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Hundreds of thousands of abortions are performed in the United States each year. Many times the decision to abort a child is made under extremely stressful circumstances where a mother feels she has no other option. But thanks to an Alabama nonprofit, women are being served, babies are being saved, and the Lord’s grace is being seen.

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Life on Wheels is what it sounds like. It is a mobile service with a purpose. Image Clear Ultrasound is a licensed, mobile medical clinic that operates three Life on Wheels clinics: one in Montgomery and two in Birmingham.

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Life on Wheels executive director Robyn Blessing said the faith-based organization offers patients free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and community resources.

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Life on Wheels offers free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and community resources. Photo: Brian Moats.

“We provide them with connections to people in the community or nonprofits or churches or sometimes the state, like Medicaid,” Blessing said. “We help them get everything they need to deal with their situation, and then we offer them the ultimate gift they could have: a relationship with Jesus.”

Blessing said often, women who consider abortion feel like they have no way out financially. That’s where Life on Wheels comes in.

Desirea was 11 weeks pregnant and planning to have an abortion when she saw a Life on Wheels bus. She had already signed her paperwork for the abortion when she remembered what she had learned on the bus.

“I walked back across the street, and it just looked like heaven and hell,” Desirea said. “And it was just like, my mom was like, ‘Let’s just go. Let’s get out of here.’ So, we walked across the street, and we saw the bus, and they were standing outside singing and holding hands and praying.

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On the Life on Wheels bus, clients are assessed and can talk to medical professionals. Photo: Brian Moats.

After speaking with the folks at Life on Wheels, Desirea said she’s more comfortable about her decision.

“And I was just like, ‘I’m not getting rid of my baby,'” she said.

Life on Wheels stayed by Desirea’s side during her pregnancy and helped her find a doctor who could deliver her girl via cesarean section.

“I had my baby,” Desirea recalled. “I fell in love with her as soon as I laid eyes on her… My baby, she is a blessing.”

Desirea said the team with Life on Wheels is still checking on her and her child.

Life on Wheels all started with Dr. Matthew Phillips, an OBGYN with OBGYN Associates in Montgomery. After seeing abortions hidden in the emergency room, he recognized a need for services.

“He saw this when he was on call,” Blessing said. “He hadn’t seen these women in his practice, so he knew there was a problem.”

After talking to a patient about the needs he had identified, Phillips was able to connect with a man who was willing to start a fundraiser to purchase a mobile unit. A single unit can cost about $175 thousand, not including the ultrasound machine.

“So, they prayed,” Blessing said. “This whole thing is bathed in prayer.”

In a short time, the fundraiser earned $100 thousand. The first mobile unit hit the road on December 27, 2016, but still there was more to do.

“The goal was to have a mobile unit in front of every abortion clinic in Alabama,” Blessing recalled.

Several places were considered, but then a miracle happened. An anonymous donor sent Life on Wheels a check for $175 thousand to be used for a new mobile unit in Birmingham.

“So, we bought the mobile unit for Birmingham,” Blessing said. “We launched on February 12, 2020. We were open for a month when COVID hit, but the thing was, we’re considered medically essential, so we saw women who couldn’t get to the doctor because they do not take patients.”

Blessing said the women could benefit from the medical services on the bus. Word got around the unit, and a Christ-centered non-profit that awarded large financial donations to other ministries decided to donate $100,000 to Life on Wheels. One Hundred Shares Birmingham presented the check, and Life on Wheels used those funds, along with $75,000 already saved, to purchase a second bus for the Birmingham area. This bus was launched in December 2021.

“It’s just been an amazing journey,” Blessing said. “It’s so expensive, and we don’t know how to do it, but God does it. He just makes it work.”

“God has almost always provided for us, and that’s pretty much our story.”

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Exam room on Life on Wheels bus. Photo: Brian Moats.

Life on Wheels also helps pregnant women struggling with substance abuse. Sara gave birth to a baby in 2017.

“Just having someone to talk to is a big thing,” Sara said. “… They weren’t judgmental, that was the best thing, and they encouraged me to keep going, no matter how hard it got.”

After being abused and hooked on drugs, Sara said she made it through her pregnancy thanks to Life on Wheels. She couldn’t go to rehab because she was pregnant. Life on Wheels took her in and not only helped her overcome addiction, but also helped her grow in her faith. She now calls the workers and volunteers on the bus her family. Sara said her baby saved her life, and she is now remarried and owns her own business.

“Everything is different today,” said Sara. “I mean, I don’t have to look at a drop of drugs to get through the day … I’m just thankful that I didn’t make that choice to have an abortion because I don’t have my daughter in my life right now, and she is a blessing. So just reach out. Get out.

To learn more about Life on Wheels or to donate, visit LifeOnWheelsAlabama.com. To set up an appointment or find where a mobile clinic will be, go to ICUIronCity.com.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email [email protected]

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