by Marc and Julie Anderson
OVERLAND PARK — Just 150 steps.
That’s the distance between Advice and Aid Pregnancy Center’s newest location (opened in 2016) at 10901 Granada Lane in Overland Park and the nearest abortion clinic. According to Ruth Tisdale, executive director, those 150 steps often mean the difference between life and death.
Tisdale discussed the history of Advice and Aid as an organization, its impact on the region and some of its latest initiatives at an annual banquet held Oct. 6 at the Overland Park Convention Center. In addition, through videos, the 900 people in attendance heard stories of families helped through the organization’s efforts during its 35 years of existence.
Attendees also had the opportunity to hear Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, share how he could have been another statistic.
As a child, Daly said he was often reminded of how his parents didn’t plan on having him. With four older siblings, they thought their family was complete. When he came along, he was often considered “an accident” or “an oops baby.”
“You carry that burden for the rest of your life,” he said. “I was not supposed to be here.
“And, in fact, people don’t realize this [but] before Roe v. Wade — at least in the state of California where I grew up — abortion was legal.”
“You could get an abortion if you were over 40 years old for the health of the mother,” he continued, “and my mom was 42 when she had me. My alcoholic father was the one who talked my mother out of having the abortion.”
In Tisdale’s remarks, she admitted that “many children have been spared from abortion because of our work,” but acknowledged that the work belongs to God and it’s only with his blessing and assistance that the organization has been to able to change the lives of grandparents, parents, siblings — indeed, the entire trajectory of families — by reaching out in love during a moment of crisis.
For 35 years, Tisdale said, the organization has been answering God’s call to serve families before, during and after unplanned pregnancies with Christ-like compassion.
“We want to be the first place a woman contacts when she’s scared, alone, lost in her unplanned pregnancy,” she said.
“That’s why we moved to 10901 Granada Lane,” Tisdale added to thunderous applause. “That is the closet place we could get to the abortion-determined woman. And since we moved there, our numbers have continued to go up.” In September alone, 20 abortion-determined women walked through the center’s doors.
“When I think of the way God is using Advice and Aid at this location, I get overwhelmed,” said Tisdale, though not everyone stays for help.
“When that one does, though, it’s a holy moment,” she said.
But getting women to walk through the center’s door in the first place is a critical component. That’s why the organization continues to offer more and more medical services, including post-abortive assessments.
Tisdale said that few, if any, pregnancy resource centers offer post-abortive assessments, but Advice and Aid staff and volunteers want to be “a source of hope to people that are hurting — to extend the hand of grace despite their decision and to tell them of the One who can truly heal their souls.”
“You and I need to diligently pray,” she said, “for God’s intervention in the lives of women in our city, in our state, in our country, that have been told that abortion is their reproductive right.”
Tisdale concluded with a discussion of the center’s involvement with the Abortion Pill Reversal Network, an organization of doctors and nurses founded by Dr. George Delgado, who pioneered the use of progesterone to reverse the effects of the abortion pill within the first 72 hours after the abortion pill is administered.
He and his colleagues have saved more than 500 children’s lives with this method, but it is not yet widely known.
“We need to inundate our city with this message, because it’s crucial that [a newly pregnant woman] finds out that there is hope at that exact time,” Tisdale said.
In Kansas in 2017, 58 percent of abortions were medical abortions, meaning they were induced via the abortion pill.