The Northwest Louisiana Pregnancy Care Center’s Embraced Banquet was held Thursday night at the Minden Civic Center. Executive Director Lisa Gould announced the center would now have a medical director, Dr. David Spence.
Dr. Spence also provides services at pregnancy centers in Natchitoches and Alexandria.
“We need an ultrasound. We need Dr. Spence to read those ultrasounds and to do that we’ll need an ultrasound tech. So, we’re going to need a lot of things this year to save those babies,” Gould said.
Gould said this year the pregnancy center visited churches during vacation Bible schools to show children what they looked like in the womb with models that the children hold and play with. The center also hosted a breakfast with area pastors at Geaux Fresh to connect a variety of services provided through ministries.
Gould gave totals for the year.
“We had 135 total client visits, 18 new clients, 33 return new client visits, 9 pregnancy tests, and we had one baby boy that we know of,” Gould said.
The banquet’s speaker was Amy Ford, the co-founder and president of the Embrace Grace program that gives classes, a baby shower and other services to single expecting mothers through churches. Ford shared her story of going to get an abortion and passing out from stress. A nurse sent her home saying she was too emotionally distraught to receive the abortion.
“I’d stuffed down all of my feelings and emotions and it erupted in that moment,” Ford said.
Ford went back into the waiting room and told the father, “We’re still pregnant.”
She decided this was a sign and went on with her pregnancy and married the father of her child while 16 weeks pregnant.
She has now been married for 19 years and has four children.
“Going through all of that is really what fueled my passion for life and made me see the value and importance of how the church can get involved,” Ford said.
First Baptist Church uses the Embrace Grace program. Their pastor, Leland Crawford said in a video presentation that he recently performed the dedication of 10 babies, 3 of those babies were brought to the church through the Embrace Grace ministry.
“Those are some ministries that have really been impactful, that we really support as a church and I believe have been a direct result of Lisa and the pregnancy center,” Crawford said.
Ford advised church member to encourage young pregnant women instead of scolding them. She told guests to tell the women congratulations even if they are not married.
“A baby really is a miracle no matter how it got here and we have life and death in the power of our tongues,” Ford told the audience.
Ford said one in four women who have had abortions were attending church regularly at the time of their decision. The statistics are the same for women who attend church and those who don’t.
“Tony Evans says pregnancy centers are the first response team and the church is the hospital. I love that, that is a picture of what our communities should be looking like. The girls get to see Jesus for the first time in our pregnancy centers,” Ford said, “Being pro-life can save babies, being pro-love can save them both – the mothers and the babies.”