Option Ultrasound Saving Lives
by Wendy Cloyd, assistant editor
Program lets pregnant women see an image of their preborn child.
Focus on the Family's Option Ultrasound Program (OUP) is encouraging thousands of pregnant women to choose life.
Since its inception in January 2004, OUP has placed 287 ultrasound services in medical pregnancy-resource centers in 46 states. Approximately 34,000 babies have potentially been saved.
Sue Parker, executive director of Life Choices in Memphis, Tenn., said OUP helped her center begin offering ultrasound just over a month ago.
"Women want to seek an answer to their problems -- and they see their pregnancy as a problem," she said. "A center that is making the ultrasound tool available gives women the opportunity to explore their options from a legitimate medical perspective."
Her county reports more than 7,000 abortions annually, so the need for a pro-life alternative is great.
"In our first month, even without the benefit of advertising, we saw about 35 ultrasounds," Parker said. "We took everything the Option Ultrasound Program had built into us and made it come alive for these girls."
Kim Conroy, director of Focus on the Family's Sanctity of Human Life outreach, said 88 percent of abortion-minded women who seek counseling and ultrasound services leave a pregnancy-resource center with the intention of carrying their babies to term.
"Women need the truth when faced with the challenging circumstances that lead them to consider abortion," she said. "Ultrasound examinations provide medical confirmation of their pregnancy and are a crucial tool to help women make positive decisions for themselves and their babies."
That's exactly what happened when a teenager and her parents visited Life Choices, Parker said. The girl agreed to an ultrasound just to see how far along she was.
"It turned out her pregnancy was 17 weeks," she said. "Literally on cue, the baby just moved -- and of course his heart was beating -- and he was just introducing himself to his mother."
Tearfully, the teen admitted that she had no idea her baby would look like a baby. She asked if her parents could join her in looking at the ultrasound images.
"They came back with her and literally they went from being in the waiting room and being abortion-minded to walking just a few yards and becoming pro-life," Parker said. "They said, 'This is our grandchild! Honey, I don't know how this is all going to work, but we're going to work it out.' "
Parker said Life Choices was able to tell them, "We're going to be there with you through this. We'll help you make a plan for your baby."
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Learn more about Focus on the Family's Option Ultrasound Program, visit Heartlink.org.