For the second time in the past three years, WORLD Magazine has named a life-affirming pregnancy center as one of five regional finalists for its Hope Awards for Effective Compassion.
Earning WORLD’s finalist nod for the Northwest region, Hope Pregnancy Ministries is a two-location pregnancy help organization in Kalispell, Mont., that reaches over 700 women every year in a small community near Glacier National Park.
The organization is one of a small, but growing number of pregnancy help medical clinics that offer free STD/STI testing, with over half their overall clientele coming in for a test in 2016. A report from Heartbeat International in 2015 showed 15.6 percent of its affiliates in the U.S. offered STD/STI testing, a number on the rise over the past five years.
Hope has also been proactive in establishing relationships with local churches, public schools and hospitals—with its parenting classes and hospital partnership contributing to a dramatic decrease in hospital NICU costs. Hope also has an eye on establishing sister organizations in South America starting in the spring of 2018.
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Beyond the numbers, however, are the individual stories of the women whose lives have changed because of Hope. In her feature on the pregnancy center, WORLD Magazine’s Sarah Wedel opens with the story of one woman who rejected abortion after getting an ultrasound at Hope’s Clear Choices clinic:
A 19-year-old girl with a nose ring and hair pulled tight into a ponytail walks into a waiting room, carrying a car seat. A gaggle of women swarms her. She lifts a blue-eyed, fair-haired baby out of the car seat, and the oohs and aahs turn into laughter.
“Sorry we bombarded you,” one nurse says. “You saved her life,” the young mother replies, looking down at her baby. “So I owe it to you guys.”
A year ago, Connor Delaney and her boyfriend found out she was pregnant. Scared and confused, her boyfriend pushed Delaney to have an abortion. Delaney, feeling pressure, agreed. Then her father suggested she visit Hope Pregnancy Ministries’ medical clinic in Kalispell, Mont., before making any decision.
At the clinic, the staff asked Delaney how she felt about being pregnant. She said she wanted to have the baby but was feeling pressured to have an abortion. Days later, when a staffer learned Delaney had scheduled an abortion, she suggested the young woman come in for an ultrasound. So Delaney did, yet she still left for Washington state to have the abortion. There she entered the abortion business and saw the drained faces of girls leaving it. Delaney turned around and left.
Now, a year later, she bounces 4-month-old Era on her knee. She credits Clear Choice Clinic, a branch of Hope Pregnancy Ministries, with helping her summon the courage to carry her daughter to term: “I felt more comfortable being in my predicament here than anywhere else because … they let you talk to them about how you really feel.”
Not only did Hope and Clear Choices help Connor choose life for her daughter, they stood alongside her as she forged a more stable relationship with her baby's father.
Click here to watch Connor's story.
In 2015, Heartbeat of Miami—which serves women in four locations throughout Miami—became the first life-affirming organization to be named a WORLD Magazine’s annual Hope Award for Effective Compassion finalist. Regional winners each receive $2,000 with the final winner taking home a $15,000 grand prize. Voting for the finalists is opened now and runs through September 1.
Click here to vote for Hope Pregnancy Ministries.