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Portable ultrasound goes to women in crisis

EL DORADO, Ark. (BP) — Hannah Pregnancy Resource Center is now able to take sonogram technology to abortion-vulnerable women in southern Arkansas because of a donation from the Psalm 139 Project.

Hannah Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC) celebrated Aug. 17 the placement of a portable ultrasound machine that will be used at its satellite locations in Camden and Magnolia, both about 40 minutes from the center in El Dorado. The machine and the training that accompanies it were made possible by gifts to the Psalm 139 Project, the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s (ERLC) ministry to help place sonogram technology in pro-life pregnancy centers across the country.

“Many women we serve have transportation challenges that prevent them from traveling to our El Dorado center,” Kathy Love, Hannah PRC’s nurse manager, told Baptist Press in an email interview. “By having a cart and printer in both locations, I can now travel quickly to either location with the beautiful machine provided and have a state-of-the-art machine ready to go!”

In a written release, ERLC President Russell Moore said of the portable machine’s placement with Hannah PRC, “This gift, on behalf of Southern Baptists who have given sacrificially for the sake of caring for unborn children and women in crisis, will no doubt be used as a powerful instrument for good. I pray for the servant leaders at Hannah Pregnancy Resource Center as they play an immeasurably important role in the church’s mission to be a witness for human dignity.”

Hannah PRC’s satellite centers in Camden and Magnolia no longer had functioning ultrasound machines prior to the Psalm 139 placement.

Paula Williams, Hannah PRC’s executive director, found out about the ERLC initiative while looking for information on the Southern Baptist Convention’s website. She noticed pregnancy resource centers were listed on the site and found a link to the Psalm 139 Project while looking at the list.

“I had never heard of it before,” Williams shared during the Aug. 17 dedication ceremony, according to quotes provided by the center. “I downloaded the application, completed it and returned it. Almost immediately we were contacted, and they requested more information. We were approved, and in a matter of a few months we were awarded a machine.

She told BP by email, “We are so amazed at God’s goodness and provision. We just want to give Him the glory for it!”

The center’s past use of sonogram technology has made a dramatic difference with its clients. More than 96 percent of abortion-minded and abortion-vulnerable women at their centers choose life after viewing an ultrasound image of their child, according to the center.

Hannah PRC, which has an evangelical Christian statement of faith, not only provides for the physical and other needs of its clients before and after birth but shares the Gospel with those who have no relationship with Jesus and encourages those who profess faith in Christ toward a closer walk with Him.

Both the Arkansas Baptist State Convention and Liberty Baptist Association support Hannah PRC financially. Volunteers from the association’s churches serve at the center, and the association also encourages churches to provide financial support, said associational missionary Ernest DeSoto. Churches in El Dorado, Camden and Magnolia are in Liberty Baptist Association.

The association sees its involvement with Hannah PRC as an expression of support “particularly for women who either are searching for answers or confused about their options,” DeSoto told BP in a phone interview. “So we believe it’s not only a service to the young mother-to-be that is finding herself in a difficult position but also for the unborn.”

The portable machine provided through Psalm 139 “is going to be used in the years to come to make a difference,” DeSoto said.

In addition to the Psalm 139 placement, Hannah PRC received an ultrasound machine for its El Dorado center through the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men’s organization. The center had been using a 15-year-old machine for which parts could no longer be purchased.

Since 2004, the Psalm 139 Project has now helped provide ultrasound equipment for centers in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas. The ERLC has collaborated with Focus on the Family’s Option Ultrasound Program on some of the machine placements.

All gifts to the Psalm 139 Project go toward machines and training, since the ERLC’s administrative costs are covered by the Cooperative Program, the SBC’s unified giving plan. Information on the Psalm 139 Project and how to donate is available at https://psalm139project.org.

The Psalm 139 Project is named after the psalm in which David testified to God’s sovereign care for him when he was an unborn child. He wrote in verse 13, “You knit me together in my mother’s womb.”