Signs of life: ultrasound technicians serve on front lines of pro-life pregnancy centers
As an ultrasound technician, Angela Ly assumed she would always work in a hospital setting. In fact, she was hesitant when pondering a job at her current clinic. Now, two years into her role at Mother & Unborn Baby Care, she wouldn’t trade a thing.
“I have a chance to save souls,” Ly said.
MUBC, a nonprofit organization, serves women and their families in crisis pregnancies. Their Pregnancy Options Center is located in the downtown hospital district of Fort Worth.
“We offer real hope and practical assistance to the woman who must decide under pressure whether her unborn child will live or die. Her entire future life, happiness, and destiny are at stake! Nothing is more crucial at this time than making available to her the positive alternatives for life, as weighed against the destruction of abortion,” the organization states on its website.
Ly, a parishioner at St. Maria Goretti Church in Arlington, said faith is her motivation and what keeps her going as she tries to help save one soul at a time. Even before the mother is brought to her to “meet the baby,” her silent prayers begin.
“I try to do my best during that moment for her to see it is alive, a real baby,” she said. “The whole time I am praying, ‘Let them see what they need to see, and give me the words that I need to say.’ I try to rely on the Holy Spirit.”
Sometimes they will choose life. Some leave and are not sure. Some call back. Either way, Ly continues prayers for the mother to see God’s love.
“We continue to pray and hope something we said will get through to her heart. It’s a burden at times. But it’s definitely a blessing to see a woman choose life,” she said.
Seeing life in the womb is a special experience. Hearing life is too.
Randy Bollig, president of Loreto House in Denton, said as a man, he isn’t allowed into the ultrasound room.
“However, what’s beautiful is in the rest of the building we can hear that heartbeat coming through the walls,” he said. “And you can hear the mom laughing and saying, ‘My baby!’ We hear the joy… That’s a pretty powerful thing. It gets loud, sometimes we hear laughter. It permeates through the building.”
Among more than 50 pro-life centers in the boundaries of the Diocese of Fort Worth, Loreto House and Mother & Unborn Baby Care, along with Flourishing Tree of Life Family and Pregnancy Resource Center in Aledo, are the only Catholic-led pregnancy centers. They are also approved apostolates in the diocese.
Workers serve women in alignment with the teachings of the Catholic Church and offer resources to help the mother during pregnancy and for several months after the baby is born.
Pat Pelletier, a founder of MUBC, said approximately 60 percent of women who visit the clinic are considering an abortion.
“The great majority will change their mind once they see the baby and eliminate the crisis, whether it is family pressures or financial pressure,” Pelletier said.
The center provides free, fast, and accurate pregnancy testing; counseling to the troubled mom and her family; and friends to help them appreciate the reality and sanctity of the life she carries within her. It also provides free sonograms, guidance, support, and other provisions, including financial help, rent, and paying bills.
MUBC is in the process of building a new office, next to an abortion clinic on the west side of Fort Worth, where Pelletier estimates about 500 abortions a month are performed.
“That’s why it’s important for us to be next to this clinic,” Pelletier said. “If we are next door, we will have a constant presence ... My prayer is to see at least half of those women.”