The Catholic Diocese of Arlington has announced plans to turn a former abortion clinic into a free medical facility for residents of Manassas, Virginia — and it’s a stunning transformation that has pro-life advocates cheering.
The new health clinic — which will also provide other services including immigration assistance — is a project of the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, according to a statement released last week on the diocese’s website.
The story behind the former abortion facility — Amethyst Health Center for Women — is also quite interesting. According to the statement, a group of Catholic entrepreneurs purchased the building under an agreement that the abortion clinic would no longer exist inside; and, as of 2015, Amethyst Health Center for Women ceased operations there, The Christian Post reported.
The clinic owner, who retired in 2015, also decided not to sell the practice to someone else — something that some pro-life activists viewed as a “miracle.” Around 1,300 abortions were performed inside the building each year.
“I’m just awestruck at the power of God,” Kelly McGinn, an activist who had prayed outside the clinic for 15 years, told The Arlington Catholic Herald at the time. “This closing has the Holy Spirit all over it.”
After the closure, the entrepreneurs reached out to Catholic Charities to figure out the best way to use the space. The goal? To see if the organization could “offer a form of redemption to the space that once served such a sad and dark purpose.”
After some analysis was conducted, it was determined that the community needs a free medical facility for people who don’t have medical insurance, so the group decided to launch the Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic.
The practice, which will open in November, will be a no-cost medical effort that will be staffed by volunteer doctors and nurses.
“By offering this service, we’re not only acknowledging the dignity of the individual,” Art Bennett, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, told Catholic News Agency. “[We will be] helping the common good, helping people overcome problems so they can flourish and lead a better life.”