When a woman walks into the medical clinic operated by Agape House in northwest Tennessee, she won’t find evangelism tracts or Bibles in the waiting room. While she waits nervously to have an ultrasound to confirm her pregnancy, she won’t be judged regardless of her circumstances. And if she tells the clinic staff that she’s considering having an abortion, she will be given all the information she needs about her child, but won’t be pressured into a decision.
“If someone tries to talk a woman out of a decision to abort” before her heart is ready to accept it, “then someone else can easily talk her back into it after she leaves,” said Linda DeBoard, CEO of Agape House and member of First Baptist Church in Martin, Tenn. “When ladies come to our clinic, our mission is to empower them with the truth about life so that they can make the best choice for themselves. We know that’s a choice for life, but she has to come to that realization after she has been given all the truth.”
Agape House is one of thousands of pro-life organizations throughout the country on the front lines of elevating the sanctity of human life.
Pregnancy resource centers and medical clinics such as the one operated by Agape House offer various services to support women and men faced with pregnancy decisions.
Some centers minister to those who need assistance throughout a pregnancy in the form of training classes, counseling, or material goods such as diapers. These types of centers may or may not operate as medical clinics and offer services such as pregnancy testing and ultrasounds. Others, like Agape House’s clinic, focus on reaching women who are at risk for abortion, offering medical services and informing them of their pregnancy options.
Everyone on staff with Agape House is a member of a Southern Baptist church in northwest Tennessee or Kentucky, said DeBoard. Many of their volunteers come from Southern Baptist churches in the area, and all volunteers are required to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and be committed to a biblical understanding of the sanctity of human life.
The ministry is entirely funded by churches, individuals, businesses, and civic groups; more than 60 Southern Baptist churches, as well as other churches who embrace a pro-life ethic, contributed financially in 2016.
In addition to their medical clinic, Agape House has an educational arm and offers a Bible study for women who have previously had abortions, to carry out their mission statement of “upholding the sanctity of human life through education, medical services and spiritual restoration.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press