A pregnancy center in Virginia has seen an increase in calls and visits from women in need due to collaborative efforts between the center, the local 40 Days for Life campaign, a pro-life material ministry, and Heartbeat International.
Kim Warburton, Executive Director of Metro Richmond Pregnancy Resource Center, saw the hand of God in collaboration resulting in the opportunity to serve more women.
âI always say, ‘Lord, show us what to do’ and I ask, ‘What does he require of us?’ “, did she say.
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Richmond’s new 40 Days to the Life campaign leader had contacted Warburton to find out how to connect women he met during the campaign with the pregnancy support center.
Warburton recalled the conversation:
âShe said to me, ‘So, Kim, what we want to do when we talk to women is get them to all of you, so what do we have to do to get them to you?’ I wondered, what if we had ways to get them to pregnancy centers in their communities and if we had a sign that said, âIf you need help, call _______. She was excited and I got excited.
Warburton investigated and contacted International heartbeat, the first network of pro-life pregnancy resource centers founded in 1971 in the United States and now the largest network in the world.
âIf we could get a sign with Heartbeat International on it and their option line number, they would direct women to the community pregnancy center,â she said. âThe Heartbeat team is such an amazing bunch of people! “
Option line is bilingual 24/7 from Heartbeat pro-life contact center which provides support to women and families in need, putting them in touch with their local pregnancy support center.
Warburton learned that signs were available via Heritage House, one of the largest pro-life equipment suppliers in the world. Warburton ordered some and shared them with the local 40 Days for Life team.
40 days for life has brought together people around the world twice a year for 13 years to pray for women seeking abortions and for abortion workers. The pro-life vigils have saved thousands of lives through abortion, with hundreds of abortion workers leaving the company and abortion centers closing.
Within days of holding these signs by people praying with 40 Days for the Life near abortion centers in Richmond, calls arrived at the Metro Richmond Pregnancy Resource Center.
âThe first three days they were there to pray, we received six calls. Five of the women entered. I was so thrilled! said Warburton.
She considers the signs effective and hopes they will be used in the spring 2021 campaign. She also hopes to see them in the community.
âI’m still thinking about how to get these signs out in the community,â Warburton said. “I know that when a woman calls and she talks to someone on the option line, they will encourage her to go to a pregnancy center where she will get help.”
Tweet this: I know a woman is calling and talking to someone at Option Line they will encourage her to go to a pregnancy center where she will get help
âI hope we can get more signs and maybe we can enlighten the whole community with these signs,â she continued. “I think women who have unplanned pregnancies know they need help – they often don’t know where to find it.”
The urgent need to help women with abortion
Earlier this year, the governor of Virginia signed laws relax restrictions on abortion in the state. Warburton considers these changes harmful to women. Some of these changes include reducing the wait period for an abortion, eliminating pre-abortion ultrasound, and allowing nurse practitioners to perform abortions.
âIt’s not women’s reproductive health care when we lower the standards of care,â Warburton said.
“Here we have a woman who is very torn, who is often under overwhelming external pressure,” she said, “often forced to have an abortion”.
âWith these new laws that came into effect in July,â Warburton added, âand all that we see on the ground as we love and serve women every day, listening to their stories, looking for ways to help, to support, and encourage them and provide them with good informationâ¦ there is a sense of urgency every day.
Warburton oversees two centers in Richmond, including one that opened in the past year and serves Hispanic and immigrant populations. The original location already served around 200 women, locally and other parts of the state, so Warburton and his team decided to reach even more with a second location.
âWe see a large Hispanic population and an immigrant population in our South Richmond City office,â she said. âWe are grateful to have joined them as they are another underserved community that really needs a lot of help. Sex trafficking and drug trafficking are very high, and we are grateful to be there.
Serve with love and in partnership
The Pregnancy Resource Center in Metro Richmond began over 35 years ago; Warburton has led the organization for 16 years.
There are three abortion centers in the city and the abortion rate in this urban area “is very high,” she said.
“There were over 4,000 abortions performed in Richmond in 2018, an increase of 35% over the previous year, and there was a 32% increase from 2016 to 2017,” he said. she declared.
The pregnancy center fights for every life by providing medical services to women that women need, including ultrasound scans and STD tests. There is also a “postabortion care” and a paternity program, she said.
âWe want to love and serve people well,â Warburton said. âWe want to speak the truth with love and exercise our ministry without manipulation. ”
âA lot of times what they need is hope and support, and they need good information,â Warburton said. âThis is what we offer: love, hope, help, good information, and we walk alongside them. “
Partnering with 40 Days for Life and others is helping give women hope and help. A new poster campaign called âInformed Womenâ is planned for the new year.
âWe think women really need to know,â Warburton said, referring to new Virginia laws that have come into effect. âI think the women in our community need to know too. They often don’t know when things are carried away.
Online marketing and radio ads also play a role in raising awareness for the center, and as she seeks more places to display Option Line signs in her community, Warburton anticipates the potential for further collaborative efforts. .
âI don’t know just what God wants us to do,â she said, âbut I think we really need to find ways to work together. ”
Editor’s Note: Heartbeat International manages Option Line and Pregnancy Help News.