This fall, a former Virginia abortion facility will be transformed into a community health center that helps some of the most vulnerable people in society.
The Amethyst Women’s Health Center in Manassas, Virginia spent almost three decades making money aborting about 1,300 unborn babies each year, the Catholic News Agency reports.
But since it closed in 2015, Catholics in the area have been working to turn the former abortion facility into a free community health clinic for people without health insurance. The new Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic is scheduled to open in November, staffed by a team of volunteer doctors and nurses, according to the report.
Catholics in the area said the miraculous transformation really began with prayer.
CNA reports what happened:
As the clinic opened its doors day after day for years, local Catholics began to regularly pray outside the building all year round for the victims of the abortions, for the clinic workers and owners, and for an end to the abortions there.
In 2013, two members of the pro-life community visited the clinic and struck up a friendship with the owner, her son, and one of the contracted abortionists. In their regular clinic visits, they learned that the owner, now a widow, was not opposed to leaving the practice but felt trapped since operating the clinic had been her livelihood for years. If she left the clinic, her son would need support as well. They tried to find a job for her son, while realizing that they would need to raise a significant amount of money within three months to purchase the clinic and buy her out so she could retire.
One pro-life advocate felt moved to begin praying a 14-day rosary novena, and their prayers quickly were answered. According to the report, the pro-lifers collected enough donations in just three months to buy the abortion facility. It closed permanently in September 2015.
Since then, local Catholics have been working to transform the building into a place that heals, not kills, the most vulnerable in society.
Local pro-life advocate Art Bennett told CNA that everyone “wanted it to be a place where people would find hope and healing.” He said they had a “great desire that something redemptive would happen here.”
This summer, Catholic Charities announced that the building will be ready to open in November as a free health clinic. They hope to serve low-income families and those without health insurance.
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Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic will offer free primary health care and referrals to specialists. Catholic Charities also set up a network of doctors who will help patients with serious medical conditions at a free or reduced rate, according to the report.
“By offering this service, we’re not only acknowledging the dignity of the individual, [we’re also] helping the common good, helping people overcome problems so they can flourish and lead a better life,” Bennett said.
The Virginia community is just one of many that has transformed former abortion facilities into service organizations. For example, LIFE International, a ministry that helps set up pregnancy resource centers across the world, has its headquarters in a former Grand Rapids, Michigan abortion facility.
Two years ago, the Texas Planned Parenthood facility where abortion center manager-turned pro-life advocate Abby Johnson worked shut down and was transformed into a pro-life pregnancy center. Similarly, a former abortion clinic in northern Florida is now a homeless shelter.
These groups are demonstrating what it really means to help the most vulnerable members of society.