Professor doubles as life-saver in crisis pregnancy center

LOUSVILLE, Ky. (BP)--For more than 20 years seminary professor William Cutrer has taught about abortion, written about it as an author and counseled women against it as a medical doctor.

Still, one thing mystifies him -- why so many local churches seem reluctant to address the issue.

Cutrer is associate professor of Christian ministry and director of the Gheens Center for Christian Family Ministry at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Cutrer is also the co-author of "False Positive," a novel focusing on the sanctity of human life theme set in a crisis pregnancy center, "Deadly Cure," "Lethal Harvest" and "When Empty Arms Become a Heavy Burden."

"The annual Roe vs. Wade observances do bring attention to the horror of abortion," he said. "Sadly, many churches don't discuss the issue at all, or simply pass the week by and become calloused to the real genuine human tragedy. The loss of precious life is enormous and the impact on the lives of the women that have had abortions is incredible.

"The church should step forward and speak up on behalf of the babies. (They should) make an impact for the babies and for the generation of women who suffer, often silently, because no one told them the truth before they made their decisions. Grace abounds toward them. May we faithfully get the message out."

Cutrer is neither a passive observer nor a detached commentator.

He serves as the medical director for "A Woman's Choice," a pro-life crisis pregnancy center in downtown Louisville. The center, located across the street from an abortion clinic, is sponsored by Southeast Christian Church -- Louisville's largest evangelical church -- and supported by other concerned churches in our area.

The clinic offers counseling and medical services for pregnant women. Above all, the clinic seeks to educate women on the truth of pregnancy and abortion.

"Many of our clients come in to our clinic by mistake," Cutrer said. "They have their appointments for abortion but God's Spirit directs them to us. We give them the best of care without deception. We tell them we don't do abortions and we don't refer for abortions.

"But what we do is offer them the love of God in Christ, free counseling and support, and a free ultrasound if they would like."

To the contrary, abortion clinics charge at least $200 for a sonogram, Cutrer said, on top of a fee for the procedure that ends the life of the fetus. The further along a woman is in her pregnancy, the higher the fees, he said.

"Women who have been there (the abortion clinic) and come to see us have commented on how clean and friendly our clinic is," Cutrer said. "They feel safe."

Last year alone, the clinic was instrumental in turning 350 women away from abortion, convincing them to carry their pregnancies to term. Some put the children up for adoption, while others raised them with assistance from family, friends and even the clinic itself, he said.

One recent technological development has greatly increased the effectiveness of the clinic's task, giving it a formidable weapon against those that view the fetus as a mere 'blob of tissue' -- the 4-D ultrasound.

The new ultrasound allows expectant mothers to see a three-dimensional view of their baby as it moves within the womb.

"The client will see lips, ears, the baby's mouth opening and closing, fingers and toes," he said. "It is very dramatic. No one leaves the clinic believing the baby is a 'blob of tissue' or a 'cluster of cells.'

"These terms like 'products of gestation' depersonalize the baby, making abortion look like the solution to a problem (and) not the destruction of human life. So, we at the clinic call 'em like we see 'em -- these are babies. And it becomes very evident when the client watches the large TV screen that shows the very images I'm watching on the machine."

While "A Woman's Choice" employs this new machine so clients may see their child in flesh tone color, abortion clinics do not allow expectant mothers to see such detail, Cutrer said.

"The abortion clinic doesn't permit the clients to see what they are seeing," he said. "It would hurt their business. So the new machine is making an impact. I think most clinics can do a very fine job with the 2-D machine but it would be nice for them to have a center to refer clients to that uses the 4-D."

Cutrer is a board certified obstetrician/gynecologist and has been involved with women's health care since the late 1970s. Prior to coming to Southern Seminary in 1999, Cutrer spent 15 years in a private medical practice during which time he attended Dallas Theological Seminary. He also served as senior pastor at Wildwood Baptist Church in Mesquite, Texas, from 1994-97.

He volunteered at crisis pregnancy centers in the 1980s and served as the medical director of a pregnancy resource center in Dallas, where he supervised the medical portion of the ministry.

Cutrer wants local churches to be aware of and support similar pro-life crisis pregnancy centers.

"If more of the churches knew of the availability of counseling, support, even legal assistance with adoption, benevolence aid and the medical capabilities, it would help them minister to women," he said. "I'd like to invite believers to pray for us and the ministry at the clinic."


(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: TECHNOLOGY and PLACE OF HOPE.

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