While the abortion debate rages on, Options PRC is quietly and effectively doing what we’ve always done: offering life-affirming alternatives to abortion for women in unplanned pregnancies. Your partnership with Options makes a difference in the lives of the women we serve, and the babies they carry.
Yet despite our best efforts, more than 300 babies lost their lives to abortion in Linn and Benton counties in 2007.(1) We know this fact breaks your heart, as it does ours. It’s simply unacceptable that many women choose abortion for lack of an opportunity to make an informed decision about the life they are carrying. We can and must do more to help them.
This is why Options is launching “Project Ultrasound,” and why we invite your participation. We are determined to see that women in unplanned pregnancies have true options, and that we further diminish the terrible rate of abortion in our communities. We can—with God’s help—do a better job at saving lives and sparing women the tragedy of abortion.
Ultrasound is chief among the tools we have at our disposal. These charts show the dramatic difference that ultrasound makes in the decisions reached by our clients about their pregnancies. Among those classified as being at high-risk for choosing abortion(2) and who declined our offer to return for an ultrasound exam, at least 75% eventually had abortions. But among those who had an ultrasound, the abortion rate was only 30%. These statistics make an obvious point: Ultrasound profoundly influences the choices women make about their pregnancies. It saves lives!
So here’s our plan for addressing the high rate of abortion in our communities. In a phrase, we intend to offer ultrasound on demand. Every high-risk client we see in both our Albany and Corvallis offices and who is far enough along in her pregnancy will be offered an immediate on-site ultrasound exam. This strategy will reduce the number of no-shows that typically occur when women are scheduled for follow-up appointments.
Providing ultrasound on demand will not come cheaply. We believe, however, that this is what God is calling us to. Despite the recession, we cannot delay in doing what we must to save the lives of more unborn babies. As experts at addressing the issue of unplanned pregnancies, Options wants every women who needs and consents to an ultrasound to have one immediately—on demand.
To accomplish this, we will in coming weeks hire a nurse manager to conduct most of our exams. Instead of scheduling women who have a positive pregnancy test to come back for ultrasound, we will invite them to have the exam right then, with no delay. By increasing the number of ultrasounds we perform, fewer of our clients will opt for abortion.
This is where you come in. The Options board chose early this year to not hold our annual Walk for Life. This event has long been a favorite among many of our supporters, but we felt it was important this year to devote all volunteer and staff resources to planning our expanded medical services. By doing so, we took the calculated risk that those who support us financially would understand and support our Project Ultrasound initiative.
In hiring a nurse manager, we expect to incur an additional $40,000 or more in annual expenses. This decision comes at a time when giving is already down. We are proceeding with this plan not because we think it makes financial sense (humanly it clearly doesn’t!) but because this is where God is leading us. We believe Project Ultrasound will reduce the number of abortions in Linn and Benton counties.
Never before have we come to you with an urgent appeal like this. But the evidence we’ve detailed in the chart on the previous page cannot be ignored. We must act. Will you please consider making a generous contribution to Options at this time to help fund a nurse manager? Having a skilled person on site will make a difference in the number of women who have an ultrasound and the number of babies saved.
Thank you for considering how you might be involved as we move forward with Project Ultrasound. Your financial and prayer support of this bold vision is greatly appreciated.
(1) Source: State of Oregon, Department of Human Services
(2) Source: Options PRC statistics