As the new year dawned a southern California pregnancy center took steps toward becoming a medical clinic, in hopes of meeting the needs of women entering the Planned Parenthood facility next door.

Located along Interstate 8, between Yuma, Arizona and San Diego, California, Imperial Valley Life Center (IV Life Center) is well-situated to help women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy who see abortion as their only option. Although located in a town of about 45,000, the executive director said she has seen an increase in the number of women going into the Planned Parenthood facility, which shares a parking lot with the pregnancy center.

“We are just getting more and more people coming over here from Arizona, and we’re just 12 minutes away from the (Mexican) border,” said Lorena Ogle, executive director of the center. “Arizona is on hold right now regarding abortion, so the vision is to offer free ultrasounds and free pregnancy testing.”

Currently, her center in El Centro, Calif., provides pregnancy tests and refers women out for professional medical testing and ultrasounds, often to facilities in San Diego, a distance of more than 100 miles.

She and her board began talks with other pregnancy centers in the area. Josh McClure, executive director for California Alliance for Pregnancy Care, helped lead the discussions. Several issues were worked out, he said, and all entities came to an agreement that IV Life Center would best serve as a pregnancy help medical clinic.

Interstate 8 is a major thoroughfare, McClure said. The county of Imperial Valley is very rural with a lot of farming, he said. However, the interstate continues on to more populated places in Arizona, including Yuma, Phoenix, and Tucson.

“Anybody wanting to go from Tucson or Phoenix to California to get one of the free abortions will have to go right through, or come to El Centro,” he said. 

Therefore, having a pregnancy center that is medical would help deflect the abortion-only choice of Planned Parenthood.

Full story at Pregnancy Help News.