Same mission, new services

Across from West Allis High School just outside of Milwaukee, Wis., is a building with a small sign that says Associated Pregnancy Services. On the window is the phrase “You Have Options” with a phone number to call for assistance. What makes this organization so different from other pregnancy centers isn’t evident right away, but this organization’s ultimate goal is to witness for Christ and save souls.

Associated Pregnancy Services, operated under WELS Lutherans for Life, has a mission to protect a child’s right to live and be loved, with the ultimate goal of teaching others about Christ. The center opened in 1982 to provide women with options other than abortion and resources to guide them through pregnancy and motherhood. Whether in person or over the phone, women can talk to advocates about their situation and any doubts or problems they are facing.

Diane Williams has worked with WELS Lutheran for Life for more than 20 years. She currently serves as its accountant, but she previously took calls from the crisis hotline.

One call in particular left a lasting impact on Williams. A woman called the hotline not looking to talk to a counselor but seeking a friend to listen to her, which was exactly what Williams did. The woman explained how she was a student in college who unexpectedly became pregnant and was feeling embarrassed and ashamed. Williams listened to the woman’s story and her fears, encouraging her throughout the call. At the end of the conversation, the woman said that if she had a girl, she would name her Diane.

“I know I touched her heart in a way,” says Williams. “She just needed someone to talk to.”

The organization has grown and evolved during the past 35 years to fit the needs of the community and serve more people. It currently offers diaper supplies to women, as well as parenting classes and a small baby boutique for new parents to find clothes and toys for their children.

The largest addition this year was a new ultrasound machine, which was donated to the center. Executive Director Peter Georgson said having an ultrasound suite available will bring in more women as well as provide the opportunity to save more babies’ lives.

“They say that statistically, after seeing an ultrasound, more than 80 percent of abortion-minded women will choose life,” says Georgson.

A medical team, under the direction and supervision of a licensed physician, has been established to oversee the operation of the ultrasound suite and perform medical tests. Volunteer nurse manager Pam Maske recently retired from her career when she started volunteering with WELS Lutherans for Life. She has helped the team this past year prepare for the opening of the ultrasound suite and will perform ultrasounds when it opens.

“God called me to help these women, and who I am to say ‘no?’ ” asks Maske. “Ultrasounds are a tangible way for these women to see the lives they’re carrying. I’m really excited for the suite to open.”

Gabriella Moline

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Author: Gabriella Moline
Volume 104, Number 9
Issue: September 2017

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