The LAPS clinic project is a faith-filled, bold effort to convert our Counseling Center into a life-affirming, ultrasound-equipped, full-time, well-staffed Pregnancy Help Medical Clinic in the neediest neighborhood of LA, and perhaps, in the whole nation!
The challenge is not new; it’s just our turn. God’s people have always been called to cherish and defend the weakest among us. The Psalmist calls out, “give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82;2-3). Jesus illustrated the death-defying, life-saving power of neighborly love by pointing to the Samaritan’s direct and practical intervention then calling us to, “go and do likewise,” (Luke 10:37).
Throughout history, God’s people have understood that “maintaining the right of the afflicted and destitute” included defending the right to life of preborn children; and that “rescuing the weak” included helping young mothers being pressured to abort, find the practical means to give life and prepare to parent or place for adoption.
Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) speaks for many generations of Christians before and after him: "Life is God's most precious gift. Abortion...is not merely an awful tyranny; it is a smear against the integrity of God as well. Suffer as we must, even die if need be, such rebellion against heaven must not be free to run its terrible courses."
This generation of Christians are answering the call, in part, by establishing over 3,000 Pregnancy Help Centers/Clinics nationwide. They provide life-saving help in a life-changing way. Every day, thousands are being “delivered from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:3) from those who exploit the fears of young women and profit in the shedding of innocent blood.
Answering this call has now led a number of national pro-life leaders to consider the overwhelming need of Los Angeles, CA. Los Angeles County has 43 abortion facilities, selling young women death as the only answer to their difficult circumstances. For this reason Heartbeat International has joined forces with the Life League of S. California, to develop Los Angeles Pregnancy Services into a Christ-centered, life-affirming, ultrasound-equipped Pregnancy Help Medical Clinic in the neediest neighborhood of LA; a neighborhood plagued with nine abortion businesses, four of which are within a hundred feet of each other, two in the same building. This is the America’s abortion hot-zone.
Unleashing the Power of Neighborly Love
While some people labor to make abortion unlawful, it is the immediate challenge of the Christian community to make abortion unnecessary. Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family describes them well: “At the end of the year a pregnancy center can point to a baby boy born February 22real live human beings who were allowed to live, to be brought into this word, to give love and receive love simply because those organizations exist.” The late John Paul II said, “Thanks to the work of such clinics, many unmarried mothers and couples in difficulty discover hope and find assistance and support in overcoming hardship and the fear of accepting a newly conceived life.”
The Pregnancy Help Medical Clinic is our way of showing the life-saving and life-changing power of neighborly love. We provide INTERVENTION services including pregnancy testing and ultrasound verification, education about abortion risks and procedures. We provide PREPARATION services through our parenting classes to prepare young mothers/couples to parent or place for adoption. We provide PREVENTION services, helping couples understand the value of sexual integrity; of abstinence until marriage and faithfulness within marriage. And through it all, we bring RESTORATION; helping women and couples understand the life-changing truth and power of God’s love and mercy.
Challenging the Targeting of Minorities for Abortion
In recent years, the abortion industry has been consolidating into cities and marketing abortion to minorities.
“Years ago, Planned Parenthood explicitly identified its core clients as "young women, low income women, and women of color" (Plan of Action, 1997).” (http://www.nrlc.org/news/2006/NRL07/PlannedParenthood.html)
African-American women represent 12% of the female population,
but suffer 36% of all abortions. Latino women represent 13% of the female population but suffer another 20% of all abortions.
US Center for Disease Control Abortion Surveillance Report 11/26/04 (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/
While the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger was an explicit racist (Link) who saw abortion as a way of controlling minorities, and such things rare today, it is still shockingly racist (YouTube). The ongoing de facto racism of the abortion industry is evident when you consider that 62.5% of Planned Parenthood facilities are located in cities with a higher black percentage than the state. http://www.lifeissues.org/connector/display.asp?page=05oct.htm
Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., reminds us that Dr. King taught that the irrepressible moral truth of the civil rights movement was not black rights, but human rights. Following this truth, she concludes, “the most compelling issue now is the life of the unborn.” (www.kingforamerica.com/adkfoundation_article2.htm).
Laboring Together in the Saving of Many Lives
LAPS for Life is an urban initiative designed to inspire, train and equip Christians and churches to establish a Christ-centered, ultrasound equipped, donor supported, Pregnancy Help Medical Clinic in the neediest neighborhoods of L.A., beginning in Pico Union. It has perhaps the highest concentration of abortion businesses in any square mile in the country.
Truly it is time to challenge this stronghold in the culture of death with the life-saving, life-changing Gospel of Life.
Making the Necessary Sacrifice
One-Time Gifts: A few donors in L.A. have pledged generous gifts to secure, build-out and equip a medical clinic. But of course, more “virtue capitalists” are needed. It will cost about $250,000 in capital expenses to set this clinic up as a “best practice” high impact PHMC.
Monthly Partners: To sustain the PHMC month in and month out, we need 500 monthly donors; average folks of average means who sacrifice a cup of coffee a day ($1-$2 a day) to make sure that every day, LAPS is staffed and ready to answer the call of women and couples in pregnancy distress.
If you are willing to answer the call with us, mark the enclosed envelope or pledge online at www.lapsforlife.org. LAPS for Life monthly pledges are handled through our secure Egiving System, using a credit card or bank account. They can be changed or canceled at any tie. We will share some of the greatest stories of lives saved and lives changed that you will ever hear.
Cross-bearing for the Child-bearing
Rescuing the weak and the innocent from those who traffic in innocent blood does not come by believing abortion is wrong, but by bearing the burden of those bearing a child and being drawn by human weakness and demonic powers when they reach out to the wrong savior for the wrong kind of deliverance. We call it cross-bearing for the child-bearing. Oh! I pray to the Lord that you join me in answering this call. Together, let us be cross-bearers for child-bearers.
Astrid Bennett Gutierrez
Los Angeles Pregnancy Services