialist, said for Heartbeat it was “clear that this center was a perfect fit for the launch of Life. They saw in us a soul mate in terms of faith and the Lord’s action in the pregnancy center.
Littlefield also said: “It was amazing to see the enthusiasm and dedication of the management team at the Opelousas Pregnancy Center. We were delighted to hear that they were launching a fundraising campaign to raise $ 30,000 in 30 days! in grant funds.
“I remember getting this call from Mika,” said Littlefield, “she was delighted to share the amazing news that they had indeed achieved their goal, thus unlocking $ 15,000 in grant funds! What an inspiring start to the story of their center! We can’t wait to see where their loyalty will lead!
Hopes and dreams come true
In a video on Facebook, Hernandez said she was eager to help women during their pregnancy and “walk their journey to motherhood to facilitate an abundant life for their unborn child.”
Allen said: “I would like to see a greater development of programs within our churches and community groups that recognize the problem of abortion, especially in the black community, and the need for healing among women and men. who have been involved in abortion. Open dialogue on this issue will reduce the stigma, shame and silence that prevent us from accessing healing programs and resources.
The Opelousas Pregnancy Center will be a place that will offer these healing and health resources.
Allen would also like to see “a life-affirming culture in which women feel valued and protected, which can potentially prevent them from viewing abortion clinics as places of help or refuge.”
This type of culture will be promoted by the new pregnancy center.
From the Opelousas pregnancy center, Normand said: “I imagine this is the place of choice for young people who make wise choices. [and that] they begin to recommend that their peers go to a pregnancy care center before becoming actively sexually involved.
Normand said that it would be good to provide the help offered by a pregnancy center to “guidance counselors and schools. [and that the center could] educate young people and grandparents as they make choices ”about life.
An abortionist who opens a store in Opelousas might not be able to offer all the free service, love and support that a good pregnancy care center can offer.
As Allen pointed out, “People who perform abortions often believe that they are helping women, [but they] usually do not care about the fear that causes many women to go to an abortion clinic, or that a woman may sometimes be forced to have an abortion. Their goal is to make money – not to protect the health of a mother or an unborn baby. “
Allen went on to say, “Single mothers need to know that their community loves and supports them, and that they are valuable in themselves and have value to the community.”
Tweet this: Pregnancy Care Centers love and support mothers with unplanned pregnancies and show them that they are valuable and valuable to the community.
Pregnancy care centers are ready to do just that, including the Opelousas Pregnancy Center.
Considering what really inspired the start of the Opelousas Pregnancy Center, Norman said, “We started with the need to serve young families and give families hope so that they can choose life.”