Texas Baptists partners with ERLC to extend ‘culture of life’ to neighboring state

by Teresa Young on February 6, 2024 in News

The Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission (CLC) and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) are partnering through the ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project to provide a new ultrasound machine at the Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center in Hobbs, a southeastern New Mexico city that sits just four miles from the Texas border.

Shared commitment to ‘culture of life’

Although abortion was essentially banned in the state of Texas following Roe v. Wade’s reversal and subsequent anti-abortion laws, Katie Frugé, director of Texas Baptists’ Center for Cultural Engagement and the Christian Life Commission, said that the neighboring state of New Mexico remains an option for women seeking abortions.

“We know several abortion-vulnerable women are now traveling out of state to seek services, and we want to help support the crisis pregnancy center in Hobbs as they experience an influx of women in need of support and services,” explained Frugé.

“Texas Baptists proudly affirms the sanctity and dignity of all human life,” Frugé said. “This partnership with the ERLC is the result of our shared commitment to continuing to work to grow a culture of life in a post-Roe world”

The ERLC added that the abortion industry has targeted Hobbs because of its location and already sees many clients from Texas. With a junior college and a four-year university in the city, Legacy has recently seen an increase in client appointments, averaging about 70 per month. They are excited to see Texas Baptists join forces to resource the city better and provide alternatives to those seeking abortions.

“At the ERLC, we are overjoyed when we can partner with state conventions as we stand for life together. This placement in Hobbs, N.M., in partnership with the BGCT, is unique since the state convention is reaching beyond its borders and giving with a missional mindset to serve their neighbors in an abortion-permissible state,” said Rachel Wiles, director of ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project.

Psalm 139 Project exists to make people aware of the life-saving potential of ultrasound technology in unplanned pregnancy situations and to help pregnancy centers minister to abortion-vulnerable women by providing ultrasound equipment for them to use.

Collaboration to offer ‘help, hope and healing’

The Legacy Pregnancy Resource Center was established in 2012 to provide “help, hope and healing to all persons facing unplanned pregnancies in and around the communities of Lea County.” They serve the community through free and confidential pregnancy tests, peer counseling, options counseling and the Earn While You Learn program. The underlying goal is to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ with clients.

With the surge in clientele after the Dobbs decision, the center is preparing to transition into a medical pregnancy care center. First Baptist Church of Hobbs provided Legacy with a new building to house its operation permanently and allow for the growth and expansion of services. In total, ten churches currently support the organization.

When Legacy’s director, Janet Waldrop, requested an ultrasound machine for the facility to serve abortion-vulnerable clients better, the Psalm 139 project was encouraged. Texas Baptists ministry staff had been in communication with FBC Hobbs about the pregnancy center’s need, and they were honored to be able to support the effort at Legacy.

“The ERLC helped facilitate the purchase and placement of the machine, and Texas Baptists paid the cost of the machine and the training for the staff to use it,” Frugé explained.

Changing ‘hearts, not just laws’

“Since the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, we have seen a variety of responses across the United States,” Frugé said. “A recent study was released toward the end of 2023 that found that since the Dobbs decision in 2022, abortions in the U.S. have actually risen.”

“We must work to change hearts, not just laws, as we support life going forward,” she said. “Ultrasound technology offers a unique window into a life that previous generations could never have imagined, and we are thrilled to be able to help pregnancy centers utilize this relatively new technology as a meaningful affirmation of our historic Baptist position.”

Frugé said the CLC's emphasis on the sanctity of human life is based on Genesis 1:27, which notes that all are created in God's image and that every human life has intrinsic value and worth.

“Christians have historically been champions for causes that support a culture of life,” she said. “The gospel itself is the good news of Jesus Christ, who tells us He is life in John 14:6.”

Learn more about the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission at texasclc.org.

Texas Baptists is a movement of God’s people to share Christ and show love by strengthening churches and ministers, engaging culture and connecting the nations to Jesus.

The ministry of the convention is made possible by giving through the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program, Mary Hill Davis Offering® for Texas Missions, Texas Baptists Worldwide and Texas Baptist Missions Foundation. Thank you for your faithful and generous support.

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