May 20, 2003
COLUMBIA – Some babies are alive in Central Missouri today because of an ultrasound program that has been introduced at Open Arms, a crisis pregnancy center located in Columbia, Fulton and Jefferson City.
Southern Baptists in Mid-Missouri helped pay for the equipment by participating in the Baby Bottle program. The program includes leaving empty plastic baby bottles at churches on Mother’s Day. Church members fill the bottles with coins and return them to the church on Father’s Day.
“During the first six months the equipment was operational in Columbia, we saw 54 women and 53 of them chose life. That is about a 98 percent success rate,” said Nile Abele, Open Arms director.
Abele said the ultrasound equipment is being installed at centers nationwide. Before the equipment was installed, 40 percent of the women chose life for their baby. Nationally, the statistic jumped to 90 percent after women could see their babies on the ultrasound screen.
“You’d be surprised at how many women think the baby they are carrying is nothing more than a glob. They do not think there is any real life there. They’ve bought into the lie culture has taught us,” Abele said.
According to Abele, most of the women are between 5 1/2 and 7 weeks pregnant when they come to one of the centers seeking help. Opens Arms offers free pregnancy testing.
“Most women don’t realize they are pregnant until they’re five or six weeks along, and it’s between six and seven weeks that the ultrasound equipment will show the baby,” he explained.
The ultrasound equipment costs $19,250 per unit. Enough money has come in, Abele said, to purchase one of the ultrasound machines for the Jefferson City center. It was used for the first time on May 13.
“The neat thing about the equipment in Columbia was that God was in that room in such a way that hearts were turned to Christ,” Abele said.
“All our staff, including the nurses and doctor, are trained to share the Gospel because we are an evangelistic organization. We cannot help the women if Christ is not a part of what is presented.
“Our ultimate goal is that every child be born alive and that every mom and dad be born again.”