Lisa Cutler had always felt like God was calling her to serve her hometown of Greenfield, Ohio.
A farming community just east of Cincinnati, Greenfield saddles the counties of Highland and Ross, an area that saw nearly 250 teen pregnancies in 2010, the last year on record with the Ohio Department of Health. Despite these figures, Greenfield had no pregnancy center.
In 2011, Cutler began volunteering at Elizabeth’s Hope Pregnancy Resources, a network of centers with four locations anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour away from Greenfield.
During her time as a volunteer with Elizabeth’s Hope, Cutler became increasingly aware of just how much her hometown of Greenfield could benefit from centers like these. After working for PPG Industries, a Fortune 500 company, in finance for 13 years almost an hour away from Greenfield, she considered going back to her hometown to start something.
"Since becoming involved with Elizabeth’s Hope, I quickly saw the need in Greenfield,” Cutler said. “It has always been on my heart for the door to open for a center here."
After reviewing statistics on unplanned pregnancies in the town, Cutler sensed that the best role a center would serve in this community would be to provide abstinence education and parenting classes.
As Cutler set out to open a center in her hometown, a position opened at Elizabeth’s Hope for executive director and Cutler was asked to apply.
“I knew God was moving me from my position in finance of 13 years at PPG,” said Cutler. “But I just wasn’t sure which door would open: The center manager of a new center or the executive director position for which I was applying.”
For the last four years, Cutler has served as executive director of Elizabeth’s Hope. This May, she is finally realizing her dream: Elizabeth’s Hope opened its fifth location in Greenfield on Tuesday, May 17.
With the help of a number of allies, Elizabeth’s Hope is moving the needle in Greenfield.
Already, they have found a place for abstinence education at Greenfield’s local high school. At the end of April, Relationships Under Construction visited McClain High School, presenting their sexual integrity program to the students and receiving an invitation to return in the fall to both the high school and middle school.
Now, the Elizabeth’s Hope team is looking to add medical services.
In recent months, Alicia Thompson, a pro-life OB-GYN in Chillicothe, reached out to Cutler, offering to assist Elizabeth’s Hope with ultrasounds.
Thompson, who once identified as “aggressively pro-choice,” became pro-life while preforming ultrasounds during her residency, an experience that was personally transformative for her.
“I saw this little person moving by its own volition,” Thompson said. “My dignity became apparent to me through this life in the womb.”
Tweet This: Formerly "aggressively #prochoice" doc now serving in #Ohio #prolife center
Thompson, a stay-at-home mom, has quickly become a go-to medical resource for Cutler as she has considered the process of going medical.
Then, in March, something unexpected happened at the Heartbeat International Conference in Atlanta: Cutler’s team won a $32,000 grant from Save the Storks through a random drawing.
The grant covers nearly one-third of the cost a state-of-the-art Save the Storks ultrasound mobile unit.
With this grant on hand, as well as Thompson’s support and expertise, Elizabeth’s Hope took a significant step closer to becoming medical.
As Cutler continues to plan the transition and fundraise for the remaining cost of the mobile unit, her team is now making plans to drive the unit to all of their locations and a number of college campuses in their area, hoping to reach the demographic that is most at-risk for having abortions.
With the prospect of going medical on the horizon, Cutler and Thompson are also considering the possibility of offering life-saving abortion pill reversal services.
As the fifth Elizabeth’s Hope center opens its doors, the team continues to pray and look for new ways to expand their services and reach deeper into Southern Ohio, educating future generations on the value of life.