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December 16, 2019 (NIFLA) — Raven Henson was a 15-year-old Alaskan teenager when she faced an unexpected pregnancy. Her parents wanted her to have an abortion, but a classmate encouraged her to go to a local pregnancy center instead. Raven went, and there she was met with compassion and love.

In a 2018 media interview, the young founder and director shared the following thoughts about her personal experience as a pregnancy center client:

They also told me something else that I'd never heard before— they assured me that there was a God in heaven that loved me and my baby, and they also told me that the Lord had a plan for me and my baby, and if I wanted to carry this pregnancy I wasn't alone.

I remember just being amazed by that, that there was an all-knowing creator that cared about me and this baby that I was carrying. Then, the comfort and encouragement that counselor gave me at such a time that I felt completely helpless and terrified. She encouraged me and didn't judge me and just loved on me.”

—  Raven Henson

Because of this interaction, Raven made a momentous decision: she chose life. She kept her baby and also became a Christian a few months later.

As life went on, Raven became a mom of three — a 14-year-old son, an 11-year-old daughter, and most recently a 10-month-old boy — and found herself drawn to wanting to serve the women and children of her community in a pregnancy center like the one that helped her so many years ago. She began volunteering at a local pregnancy center and moved on to become a staff member.

Now, Raven wants to start another center called Shiloh Pregnancy Care in a historic home on a busy highway in Garland, Texas — and she's been facing pushback from a few in the community.

This 1917 craftsman cottage will be revived with new purpose and new life to meet an unreached need in the city. Photo credit: www.livinghopesolutions.org.

According to Mrs. Henson, “Living Hope Solutions is the ministry head of Shiloh Pregnancy Care. Shiloh Pregnancy Care will be a new pregnancy resource center opening in downtown Garland in 2020. … Surrounded by lush gardens accompanied by a water well reservoir, the property will be a respite and haven providing compassion, hope and help to men and women faced with pregnancy decisions.”

Shiloh Pregnancy Care would provide a desperately-needed resource for women facing pregnancy decisions in the Garland, Texas community. The residents of Garland currently have no hospital in their city, despite being the fourth-largest city in the Metroplex.

On Monday, October 28, Raven and her husband Cole testified before Garland's planning commission that their center met the qualifications to be deemed a House of Worship. The center will be providing Gospel-centered guidance to pregnant women and will have community worship and fellowship.

Thankfully, the commission voted in their favor. But now, the center faces a new hurdle. The commission is recommending that they not be allowed to offer medical services which are an integral part of a pregnancy center's mission.

According to a recent post on Living Hope Solution's Facebook page,

The verdict was a UNANIMOUS decision to recommend approval of Shiloh Pregnancy Care as a Place of Worship.

However, the recommendation was rendered with the stipulation that no medical services be allowed.

Consequently, we must take exception to these parameters at the next hearing, as the medical services will be a critical mode of ministry outreach. The Plan Commission's recommendation will therefore be the basis for our next hearing on November 19th where City Council will deliberate to make a final municipal determination for the services we hope to provide to the Garland community.

Raven Henson and her husband Cole testifying before the Garland, Texas Planning Commission on Monday, October 28, 2019.

NIFLA's leadership said it fully supports Raven Henson and her goal of serving women and children in her community. It said it will continue to monitor the situation and share updates while providing assistance in any way it can. NIFLA would also like to encourage supporters and friends in the pro-life community to pray for Raven, her family and Living Hope Solutions — especially in the coming weeks as they prepare for their next hearing. Please visit www.livinghopesolutions.org to learn more about Raven’s mission and how you can help.

To learn more about NIFLA's role in protecting the work of pregnancy centers like this one, please visit nifla.org and its “About NIFLA” page.

Olivia Briscoe is a pro-life journalist and media professional who writes for NIFLA.

Published with permission from NIFLA.


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