By Jay HobbsNational Right to Life
It’s a strategic goal of most pro-life pregnancy centers to locate as closely as they can to an abortion provider, giving a woman considering abortion one last chance to make a choice for life.
So, when a sidewalk counselor praying in front of a large Planned Parenthood in downtown Baltimore noticed a “For Sale” sign on the office next door in January, he called Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns with an offer.
He would purchase the space outright, giving the center its fifth location—and first next door to an abortion business.
After a walk-through of the premises, however, the center did the unthinkable and turned down his offer. The price tag to renovate the three-story facility into anything remotely useful was too steep to move forward.
Two days later, another man called. He too was a volunteer sidewalk counselor in front of the Planned Parenthood, and, hearing that the center had turned down the first man’s proposal, he offered to cover the remaining costs.
Soon, a third man contacted Carol Clews, the organization’s executive director, volunteering his services as an architect at no cost.
“Out of a clear blue sky, God shot his lightning bolt right next door to Planned Parenthood,” Robert Gaines, the center’s director of development said. “It became clear after that second offer that God was on the move. And he absolutely wanted to place us there, so we reconsidered.”With the office space in need of a full gut and remodel, Clews and Gaines say they hope to start serving clients by at least the end of 2017, adding to a current client load of 1,200 women each year.
At three stories, the space will be larger than what the center needs to serve its own clients, so the hope is to use the additional space to welcome in other tenants with complimentary missions that include adoption, post-abortive healing and community resources.