Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington plans to transform a former abortion facility in Manassas, Virginia, into a free medical clinic for those in need, the diocese recently announced on its website.
Catholic News Agency reported that the former Amethyst Women’s Health Center averaged 1,300 abortion procedures each year. In 2013, local pro-life activists learned that the widowed owner of the abortion clinic was open to closing the facility but “felt trapped” because she needed to sell the building in order to retire. So they raised the funds necessary to purchase the building with the goal of turning it into a free medical clinic.
A spokesperson for the diocese said in a statement that the clinic will utilize volunteer nurses and doctors to offer medical care to those without health insurance. It will offer other free services such as “counseling, emergency assistance and referrals for workforce development and immigration support.”
The spokesperson added that they want to “offer a form of redemption to the space that once served such a sad and dark purpose.”
“We are excited to bring new life and a bright future to this location,” the spokesperson said.
Art Bennett, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, told Catholic News Agency, “I think it is a turn from desperation to great hope and transformative hope going forward.”
“By offering this service, we’re not only acknowledging the dignity of the individual,” Bennett said, adding they are “helping the common good, helping people overcome problems so they can flourish and lead a better life.”
The clinic is scheduled to open for its new purpose in November. Catholic News Agency reported the new clinic will be called the “Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic” in honor of the Virgin Mary.
“Mary, with her maternal care for people, particularly those who are most vulnerable, we thought that that was a nice integration,” Bennett said.
Ken Groves, the founder of the Manassas 40 Days for Life, told the Arlington Catholic Herald that the transformation "is truly miraculous."
"Kindness really is the way to change hearts," Groves said. "Love always wins."
(H/T Faithwire News)