Mobile crisis pregnancy center offers women alternatives to Planned Parenthood facility
March 15, 2011
MAGNOLIA—Through an inspired collaboration of supporters, a mobile pregnancy crisis center sponsored by a local chapter of the Knights of Columbus launched on Jan. 22. The customized bus parks near the flagship Planned Parenthood headquarters in Houston, which is located on the Gulf Freeway.
“We are honored to be a part of something so grassroots and so progressive, especially when it is going to sit right in front of the largest abortion clinic in the United States,” said Deacon Mike Mims of St. Anthony of Padua Church in The Woodlands. Deacon Mims is president of Imagi-Motive, a Magnolia-based company known for designing and creating tailgating features on various transports. Imagi-Motive put its creative talents to use on the mobile pregnancy crisis center.
There was a crisis pregnancy center near the Planned Parenthood on Fannin in Midtown, where women could get a free pregnancy test, an ultrasound and counseling. The new Planned Parenthood location, however, offers no place to build or lease. The alternative is the mobile approach, which has been used around the country.
The Knights of Columbus Council 12564 in Pattison raised $25,000 to help purchase the mobile machine, an amount matched by the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council. Fittingly, the ultrasound machine was received on Dec. 8, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception.
A mid-80s MCI bus was acquired for the project earlier this year. The coach transportation — previously used as a mobile office and by band for traveling to its gigs — will now be tasked with saving lives.
Courtesy of Imagi-Motive, the bus was stripped inside to its bare walls and floor and was rebuilt. The interior hosts a waiting room with a flat screen television and play area for children. The pregnancy test area includes a restroom and pregnancy test lab. A counseling room offers chairs and a fold down table. The ultrasound room features a large screen to project the image of the baby. The portable ultrasound machine has 2D, 3D and 4D imaging capabilities. Trained and certified medical volunteers will work as ultrasound technicians.
In the cargo area below the bus floor, large television screens can be housed and drawn out for displaying educational videos. The image wrap encompassing the bus includes a silhouetted image of a mother which, upon closer inspection, is entirely comprised of countless photos of infants.
In other symbolic timing, the mobile center was announced in 2010 and was completed in late December — nine months later.
Deacon Mims said Imagi-Motive is forfeiting profits, with all expenses only materials-based. The flooring and other components of the bus have been donated by project supporters.
“As my son Kevin (a vice president with Imagi-Motive) said... even if this just saves one life, then the whole project is worth it,” Deacon Mims said. †