Editor’s note: This story was changed after its initial publication to clarify the series of events leading up to the placement of the ultrasound machine.
HOBBS, N.M. (BP) – The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s Psalm 139 Project has partnered with the Baptist General Convention of Texas to place an ultrasound at Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center in Hobbs, N.M.
The ultrasound placement highlights the cooperation of Southern Baptists across local churches, state conventions and SBC entities in meeting a specific need in an important location.
“At the ERLC, we are overjoyed when we can partner with state conventions as we stand for life together,” said Rachel Wiles, director of the Psalm 139 Project.
“This placement in Hobbs, in partnership with the BGCT, is unique since the state convention is reaching beyond its borders and giving with a missional mindset to serve their neighbors in an abortion-permissible state.
“I think that’s the beauty of this placement. Many women from Texas are traveling to New Mexico where abortion is permissible. The BGCT is rightly asking the question, ‘How can we support the pro-life movement there?’”
Janet Waldrop, executive director for the Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center, said the placement of the machine on Jan. 23 was an example of God’s providence.
“It was kind of God working all these different channels together,” Waldrop said.
“It kind of fell in my lap. It (the ultrasound machine) really is what meets these abortion-vulnerable women where they are, to have that thing that would get them in the doors to talk to us, and then be able to show them the life that really is there. To help them see that.
“We offer not only material support and companion support, but we offer them eternal hope. Really what they need is to know that Jesus is the person who can make a difference not only here, but eternally.”
The Psalm 139 Project not only provides pregnancy resource centers with ultrasound machines, but also provides each center’s staff with the necessary training for operating the equipment.
Legacy has already begun these training appointments with its staff, conducting the first ever scan on the machine Jan. 29. The center’s hope is to start hosting official client appointments in March.
Waldrop began serving as the executive director of Legacy in August of 2022. She explained shortly after joining Legacy, the decision was made to begin the process of becoming not just a resource center, but a medical pregnancy center with ultrasound equipment and trained staff.
Such a transition was deeply needed in the Hobbs area. Hobbs is located “about as far east in New Mexico as you can get,” she explained, about five minutes from the Texas border.
Texas is one of more than 10 states where most abortions are illegal. In New Mexico, abortion is legal until the day of delivery.
Because of the restrictions on abortion in Texas, Waldrop said the center frequently gets calls and visits from women coming from cities like Dallas, Fort Worth or even Houston, in addition to their New Mexico clients. Legacy has seen an increase in client appointments over the last several months.
Southern Baptists have been heavily involved in supporting Legacy since the center’s inception, Waldrop said.
A group of women from Taylor Memorial Baptist Church in Hobbs partnered together to establish Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center in 2012. They started by simply providing pregnancy tests and material needs like diapers to women and families.
The center slowly grew to include an education program with parenting and prenatal classes. All of this despite Legacy not having its own permanent home and renting various facilities over the years.
This was until First Baptist Church Hobbs, which planted Taylor Memorial in the 1950s, voted to donate a used building on its property to serve as a permanent home for Legacy. That building is currently under renovations, so First Baptist offered to host the center in the second floor of the church’s education building.
Unique connections in the story of Legacy even extend to the building which will become its permanent home.
Before First Baptist Hobbs owned the building, it was a part of a hospital in the 1930s and ‘40s, where many babies were born.
The building is referred to in the community as the Stone Building because Stone was the last name of the doctor who often delivered the babies. Stone’s grandson reached out to Legacy and pledged financial support, continuing his family’s own legacy of helping bring life into the world.
In addition to Taylor Memorial and First Baptist, Waldrop said two other Southern Baptist churches in Hobbs make up four of the 10 or so church partners that support them regularly.
The Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission recommended to BGCT leadership a strategic placement of an ultrasound machine in New Mexico. The Baptist Convention of New Mexico helped make the connection with FBC Hobbs, who connected the BGCT with Legacy.
“I think it’s a testimony to the cooperation of Southern Baptists,” Waldrop said.
“It was very easy to work through all of the channels and get everybody connected. I am incredibly thankful for it. I just feel blessed that God put all of those organizations together with a heart to help. It was really a great process to be a part of.”