Recently, I was invited to go along with my daughter, son-in-law, and their oldest children (girls ages 7 and 5) to see a 3-D ultrasound of the next baby. This will be our fifth grandchild, and I was excited to catch a glimpse of her several months before the anticipated due date.
The improvements in ultrasound technology from the time we had our children (our youngest is now 21) are incredible. The 2-D pictures were much better defined, and the 3-D views were wonderful. The little gal didn't seem to like our intrusion into her private space (probably the pushing of the sensor into mom's belly), so she kept putting one foot in front of her face and/or sucking her thumb. Sometimes she would turn to her mom's back so we couldn't get viable pictures at all. She also liked to play with her umbilical cord!
As I reflected on the experience of seeing the baby's chubby cheeks and well-defined features, I was once again struck by two important truths. First, God indeed is wondrous in the way He has ordained that we should come into this world. Seeing a child in utero is a marvel to behold. Second, ultrasound, in all its forms, is a strong tool for marketing what centers do. There can be no doubt that we are looking at a human being. Only the most calloused can turn away from such compelling pictures and then decide to end the life of the person they just saw.
While I know there are centers that have opted not to go the route of becoming a limited services clinic that offers ultrasound, I would humbly suggest that your ministry may be much more successful if you reconsider this mode of operation. I totally agree that centers should minister to the women that come in the door, but helping that woman envision the life that is within her—whether she decides to keep or place for adoption—is a part of what should be the task of every center. Marketing is defined as finding out what consumer needs are and meeting them with appropriate services and products. To my way of thinking, ultrasound equipment should be a part of the rendering of competent, caring, compassionate service.
Editor's note: Jerry's granddaughter, Victoria Emma Naugle, was born October 20, 2005. She is far cuter in real life than even her 3-D ultrasound.
Jerry Thacker is president of Right Ideas, Inc., and publisher of At the Center. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.