By Tom Strode
MARYVILLE — Pregnancy Resource Center in Maryville held the first dedication ceremony Oct. 21 for an ultrasound machine placed as the result of a partnership between the Psalm 139 Project and the state of Tennessee.
The Psalm 139 Project, a ministry of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), received a grant of $182,900 from the state this year to place seven ultrasound machines at pro-life pregnancy centers in Tennessee. Through Psalm 139, the ERLC helps provide ultrasound technology to pregnancy centers and train staff members in its use.
The grant was part of a $42.6 billion budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year that the Tennessee legislature passed and Gov. Bill Lee signed into law in May. The grant called for the Psalm 139 Project to identify pregnancy centers for the ultrasound machines and to make placements at those locations. Private gifts to Psalm 139 will fund the training of staff in the use of the machines.
Elizabeth Graham, the ERLC’s vice president of operations and life initiatives, said she is “especially grateful for the generous partnership between our state leaders and the Psalm 139 Project so we can serve centers like Pregnancy Resource Center with these life-saving machines at no cost to them. We will continue to advocate for the vulnerable until abortion becomes illegal, unthinkable and unnecessary across the world.”
The ERLC’s ability to partner with the center in Maryville “holds a special place in my heart as this is my hometown and a community I’ve grown up in since childhood,” said Graham, who participated in the dedication ceremony, in an ERLC news release.
“I’m confident the wonderful staff at Pregnancy Resource Center will provide life-saving care and the hope of the gospel to vulnerable women and preborn babies across East Tennessee.”
Pregnancy Resource Center, which opened in 1986, is a medical clinic that provides pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, sexually transmitted disease testing and support programs, according to the ERLC release.
“As we are about to embark on an expansion of our ministry, it is critical that we are able to provide a window into the womb to families facing unexpected pregnancies,” PRC executive director Valerie Millsapps said, according to the release.
“The placement of this ultrasound machine is already at work helping brave families make life decisions for their preborn children.”
PRC received the machine in September. Ultrasound technology has proved to be a vital tool for pregnancy resource centers in their ministry to women considering abortion. The sonogram images of their unborn children have helped many women choose to give birth.
Since 2004, the Psalm 139 Project, which is funded by contributions from donors, has helped place ultrasound equipment at centers in 16 states. The project made its first international placement in September in Northern Ireland. B&R — For more information on the Pregnancy Resource Center, visit https://baptistandreflector.org/baby-love/#more-14328.