— A mobile pregnancy care resource center may be relatively new for the Florida
Baptist Children’s Homes, but it already has become a strategic advocate for
life and the health of the unborn.
“Two babies and two souls were saved” when the unit was stationed next door to
a Planned Parenthood clinic in downtown Orlando in late June, Mary Lou Hendry,
director of sanctity of human life for the children’s homes, reported.
The two women intended to get abortions but instead, by divine appointment,
each was able to see her baby on an ultrasound machine screen provided by gifts
to the Psalm 139 Project of Southern Baptists’ Ethics & Religious Liberty
The mobile pregnancy care resource center — housed in a reconfigured travel
trailer donated to the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes last year — offered its
services from a vacant lot adjacent to the Planned Parenthood clinic in an
economically depressed area of the city. The owner of the land granted the team
permission to work from the parcel of land.
Few women came over to the unit that Saturday. Venturing into the community to
encourage women heading to an abortion clinic to reconsider their decision can
be joyful at times, Hendry said, but “it also brings you to a point of
While the pregnancy care center unit was on site, 25 to 30 babies were aborted
by Planned Parenthood next door, Hendry said.
Yet Hendry focuses on the “significance of the ones” who are saved, noting it
is pure joy to see a mother accept Christ and reject the idea that her unborn
child is a disposable inconvenience.
The mobile pregnancy care center, Hendry explained, is a Christ-focused
outreach to women and their families who find themselves in an unplanned
pregnancy and do not have access to a pregnancy care resource center in their
Although designed to provide ultrasound screenings, counseling and other
services to women in areas struck by natural disasters, the mobile care center
doesn’t sit inactive until the state faces a natural disaster but is being
utilized in underserved communities in Florida.
In May, the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes team provided pregnancy care
services and information to young women in an area of west Orlando
which does not have a pregnancy care resource center.
“During the four hours that we were set up we provided free pregnancy tests,
biblical counseling, as well as ultrasound screenings for women to confirm that
they were indeed pregnant,” Hendry said.
The outreach, called “Love Orlando,” was in partnership with First
Baptist Church of Orlando’s First
“One young woman came by our mobile center who was 33 weeks along in her
pregnancy and had not had any prenatal care,” Hendry recounted. “She wasn’t
able to qualify for Medicaid and didn’t have health insurance.
“We provided her with her first ultrasound where she could see her fully
developed baby, which will be born in the next several weeks,” Hendry said,
adding, “It’s always an amazing moment when you are able to show mothers the
new life that is living and growing inside their womb.”
The Florida Baptist team connected the woman with a nurse midwife to help with
her needs through the remainder of her pregnancy and afterward.
The ultrasound machine, provided at no cost through the Psalm 139 Project, is
an invaluable tool in helping to inform and educate women about their unborn
child during a crisis pregnancy, Hendry said, noting, “She can see her baby’s
heart beating at the very earliest stages of pregnancy.
“It’s important to note that nearly 80 percent of all women considering
abortion choose life when they see their unborn child on the ultrasound screen,”
Carmem Carmo, interim director for First
for Pregnancy, said the Love Orlando outreach not only was a way to protect the
unborn but also share the love of Christ.
“Our goal was to reach lost souls with the love of Jesus through this very
unique pregnancy care ministry,” Carmo said. “We believe this project started
in God’s heart, and we definitely felt His presence that day.”
In Psalm 139, the psalmist affirms God’s intimate involvement in his creation,
writing, “For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in
my mother’s womb.”
“We are on the front lines,” Hendry said, committed to “bringing light into
This year, funds donated by individuals to the Psalm 139 Project provided a
mobile ultrasound unit for the Arizona Baptist Children’s Home to serve
pregnancy care centers in Phoenix.
Next, the project will underwrite the cost of an ultrasound machine and training
in southern Louisiana, once sufficient financial gifts are in hand. Currently,
there is a critical need for Southern Baptist outreach to women in crisis
pregnancies in the greater New Orleans area. The Psalm 139 Project was launched
in 2004 with the placement of an ultrasound machine in southern Indiana,
with subsequent units placed in Florida,
Arizona and four other states.
For more information about the Psalm 139 Project, visit psalm139project.org.
(EDITOR’S NOTE — This article originated with the Florida Baptist Children’s
Homes based in Lakeland, Fla.,
and has been republished by the Florida Baptist Witness and updated by the
Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.)