The Psalm 139 Project, a pro-life ministry of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, in a partnership effort with the state of Tennessee, dedicated two ultrasound machines recently placed in the state.
One machine was donated to Portico, Inc., a pregnancy resource center in Murfreesboro, as a part of the state’s partnership with the ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project to place seven ultrasound machines during the 2021–2022 fiscal year. The partnership represents a total investment of $183,000 to place machines across the state. The second machine, a mobile unit, was donated by private funds given to the Psalm 139 Project.
‘Voice to the voiceless’
At the dedication ceremony on Jan. 26, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said, “I believe that we’re giving a voice to the voiceless here, including the women who want to find their voice in this process.
“It’s not about winning some battle or fighting some fight. It really is about protecting the vulnerable and serving those in need, including the women and the fathers and the children that are involved in a crisis pregnancy,” adding that he wants Tennessee to be “the most adoption-friendly state in the country.”
Elizabeth Graham, the ERLC’s vice president of operations and life initiatives, described partnering with the Tennessee government as an “incredible privilege.”
Graham noted in an ERLC news release she is confident through the partnership “the hope of the gospel will continue to reach vulnerable women and preborn babies across this region. May we continue to advocate until abortion becomes illegal, unthinkable and unnecessary across the world.”
Reaching goal of 50 machines
The ERLC has now placed or committed to place 31 ultrasound machines toward its goal of 50 placements between December 2020 and January 2023, the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion throughout the United States.
Portico, which opened more than 35 years ago, is the only pregnancy resource center in Rutherford County, according to the ERLC’s news release. In addition to ultrasound testing, the center provides pregnancy tests, prenatal assessments and vitamins, as well as testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. Through Portico’s parenting education programs, a participant may receive material help during the first two years of her baby’s life.
Brent Leatherwood, ERLC acting president, and Randy Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, were present at the dedication ceremony along with other state and local Baptist leaders.
Since 2004, the Psalm 139 Project has helped place ultrasound equipment at centers in 16 states. In September, the project made its first international placement in Northern Ireland.