Video Presentation of Heartbeat of Miami's Mission in Spanish:
Video Presentation of Heartbeat of Miami's Mission in English:
Heartbeat of Miami is a bold and winsome call to the Christian community to open 3 to 5 pregnancy help centers in the neediest neighborhoods of Miami over the next two years. These centers will be equipped with ultrasound and staffed by nurses, trained peer counselors, and volunteers from the Christian community. When established they will save thousands of women every year from the violence and agony of abortion- in direct competition to the nearly 30+ abortion facilities operating in Miami. They are targeting and exploiting women who are anxious and unprepared for pregnancy.
In response to God's call to " rescue the weak and the needy" and "deliver them from the hand of the wicked" (Psalm 82:3), Heartbeat of Miami will be a practical way to save lives in a life changing way for the glory of God and the advancement of the Gospel. To succeed it will take hard work, strategic planning, generous giving and prayer from Christians and Churches in and around Miami. May God give you a burning heart to join in this Great Work.
Dear friends and partners in the Great Work of the Gospel,
Answering the call to defend innocent life and to help women in pregnancy distress has led a number of national pro-life leaders to consider the overwhelming need of Miami, Florida. Miami has nearly 37 abortion facilities selling young women death as the only answer to their difficult circumstances. For this reason Heartbeat International is launching a special project, Heartbeat of Miami.
We believe God has many people and churches in and around the city that would gladly help a mother overcome her difficult circumstances in a life-affirming way. The great need then is to develop a life-support network of ultrasound-equipped pregnancy centers strategically located in high abortion-marketed neighborhoods, staffed and supported by the Greater Miami Christian community. We seek to do this as a death-defying, life-saving, neighbor-loving, God-glorifying response to the agony and violence of abortion. Starting multiple centers at once has never been done before.
Fourteen years ago, while pastoring a church in Boston, MA, I joined others in the effort to develop a pregnancy help center in the inner-city of Boston. We called it A Woman's Concern (visit the outreach site at www.awomansconcern.org and the partners site at www.awomansconcern.org/partners). The broad Christian community of mostly concerned Catholics and Evangelicals labored hard, gave generously, and prayed steadfastly. Today this ministry is a network of six ultrasound-equipped pregnancy centers in the Greater Boston area. They are staffed by well-trained nurses, counselors and volunteers, and supported by the local Christian community.
Thousands of babies have been saved from death by abortion. Hundreds of women and couples have been introduced to the love of Christ through our practical, life-affirming assistance, our personal friendships and our parenting programs. The abortion mortality rate in Boston has fallen 29% during this time and five abortion facilities have closed. While many factors have contributed to this good news, this is a testimony to God's people answering His call to be "the very fragrance of life" (2 Corinthians 2:16).
Those are the numbers, but here are the faces:
"Through all of this we've both changed. My baby's father is my best friend and a wonderful father. You should see him with Dylan, it's a riot. A wedding is in the future. We are a family! I have learned to pray and to seek God in so many wonderful ways. If it wasn't for the pregnancy center I don't know where we would be today!" - C.B.
"My parents have been great. I can't believe I doubted their love for me. I regret not being able to give my daughter a truly devoted father like my father was, but he will be her Grandpa. I hope you know that the pregnancy center helped bring this baby into the world!" - J.R.
"How could I ever thought of aborting this baby! He has changed my life. Before I was just self-absorbed. My baby has made me a better person. The pregnancy center has changed my life. Thank you God!" - C.H.
Introducing the Pregnancy Center Movement
Heartbeat International, Care Net and Focus on the Family have been the primary national organizations helping local churches develop and support pregnancy centers across the country. Between them, they provide training manuals, conferences, counseling materials, consultations, even ultrasound machines. Another organization, NIFLA (the National Institute for Family and Life Advocates) prepares them to use ultrasound as part of their health services. While some in the pro-life movement labor to make abortion unlawful, the pregnancy center movement works to make abortion unnecessary. Across the country, the Christian community has opened over 2,300 pregnancy help centers over the last 35 years. History will record that this was the work of Christians loving their neighbors and cherishing innocent life. It must continue, until that time when abortion, like slavery, is seen and rejected by a nation dedicated to the ideal that God has endowed every person, no matter their color or size with civil rights: the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is a Great Work. But it is far from complete.
AN EMERGING NATIONAL STRATEGIC PLAN
To date, the pregnancy center movement has grown mostly in rural and suburban areas. The GREAT CHALLENGE now facing us is to respond to the abortion industry's dominant business strategy of abandoning rural and suburban abortion facilities and targeting urban neighborhoods. For example, Planned Parenthood closed 17 abortion facilities in 2004. But they sold 20% more abortions. How did they do this? By targeting minority neighborhoods in major cites. Currently, 94% of America's abortion facilities are in cities. And African-American women, who make up 13% of the female population account for 36% of all abortions. Latino-American women makeup another 13% of the female population, but account for another 20% of all abortions. (See Susan Enouen, "Planned Parenthood Abortion Facilities Target African American Communities" at www.lifeissues.org)
The quickest way to grasp the national "lay of the land" is to remember the electoral map of 2004. Pregnancy Centers are predominantly operating in "red county" America, where concern over abortion has been the strongest. Abortion facilities are largely operating in "blue county" America; in our nation's cities (Image Source: usatoday.com). In Pennsylvania, there are 138 pregnancy centers state-wide, but in Pittsburg there are five abortion facilities and zero pregnancy help centers. To compete effectively with the abortion industry in America and to reflect more faithfully the biblical call to "rescue the innocent" (Proverbs 24:10-11), the pregnancy center movement must become a true urban movement. And to do that, it must be mainstreamed into Black and Latino churches in the cities.
National abortion-rate data (however flawed in its collection) is even more revealing. Surprisingly, the majority of all abortions in America are happening in just a handful of places. They represent true "abortion hot-zones." The bulk of America's abortions are being done in four states (New York, Florida, California, and Nevada) and the District of Columbia. More specifically, abortion is concentrated in five major cities: Los Angeles, New York City, Washington D.C., Las Vegas and Miami.
Heartbeat International, Care Net and Focus on the Family have agreed to work together to steer the pregnancy center movement into the neediest cities of America over the coming years. Our National Strategic Plan is to launch urban initiatives in key cities.
HEARTBEAT OF MIAMI: A PILOT PROJECT
Heartbeat International has taken Miami as their pilot project in this National Strategic Plan. Over $225,000 has been pledged so far. This seed money is being provided to see if it is possible to go into a high-abortion community, open multiple centers in key neighborhoods, equip them with ultrasound, and inspire and raise the local support, staff and volunteers needed for long-term operations. This highly aggressive, heavily funded approach to starting multiple centers has never been done before. This pilot project, if successful will then be repeated in other cities. More "virtue" capitalists are needed.
Florida is one of the four states in America where abortion is concentrated. And in Florida, 40.1 percent of all abortions are happening in Miami-Dade County and in nearby Broward County. The problem is centralized in and around Miami.
Further, when Care Net compared the pregnancy center resources to abortion facilities in 10 of our nation's largest cities, something startling emerged. Miami! Miami has nearly 37 abortion facilities, not including hospitals, marketing abortion to women struggling with an unexpected pregnancy. But it has only one ultrasound- equipped pregnancy center. Truly it is time to challenge this stronghold in the culture of death with the life-saving, life-changing Gospel of Life.
Of this Gospel, Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) said, "Life is God's most precious gift. Abortion ...is not merely an awful tyranny; it is a smear against the integrity of God as well. Suffer as we must, even die if need be, such rebellion against heaven must not be free to run its terrible courses."