By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published January 6, 2022
ATLANTA—The Pregnancy Aid Clinic opened its third location to serve women and families facing crisis pregnancies. The expansion comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the future of abortion rights.
In Lisa Regan’s view, the time is urgent for the pro-life movement to prepare to serve women who turn to crisis pregnancy centers, parishes and other programs for help.
Thousands of Georgia women will need care if the Supreme Court limits abortions nationwide, said Regan, who has led the nonprofit as its executive director for three years. Pro-life groups in Texas seemed unprepared for the influx of women following the start of the state’s law limiting abortions during the summer, so similar groups in Georgia should gather supporters and resources in advance, she said.
According to Texas researchers, 3,000 fewer woman in Texas had legal abortions in the first 30 days after the law went into effect. The contested law bans women from ending a pregnancy after about six weeks.
“We need to be available for all those 31,000 women in Georgia that do not have access to abortion, if that becomes the case, which we hope that it does,” said Regan. “Where do they turn? They’re going to turn to us.”
The nonprofit is “the boots-on-the-ground, pro-life arm in the archdiocese,” said Regan.
The Pregnancy Aid Clinic converted a former medical building into its newest clinic.
The office is located in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood and is the first one in Atlanta. It is located opposite WellStar Atlanta Medical Center. The other clinics are in Forest Park and Roswell. Regan said the organization paid $750,000 for the building. It also has a recreational vehicle used as a mobile medical clinic to travel around the region. The Pregnancy Aid Clinic, with some 20 staff members, also works with women and men who have been “hurting from an abortion experience” with Post Abortion Treatment and Healing services.
In the new facility, women will be able to access counseling and education programs, receive diapers and baby formula, as well as more costly items. The goal, said Regan, is to “remove whatever obstacles are standing in their way of protecting life.”
Part of the site’s attraction is its location. Its storefront sits a couple miles from Atlanta’s college campuses, including the Georgia State University student center. It’s also a few miles from local abortion clinics.
“We have a responsibility and an opportunity to be where the people need us and to make a dent in the number of abortions in the state of Georgia,” Regan said.
At the close of 2021, the organization counted 1,500 clients who logged nearly 4,000 visits between the Forest Park and Roswell clinics, more than ever before, said Regan.
They logged 304 “changed hearts” this year. A “changed heart” is counted as a woman who is considered at risk for having an abortion, but has reconsidered her decision following her visits with PAC.
New clinic blessed
A blessing was conducted by Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., on Dec. 14 as the clinic on Ralph McGill Boulevard opened its doors. He sprinkled the newly painted counseling rooms, baby clothes and an ultrasound machine with holy water.
Families will come to the clinic frightened and uncertain of where to turn, he told the group. The staff will walk with couples and affirm them, he said.
“God doesn’t make any mistakes so many may feel the pregnancy is a mistake, shouldn’t have happened. No matter how the pregnancy took place, it is life,” said the archbishop. “Every life is precious and is not to be disposed of. It is God’s gift.”
It is the people who work here and the families who come through the doors of this building who will carry on the blessings long after the event is over, said the archbishop.
“It is already holy because of its purpose,” he said.
Visit the Pregnancy Aid Clinic online at www.pregnancyaidclinic.com.