Located just 40 miles north of the border in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Care Net Pregnancy Center seeks to partner with their clients by confirming pregnancy, extending comprehensive support, and cultivating healthy relationships to help them flourish. Through the ERLC’s Psalm 139 ultrasound machine placement, Care Net has also been able to start offering life-saving ultrasounds and has the potential to impact at least 120 pregnancy decisions each year.
ERLC staff spoke to Care Net about their work.
Q: What type of community do you serve?
A: The community we serve is diverse. We see a large percentage of Hispanic women and men, some of whom are undocumented immigrants. This reflects the population of our wider community. We also serve high school students up to women in their forties. The most common age range of women we serve is from 20-30 years old. In addition, we have the opportunity to serve college students from New Mexico State University including many international students.
Q: How has the Psalm 139 project affected your pregnancy resource center?
A: The Psalm 139 Project made it possible for us to start providing life-saving ultrasounds. We transitioned to being a medical pregnancy center this year with trained nurse sonographers. Now, in addition to providing free pregnancy tests, we are able to share images of unborn babies with their parents.
Q: How has the Lord used the sonogram machines to influence Kingdom work?
A: We believe that providing women and men information about their options is a powerful tool in both saving and transforming lives. The sonogram machine adds a valuable layer in providing parents full information about the implications of their pregnancy decision. Though we have only been providing ultrasounds for a few short months, we have had the opportunity to see women choose life after viewing their baby on an ultrasound.
Q: How many women or couples come for advice, resources and other services?
A: In 2019, we served 587 unique clients with 1,346 total visits. These included free pregnancy tests as well as providing emergency baby and maternity supplies. In addition, we also provide around 20,000 diapers to our community annually. During COVID, our numbers of diaper distribution have been even higher.
Q: What usually happens after a woman sees her baby through an ultrasound?
A: Typically, we see clients in their first stages of pregnancy. During those early weeks, the signs of pregnancy are usually morning sickness and a missed period. For the client, those symptoms are not enough to make the pregnancy real. When a woman sees her baby in the ultrasound, a shift in thinking takes place. The client no longer sees her conditions as symptoms to be diagnosed but as signs of life growing in her womb, and a relationship is established. With the ultrasound, the client can make a truly informed decision about her pregnancy.
One of our first expecting moms who came in for an ultrasound had been to our center for a previous pregnancy and was fairly set on abortion. This time, she was unsure about how far along she was. She stated that seeing the images and the heartbeat on the ultrasound made a difference for her in making a pregnancy decision for life.
Q: What else would you share with those who are passionate about saving unborn babies as well as preserving life and the human dignity of others in the name of Jesus?
A: The language we speak around issues of life and human dignity is as important as the actions we take. As we seek to minister to women, men and the unborn, it is vital that we recognize the dignity of each person involved. They are each made in the image of God and deserve our love and respect no matter their circumstances.
In the pro-life arena, women often get thrown under the bus for the choices they have made. Our hope at Care Net of Las Cruces is to meet women right where they are, love them in that space and walk with them as they seek information and help. We also firmly believe that standing for life includes so much more than words but includes meeting physical needs. This is important in every community because abortion is often chosen due to lack of resources. But for us in Las Cruces, we see the ability to meet such needs as a unique and incredible opportunity to minister and honor life in our borderland.