We’re looking at a photo of a precious baby peeking out from beneath a downy green blanket. The little brunette has the bluest of eyes and curled up lashes that nearly touch the brows. I don’t know whose baby this is, but I can only imagine that if its mother had been contemplating an abortion, she is thanking God she decided not to.
The Women’s Pregnancy Center (WPC) in downtown Grand Forks features this infant on the cover of its Walk for Life brochure. There could be hundreds more babies just like this one now being loved by adoptive parents. But, according to statistics from WPC, 1,386 babies were aborted in 2008 at the only North Dakota abortion clinic in Fargo.
In 2009, WPC, a nonprofit Christian ministry and medical clinic now in its 23rd year, offered free-of-charge services to 400 young women who suspected they were pregnant. They were between 14 and 24 from economically disadvantaged homes.
Some time ago, Cindy Copp, former president and CEO of WPC told me this: “I am just saddened to see the lie that young people have bought into, that being sexually active brings happiness when in fact it brings great heartache and devastation. I’ve seen so many young girls faced with the fact that they are pregnant when they should be more concerned about what they are going to wear to school or what movie they are going to see. Instead, they are saddled with the choice of what to do with an unplanned pregnancy.”
If girls are pregnant, WPC’s goal is to educate them on their options. If it turns out they are not pregnant, WPC hopes to educate them on the issues of sexual health and abstinence. WPC has an excellent opportunity to make a difference in a young teen’s life and hopefully cause them to pause and reconsider whether it’s been a wise choice to be sexually active.
Besides pregnancy testing, other services WPC offers include: first trimester ultrasound exams, prenatal vitamins, options counseling, education on fetal development, the emotional and psychological risks of abortion, information on post-abortion syndrome, referrals to adoption agencies, referrals to community agencies for additional needs. It also assists in providing items needed for a nursery.
Lorraine Helgeson is current director of WPC. Others on staff are: Leah Mahlen, office manager; Sheila Dukes, nurse manager, and Betsey Horken, nurse. Part-time nurses are Leona Troftgruben and Michelle Hahn. Board members are Tony Chu, chairman; Michelle Walters, Gloria Patocka and Dave Zavoral.
Now, about WPC’s Walk for Life – it’s May 22 and begins at Town Square in downtown Grand Forks. Registration is at 8:30 a.m., and the walk begins at 9 a.m. I can already hear the wonderful music to be provided by a worship team from Hope Evangelical Covenant Church.
All are welcome to take part. The top walker receives a night’s stay at Can-ad Inn. Other prizes include gift cards from many businesses.
This Walk for Life plus a fall banquet are the only two major fundraisers WPC holds each year. Call 746-8866 or toll free (888) 732-4450 to get your sponsor pledge form. Every $100 raised provides one hour of free client services.
When I think about this topic I’m reminded of Jeremiah 31:15 which reads: “A voice is heard in Ramah – mourning and great weeping – Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because her children are no more.”
I would imagine, in retrospect, that there are millions of tears on pillows for little blue eyes that never will peek out from beneath a downy green blanket.