Hope Pregnancy Centers Site Once ‘Place of Death,’ Now ‘Place of Life’
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas, October 28, 2015 | Christian News Service | -- As America reels from revelations about Planned Parenthood’s sale of unborn baby parts, and funding for the pro-choice organization is under attack by federal and state governments, the pro-life Hope Pregnancy Centers of Brazos Valley (www.partnerwithhope.org) has purchased and is repurposing a former Planned Parenthood abortion clinic here. Hope Pregnancy Centers is the first known pro-life pregnancy organization in the United States to own a former Planned Parenthood building.
Hope Pregnancy’s 6,000-square-foot facility at 4112 E.29th Street in Bryan now serves as its sexually- transmitted infection and disease (STI/STD) testing and treatment site called Testing 4 U, in addition to housing a medical clinic and a global pro-life organization. Many clients -- women and men -- seeking STI/STD testing are students at Texas A&M University and Blinn College, which have a combined estimated enrollment of 75,000 students. Hope Pregnancy Centers also plans to use the new facility to offer post-abortion medical care.
“What was once a place of death and grief where an estimated 6,400 abortions were performed has been transformed into a place of life,” said Tracy Frank, Hope Pregnancy Centers’ executive director. “We feel like we have reclaimed and redeemed the ground.”
Between both the Bryan and College Station facilities, services provided include peer counseling, parent education, sexual education and counseling, ultrasounds, infant supplies and community referrals.
Hope Pregnancy Centers paid fair market value for the former abortion clinic and remodeling at a cost of about $725,000, dedicating it in September. It used creative financing that included private, no-interest loans and a minority share to 40 Days for Life, which began its global ministry at the site.
The clinic hopes to be debt free by paying off the remaining $261,000 in loans and remodeling costs as soon as possible.
“This entire journey has been one fueled by our desire to provide more free and confidential sexual-health services to this community,” Frank said. “Unlike Planned Parenthood, which receives government funding, faith-based nonprofits can’t thrive without donor support. We are trusting God for yet another miracle.”
Pro-life presidential candidates Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee have each shown support for Hope Pregnancy Centers, having appeared at their fundraisers.
The Planned Parenthood facility closed after former Texas Governor Rick Perry led the legislature to cut state funding for the organization in 2013. He championed legislation that banned abortions after 20 weeks and held abortion clinics to higher standards. Twenty-eight of 44 abortion clinics in Texas closed. Planned Parenthood put the building on the market in February 2014.
Purchasing the vacant Planned Parenthood building just to have it didn’t seem appropriate, but as Hope Pregnancy Centers surveyed the available medical services for the community, it became clear a STI/STD clinic tailored to meet the needs of the student population, along with the rest of the community, was the best use of the space. Purchasing the vacant Planned Parenthood building was daunting to Frank at first, given the sales price. But eventually, she and her Board prayerfully moved forward.
Hope Pregnancy Centers is committed to ministering to the whole person, beyond medical and peer- counseling needs. In 2014, of the 1,685 women and men served, 971 clients self-identified as Christian, and 75 made new professions of faith or rededication.
All Hope Pregnancy Centers services are free and confidential, with no eligibility requirements. The services are not subsidized by any state or federal dollars, but instead all funding is supplied through donations by individuals, churches and businesses.
More information is available at partnerwithhope.org/takebacktheground, where contributions can be made to the ministry.
Hope Pregnancy Centers of Brazos Valley (www.partnerwithhope.org) in Bryan-College Station, Texas, offer free and confidential services to women and men facing unplanned pregnancies.