Opelousas Pregnancy Center
CSpotlight: Motivation to open a pregnancy center specifically in Opelousas?
Pastor Amidon: We’ve lived in Opelousas for five years, and last year a new OB/GYN moved in down the street, literally a block away from our house. We got a text one morning from one of our church members saying, “Hey did you hear there’s a new abortionist moving to town?” Of course the reaction to something like that is shock, and you’re thinking, “no, of course I didn’t hear about that”—what’s going on?
We started digging around and doing a little homework, and it turns out the gynecology clinic down the road was an abortion doctor who had opened a satellite office here in town. She’s opened one in Rapides Parish—maybe Alexandria, and then there’s one here.
She operates her main office either in New Orleans or Baton Rouge—and they found she’s not licensed to perform abortions in Rapides Parish or Opelousas, so there is another danger. When she opened in Rapides Parish, they saw over time that abortions began to increase after that clinic opened. We started putting two and two together, and the conclusion we came to was there must be some type of system that’s bringing people to the main facility in New Orleans or Baton Rouge, from these other satellite clinics, acting like referral offices.
So when we realized all those things and saw what the trajectory was, we knew immediately we needed to have a crisis pregnancy center option here in Opelousas, very easily accessible to people around.
CSpotlight: What can they expect walking in, and what do you hope happens as a result?
Pastor Amidon: Our first goal is to provide excellent care for these mothers who find themselves in a pregnancy they were not anticipating, and let them know they have more options than just abortion. There’s adoption, and they can keep and raise the child, and if so, we’ll be able to help train them in being parents, and learning what that means, and knowing that their needs will be met.
Also, having someone available to help them sign up for programs like WIC, or Medicaid, or other government assistance options they can get plugged into, so they don’t feel like they are under-resourced. We basically want to help them find every accessible resource they can, with the hopes we’re going to be able to save these babies.
CSpotlight: Contacts with other local Opelousas organizations too?
Pastor Amidon: Yes, absolutely. We’ve got connection with the local, established diaper bank, and we’re going to be partnering with them to help further resource women in our area and their children, and a local rape crisis center we hope to partner with in the future, in order to better provide services to women who are victims of rape, and considering abortion as a result. There’s the local hospital, which we’ve already begun to be in talks with, to figure out how we can become better partners with them.
And, of course local churches in the area—one of our main desires would be to get these young ladies connected to a local body of believers so they can really have a long-term support system built into their lives.
CSpotlight: How close is the clinic to being open?
Pastor Amidon: Our board has been established, we have bylaws and constitutions written, our 501 C3 application is submitted, and now we’re beginning the canvasing and hiring process for an Executive Director—somebody who’s really going to be the point person, the tip of the spear for this particular organization.
So we’re looking for a woman who would be interested in giving her life to this kind of work.
CSpotlight: Anticipated additional needs?
Pastor Amidon: For prayers, two of the biggest things: for our Executive Director search, that we find that one perfect person that the Lord has sent for this particular job—we know that they are out there somewhere because we wouldn’t have come this far if they weren’t; and also for facility space—a real clear picture of what that needs to be and where it needs to be located. Lots of options in our area, but we’d like to have something approachable, and not like a sterile hospital room—more homey that they will feel comfortable coming into.