We’re expanding! Last year our Board of Directors set a bold vision to expand our services. We are making great progress towards those goals including renovating our downstairs suite to house a new clinic space. Our Assurance Women’s Clinic upstairs will continue the critical work of serving those facing unplanned pregnancies. Downstairs, in our Assurance Health Clinic, we will be offering free testing and treatment for an expanded panel of sexually transmitted infections (STI) to those engaging in risky sexual behaviors but not currently pregnant. If you are my age or older, you likely are more used to the term STD for sexually transmitted diseases; we are essentially talking about the same thing. This new clinic is a strategic move with the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of these individuals and our community in mind as well as furthering our mission from a prevention and intervention perspective.
We have been offering STI testing specific to their situation to our pregnancy services clients for several years now. STI testing is also a particular need of sexually active young people who clearly represent a prime target audience for our messages of purity and our crisis pregnancy work. According to the CDC, young people bear a disproportionate share of STIs with those 15-25 years of age making up only 17% of the sexually active population but nearly half of the 26 million new sexually transmitted infections each year in the United States. 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have an STI.
By serving those who are engaging in risky sexual behaviors but not yet pregnant, we can prevent unplanned pregnancies through sharing our abstinence message and prevent abortions if they do become pregnant by proactively building relationships with those at risk. We want them to know us, trust us, and come to us first if they ever experience an unplanned pregnancy.
Our community needs STI testing services that will be accompanied by messages of sexual integrity, life-affirming choices, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. God has called us to provide those services.
Will you pray for this new initiative? Pray:
- that God will call just the right part-time nurse to provide the new services.
- for the completion of the renovation work.
- that clients who need these services would find us, accept the opportunity to be tested, and be open to the information shared.
- that God would be glorified in all that we do through this expansion.