KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) — The placement of a new ultrasound machine at Liberty Women’s Clinic by a Southern Baptist entity means this to Carol Graham — more women will have the information needed to choose life for their unborn babies.
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), announced Monday night (Sept. 24) the placement through its Psalm 139 Project of a new machine at the clinic in Liberty, a suburb northwest of Kansas City, Mo. He made the announcement after speaking at the For the Church National Conference sponsored by Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Graham — the clinic’s founder and chief executive officer who was introduced from the audience with clinic resource director Whitney Putnam — said the clinic is “deeply grateful for this generous gift from the ERLC.”
“We know how important providing a quality image of life growing in the womb is for a woman to make a choice for life,” Graham said in a written statement.
Eight of 10 women “have chosen life after seeing a heartbeat on the screen” at the clinic since it began offering limited obstetrical ultrasounds in 2007, she said. The new machine will enable the clinic “to increase our capacity for appointments by 37 percent in 2019, providing the opportunity for many more women to choose life,” Graham said.
It is an honor to partner with Liberty Women’s Clinic, Moore said.
“This gift is on behalf of Southern Baptists around the world who have given sacrificially for the sake of caring for unborn children and women in crisis,” he said in written comments. “These machines are a powerful instrument for good, and servants such as those at Liberty Women’s Clinic play an immeasurably important role in the church’s mission to be a witness for human dignity.”
The Psalm 139 Project is the ERLC’s ministry to help place ultrasound machines in pregnancy resource centers across the country and also fund the training of staff members to operate the machines. The initiative’s name comes from the well-known chapter in the Bible in which David testifies to God’s sovereign care for him when he was an unborn child. David wrote in verse 13 of that psalm, “You knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
Since 2004, the Psalm 139 Project has helped provide ultrasound equipment for centers in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas, as well as a previous placement in Missouri.
The Psalm 139 Project also plans to aid in placements this year at centers in Dallas and New Orleans.
Liberty Women’s Clinic, which began operations in 2002, moved into a new building two years ago and expanded to two ultrasound rooms, Graham told Baptist Press. The Psalm 139 Project grant will enable the clinic to replace a 12-year-old machine and offer “a quality image in two rooms simultaneously,” Graham said. The clinic also has a mobile unit with an ultrasound machine that serves women in urban Kansas City.
Kaley, a former client at Liberty Women’s Clinic, believes seeing the heartbeat of her unborn daughter in an ultrasound image made the difference for her.
“The heartbeat meant that she was real, she was alive, she was a baby inside of me,” Kaley said of her daughter in a video testimony about the clinic’s ministry.
Kaley, a single mother of a boy at the time of her pregnancy, had kept an earlier appointment at an abortion clinic but chose not to go through with the procedure and found the experience “very traumatizing.” The Liberty Women’s Clinic staff reminded her God “can do amazing things and just to lean on Him,” she said. Kaley said she prayed more than ever in her life during the pregnancy, and “He got me through it,” she said. Kaley’s daughter was born last year.
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 psalm139project.org.