LAS CRUCES (ERLC) - Located forty miles north of the Mexico border in Las Cruces, Care Net Pregnancy Center seeks to partner with its clients by confirming the pregnancy, offering comprehensive support, and cultivating healthy relationships to help them flourish. With the ultrasound machine provided by the ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project, Care Net has also begun offering life-saving ultrasounds. It has the potential to impact at least 120 pregnancy decisions each year. Below are some questions ERLC staff asked Care Net leaders and their answers.
What type of community do you serve?
The community we serve is diverse. We see a large percentage of Hispanic women and men, some of whom are undocumented immigrants. That reflects the population of our wider community. We also serve individuals from high school student ages up to women in their forties. The most common age range of women we serve is from twenty to thirty. In addition, we have the opportunity to serve college students from New Mexico State University, including many international students.
How has the Psalm 139 Project affected your pregnancy resource center?
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 can share images of unborn babies with their parents.
How has the Lord used the sonogram machines to influence Kingdom work?
We believe that providing women and men information about their options is a powerful tool in saving and transforming lives. The sonogram machine adds a valuable layer in providing parents full details on their pregnancy decision implications. Though we have only offered ultrasounds for a few months, we already have had the opportunity to see women choose life after viewing their baby on an ultrasound.
How many women or couples come for advice, resources, and other services?
In 2019, we served 587 unique clients with 1,346 total visits. Those visits included free pregnancy tests as well as providing emergency baby and maternity supplies. We also provide around 20,000 diapers to our community annually. During COVID, our numbers of diaper distribution have been even higher.
What usually happens after a woman sees her baby through an ultrasound?
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. The ultrasound establishes a new relationship. 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 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.
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?
The language we speak about life and human dignity is as important as the actions we take. As we seek to minister to women, men, and the unborn, we must 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. At Care Net of Las Cruces, we hope 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 much more than words. It also includes meeting physical needs. That is important in every community because women often choose abortion because they lack 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.