Not every woman is overjoyed when she finds out she’s pregnant. Perhaps she’s a teenager, a tired 40-year-old well into her career or a single mom overwhelmed by the prospect of another child. In situations like these, some women are struck with fear and doubt. Can I do this? What about my job, relationships, family and future?
In their haste to find a “solution”—or to ease pressure from their boyfriend, partner, husband, friends or even their parents—they often turn to what seems like their only option—abortion.
In such moments of desperation, pro-life pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) offer hope. Many of these organizations are Gospel-focused and Christ-centered, and every day they meet the profound and sometimes simple needs of vulnerable women, babies and couples at no cost to the client.
“One baby saved today is generations saved,” said Sylvia Johnson, who has worked in pro-life ministries for over 35 years.
As technology offers increasingly detailed glimpses into the womb, and as more states seek to defend what is without argument human life, the work of PRCs is more vital than ever.
Sylvia’s organization, Houston Pregnancy Help Centers (HPHC), has two locations in urban Houston and has been in operation since 2004.
“We’re located in ‘The Hood,’ which is unique for a pregnancy center,” Sylvia said. “We’ve been shot at; our windows have been shot out; there was a robbery across the street and bullets came through the wall. But we’re trusting God to send us as missionaries into a community that needs to hear the truth about Jesus Christ and the truth about how God created human beings in His image. How precious the life inside them is.”
Their clients range from CEOs to secretaries and everything in between. Some of the services that HPHC and other PRCs offer across the country are free pregnancy testing, ultrasound, abortion pill reversal, and counseling and mentoring. They also offer a host of life-affirming social services, including adoption referrals, and parenting and marriage classes.
“This is what I was created to do,” Sylvia said. “This is my purpose in life. This is what God gave me to do. And I love joining God wherever He’s at work, and He’s always at work.”
Sylvia, who’s African American, credits her three decades in pro-life ministry to a woman who took some time to invest in her.
“At Denny’s, over a sandwich, she gave me pro-life 101. It blew my mind,” Sylvia said. “This white lady is talking to this black lady, and she was telling me stuff I never heard of. I had never heard of a sanctity of human life sermon.”
The two women then drove over to the local abortion clinic, where Sylvia noticed most of the women walking in looked just like her.
“How could I have been so blind?” Sylvia says now.
She turned that passion into a mission to help women find hope in an unplanned pregnancy—and healing after an abortion.
Recently, a couple looking to verify their pregnancy before traveling to nearby Louisiana for an abortion were shocked to discover that they were having identical twins. The couple, seeing the image of the twins sucking each other’s toes on the ultrasound screen, chose life.
PRCs like HPHC are located across the country, vastly outnumbering Planned Parenthood locations.
Hope Women’s Center serves the women in McKinney, Texas, and the north Dallas suburbs. Run by co-CEOs Aaron and Holly Snell, the center’s life-affirming ministry was threatened in February 2021, when an ice storm brought devastating water damage and cost the ministry its building, furniture, ultrasound machines and pretty much everything else. But that didn’t stop the Snells from their mission.
“The Lord showed up and showed off in unique fashion, and it really has been miracle after miracle after miracle in all that God has done since then,” Holly said. “Through losing everything, we were able to purchase two new shell buildings and are scheduled to move in this month.
“What the enemy meant for evil in trying to shut us down, the Lord has turned that on its head. And the dreams that we had for this ministry that were far, far down the road, and even some things that we have never dreamed, the Lord has now put in place.”
To help continue their ministry while building a new facility, which will include new additions like an on-site adoption agency and professional counseling, Hope Women’s Center secured a mobile clinic and a new ultrasound machine.
Ultrasounds are a key component of PRC ministries, especially 3D and 4D machines, which show women and men their babies alive and thriving in the womb. Seeing the reality of life inside the womb is a significant factor in women choosing life for their babies.
The beauty revealed by an ultrasound impacted one abortion-minded woman last year, who told the Hope Women’s Center staff before her second appointment that she wanted to know whether she would be “killing one or two babies,” as twins run in her family.
The ultrasound technician confirm-ed she was having twins, which turned out to be one boy and one girl.
Though still on the fence, she made a third appointment, and this time her boyfriend came with her.
The woman shared her concerns about transportation—she had a small car and wasn’t sure how she could fit two car seats for the twins, in addition to the car seat she already has for her 2-year-old.
But God already knew this need. Three months earlier, a couple had donated an SUV to the center, and Aaron and Holly, who had been waiting for the Lord’s guidance, were able to give the keys to the woman and her boyfriend.
These daily miracles, both large and small, happen in PRCs all over the country. Every day pro-life ministries offer women hope and healing, celebrating those who choose life and mourning with those who regret their abortion decision.
“We really have to show Jesus to them,” Sylvia said. “It’s loving, not judging.”
Photos: Courtesy of Houston Pregnancy Help Centers