As a pregnancy center with a uniquely strategic location—directly across the street from the only surgical abortion facility in the state—the Arkansas Pregnancy Resource Center is planning to leverage its location even more by adding a mobile ultrasound unit to service women throughout the community.
Plans for the mobile ultrasound unit, which the center hopes hits the road by the end of 2017, were developed to ensure the center is able to meet needs in the community, regardless of location.
“We lease our building,” Nicole Lashbrook, executive director of the Little Rock-based center, said. “If the abortion clinic ever moves or closes, we still want to be available to women in the community. Before they even consider it, we want to be there.”
Lashbrook and her organization are launching the mobile effort in partnership with Save the Storks, which works with pregnancy help organizations across the U.S. to put buses on the road that are equipped with ultrasound.
With 20 Stork buses on the road so far and another 20 in the works, Lashbrook is looking forward to helping close the distance between pro-life professionals and the women who most need them.
Along from Save the Storks, a growing number of centers have taken their ultrasound services to the streets, including 38 mobile units through ICU Mobile, and another 40-plus organizations that have designed and deployed their own units.
“Considering the opportunity and increasing impact, we felt God was calling our ministry to add a mobile ultrasound unit,” Lashbrook said. “So, we developed a plan and began to pray.”
Soon after the Arkansas Pregnancy Resource Center team began the initial stages of planning and praying, Fellowship Bible Church of Little Rock gifted the center $100,000 toward the purchase of the mobile unit.
“The pastor of Fellowship Bible Church had attended our banquet and led us in prayer for the past few years,” Lashbrook said. “The church wanted to tithe into the community, and we wanted to grow our ministry—God aligned the timing of our goals for the perfect partnership.”
“We’re incredibly thankful for the generous gift from Fellowship Bible Church,” she said. “Much work is ahead to make this dream a reality. We’re relying on our planning and God’s goodness to make the mobile unit come to fruition.”
With contracts to sign, staffing to hire and additional funds to raise, implementing a mobile ultrasound unit is no easy task for a pregnancy center already offering a full docket of services, including free ultrasound, STI and pregnancy testing, a parenting program, sexual integrity program and more.
Serving families in the community since 1987, the center was founded by charter members who prioritized a strategic location from the beginning. Located across the street from the only surgical abortion facility in the state since that time, the center often serves abortion-minded and vulnerable women who often think they’re coming in for their abortion appointment.
This year alone, as of the end of July, the center has served 254 new clients.
“We’ve had 49 women change their mind for life this year, with half of the calendar year remaining,” Lashbrook said. “We only hope that number continues to increase exponentially with the additional opportunities the mobile clinic will provide.”
The Arkansas Pregnancy Resource Center sees a mobile ultrasound unit not only as a way to reach additional at-risk women, but also as an outreach to the Little Rock community as a whole.
“By being present throughout the community, we’re increasing awareness and opening the pro-life discussion,” Lashbrook said. “All pro-life professionals work together as a team. We’re hoping our mobile unit will bring new awareness to pregnancy care centers in a positive light throughout the region and state.”