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Sav-A-Life centers hit hard by economycomment (0)

December 23, 2010

By Sondra Washington

No matter how important a ministry’s services are to the kingdom of God, lack of funding can make those services an impossibility. Pregnancy resource centers across the state understand this situation.

Over the past few years, many have had to drastically reduce their budgets. For some, this has meant reduced or canceled programs.

Jodi McMillian, executive director of Sav-A-Life Shelby in Pelham, said, “We’ve had to lay off four staff members, close the center on Highway 280 (in Birmingham) and restructure our whole budget and action plan for next year.

“We’ve had to cut our budget significantly, and it still may not be enough to meet the growing needs that we are seeing in the community if the economy doesn’t recover. We are trusting God and leaning on Him that we won’t have to do that.”

McMillian said Sav-A-Life Shelby also had to discontinue its abortion recovery assistance program, which she believes is necessary because many women — both Christian and non-Christian — have had abortions and need help dealing with guilt and shame.

And if the economy doesn’t improve, McMillian believes we will see more abortion-minded women in the future.

“They are going to go seek an abortion because their husbands or boyfriends can’t find employment,” she said. “They are going to seek that to deal with the crisis pregnancy that they are in. ... You are supposed to be servicing the community; and if it’s not there, then that’s going to be a win for the abortion clinics. That’s not going to impact the kingdom of Christ at all.”

Last year was worse for Sav-A-Life of Covington County, according to executive director Amy Davis. For the first time ever, the ministry had to dip into its building fund.

“We (also) had to limit the amount of ultrasounds we do for our clients,” she said. “We were doing one for every client who had a positive (pregnancy) test, but we had to limit that to very young girls age 16 and 17 who were abortion-minded and abortion-vulnerable. … The opportunity of providing the ultrasound if they tested positive would have provided that extra impact that they were not able to get otherwise.”

Linda Buchanan, executive director of Sav-A-Life Tennessee Valley, said her organization has seen an increase in clients while trying to keep the ministry afloat financially.

“We will probably see 2,500 clients this year,” she said. “Last year, we saw 2,150. The year before that, we had 1,300.”

Ministry directors hope people and churches will continue to give to the ministries they say are critical to the lives of so many unborn babies.

“I would encourage churches and individuals to keep giving if they are able,” Davis said. “The mission of the ministry is vital ... to promote a culture of life in our country and community.”

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