When Leanne Jamieson, head of the Prestonwood Pregnancy Center, was asked to adopt a struggling pregnancy center in southwest Dallas, she never imagined what God had in store.
“About two years ago, a young woman I had been mentoring asked me to adopt the pregnancy center she was over,” Jamieson recalled. “The pregnancy center was struggling financially, and they were going to have to close their doors. There were a lot of reasons as to why I thought it wasn’t the best move for us, but God just wouldn't let it go.”
The pregnancy facility in need of assistance was just 2 1/2 miles away from Planned Parenthood's largest abortion center in Texas, which performs both surgical and medication abortions. Despite her reservations, Jamieson knew God was calling her to ensure a pregnancy center remained in that area.
After agreeing to adopt the facility, Jamieson was met with several obstacles. “The pregnancy center needed a great deal of renovation; it was needing a new roof, and there was going to have to be an investment of funds into that location to really make it what it needed to be," she said.
Additionally, the facility wasn’t in an ideal location. “It was in an industrial area that was really hard to find,” she explained. “It was in my heart to move them to a more visible location.”
While scouting the area for a new location, one of Jamieson’s colleagues asked her, “If you could move the center anywhere, where would you move it?"
“I pointed to a building across the street from Planned Parenthood's largest abortion center in Texas and said, ‘I would put it right there,’” she said. “At the time, it felt like a reach because it wasn’t available. But I felt like God was saying, ‘This is where I want this ministry, and the time is now.'”
Just a few months later, something miraculous happened. The building directly across the street from Planned Parenthood became available.
Within just a few months, Prestonwood Pregnancy Center moved to its new southwest Dallas location to provide free services, such as sonograms, ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, childbirth classes, medical referrals, and counseling to women and couples facing an unexpected pregnancy.
“God pointed us there," Jamieson said. "There were so many reasons to operate so close to an abortion facility. It’s a story of God's provision and evidence of His desire for the pro-life world to shine the brightest in what's often a dark situation for our clients. We're really grateful and excited to be able to offer services across from the Planned Parenthood in Dallas that provides surgical abortions for the city.”
Jamieson told CP that since Prestonwood Center moved next to Planned Parenthood, there’s been a 50% increase in client numbers. In the month of June alone, the Dallas center, one of several locations where Prestonwood operates, saw 289 clients, and 86% of them chose life.
Just last week, a young woman who had an appointment at Planned Parenthood stumbled across the pro-life center.
“She thought she had an appointment at Planned Parenthood that day, but they were closed, so she came to us,” Jamieson said. “She was very abortion determined, but she has now chosen life. That would not have been an opportunity had we not positioned ourselves where we did.”
In 1991, Pastor Jack Graham and Prestonwood Baptist Church launched the Prestonwood Pregnancy Center to offer women and their families in Dallas-Fort Worth and the surrounding areas with the support they need in the face of uncertainty. Prestonwood currently has two permanent locations in Texas as well as several mobile clinics that offer pregnancy tests, sonograms, and referrals for further care.
“What Planned Parenthood offers is quick, but it’s never easy,” Jamieson stressed. “They work off of fear and move very quickly. We wanted to be able to shine a light in that situation and say, ‘You do have other choices. You've got time. Rather than react, let's respond, because when you respond, you make healthier choices. Let's go through your options.’ Abortion, although the quick fix, is never an easy fix. We try to encourage life-affirming choices.”
In Texas, there are more than 170 pregnancy centers offering services for alternatives to and recovery from abortion. Planned Parenthood operates 40 abortion and abortion referral clinics across Texas.
Jamieson told CP that she hopes Prestonwood Pregnancy Center one day becomes the “first place” women go to when they find themselves in crisis.
“My prayer is that one day, abortion is unthinkable and unattainable,” she said. “The unattainable part is left up to the court system, but the unthinkable part I think can happen at pregnancy resource centers all around this country. As a young woman crosses the threshold of a pregnancy center and finds love and truth and acceptance without judgment, I really think we’ll get to the heart of the issue.”
“Love is going to be what makes abortion unthinkable. I want to be so vastly different than the center across the street that women notice that difference. The foundation of Christ is going to be what really ultimately sets us apart from Planned Parenthood, in addition to the fact that at our facility, women will get the truth with love and grace wrapped around it.”