In 2013, two Community Pregnancy Clinics in Florida saved an astounding total of 1,211 babies from abortion. In 2014, that number dropped to 1,187 saves, but staff at the state licensed medical clinics were not disappointed. They saw the drop as a direct result of their efforts to influence the surrounding community to embrace life.
“We’re saving babies, but at the same time, we’re trying to change the culture to [respect] life out here. That’s really what it’s all about,” said Gary Ingold, CEO of Community Pregnancy Clinics (CPCI), to LifeSiteNews during an onsite tour of the clinic in Naples.
The clinics, in Naples and Fort Myers, have partnered with internationally renowned chastity speaker Pam Stenzel to reach out to young people in the area with an education and intervention message about saving sex until marriage. When done right, the message directly affects the number of unwanted pregnancies. The program called SHARE (Sexual Health and Relationship Education) is available to local young people through churches, youth groups, and private schools.
“When Pam came to us, it was a great time to invest so that we don’t have to save 1,187 babies a year. We work so that this number starts to dwindle down, because there is a culture-of-life change,” Ingold said. “The abortion ratio really influences the community and how we’re reaching out. The number of babies saved is one thing, and the other is that ratio going down. And that’s good.”
One component of the clinics’ outreach is to “saturate” the surrounding communities via social media, television ads, and billboards, with life affirming messages.
“We watch the abortion ratios. We’re down to about 139 abortions to every 1,000 births right here in Collier County. What I like about that ratio is that it’s a culture of life ratio, versus the abortion rate, which I believe is a culture of death ratio,” Ingold said.
In comparison, Alachua County, home to the University of Florida, has a ratio of 620 abortions for every 1,000 births.
The clinics’ have an astounding rate of success. Of a total of 1,345 abortion-vulnerable women who visited the clinics in 2014 and had positive pregnancy tests, 90 percent chose life for their baby.
Ingold said it’s all about the approach.
“We meet the women right where they’re at. When she comes in, we treat her with dignity, respect, compassion, and mercy.”
Women walking into the clinic in Naples enter a professional office that is warm and inviting. They are greeted by a smiling receptionist. The office is well lit, clean, and organized. Tasteful art hangs on the walls. An Apple computer graces the receptionist’s desk, conveying to clients that the office is contemporary and even trendy. One immediately has the sense that the people who work here know what they are doing, do it well, and can be trusted.
“When they come into our building, we present a professional environment to them that is clean and loving…We treat them really well,” Ingold said.
Both clinics are medically licensed by the State to provide ultrasounds and offer professional counseling. They are both overseen by a physician with a medical license. All services are offered free of charge.
“Everything that goes on in here is done with certification,” Ingold said.
A major part of the CPC’s medical model includes having a registered nurse on hand to counsel the women who enter, no matter what the pregnancy test reveals. If the test is positive, women are told about their options, including parenting and adoption. They are also told the facts about abortion. If the test is negative, women are still offered counseling to help them make better choices. A relationship is built with each woman so she will know where to turn to in the future if she requires help.
In addition to pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and counseling the clinics offer material services, education, qualified referral services such as a maternity home, drug abuse treatment, transition homes for acquiring personal disciplines and skills, and many other things to meet whatever needs the women might have.
All full-time staff are paid according to industry standards “so we get really good people,” Ingold said.
Ingold himself came from a background in the corporate world where he was General Manager at Cardinal Health, a $103 billion health care services company.
“I was moved to take my executive skills and to do something with them that would maybe affect the non-profit world. I had an affinity towards the pro-life movement,” he said.
With Ingold at the helm, day-to-day operations at the clinics have become totally streamlined and efficient. Detailed records are kept about every aspect of the clinics and the clients who visit.
“We track everything. We are very statistic oriented,” he said.
Dividing the annual operating expenses by the number of saves, Ingold knows that it takes exactly $720 to save one baby from abortion.
Ingold says that every baby saved has a “great impact” on society and builds up a culture of life. More than 10,000 lives, enough to populate a small city, have been saved over the course of the Community Pregnancy Clinics’ 41 years of existence.
Staff envision a community where every woman and child is safe from abortion. Until that happens, they will keep their doors open to anyone who needs help.