State-of-the-art Stork Bus “Paloma” set to save lives in southern California
Life Centers of Ventura County (LCVC) is a pregnancy resource center (PRC) located in Oxnard, Calif. Just 60 miles outside of L.A. — a city with over 20 Planned Parenthood locations.
California is not a state that has been particularly kind toward pro-life efforts, with its governor openly criticizing pro-life initiatives over the years.
But LCVC has persisted. And on Jan. 11 they added a new resource to their outreach – a mobile medical unit. The PRC partnered with Save the Storks to bring their Stork Bus to Oxnard.
“We knew we needed to find a way to bring our life-saving services to more women in our community,” said Andrea Saglimbene, LCVC’s Mobile Medical Unit Manager. “This unit provides an amazing opportunity for us to do that. It also serves as a visual reminder to women that there are other options available to them.”
Finding the right name
Each PRC that receives a Stork Bus has the honor of choosing a name for the unit. Saglimbene explains the name for their MMU stemmed from an encounter with a client at the center.
“We received a call after hours from a woman named Paloma who was scared and uncertain about her pregnancy,” she said. “One of our counselors spoke with her and listened to her story.”
But even after the woman spoke with LCVC’s counselor they weren’t sure what she was going to decide. So they waited.
A few days later Paloma called back. She told the staff she was going to keep her baby and that her time at the center had given her a sense of peace.
“Paloma means ‘dove’ in Spanish,” Saglimbene said. “And a dove is also a symbol of peace. So, we thought it fitting that we name our MMU Paloma in honor of this young woman who bravely reached out for help. It is our desire that our MMU be a conduit of peace to women facing similar fears and uncertainties.”
Help in Ventura County
Mobile medical units provide a unique opportunity for PRCs to extend their life-saving outreach into their communities. Staff at the LCVC are already in the process of planning where they will begin parking the bus in their community. College campuses, community events and near abortion clinics in Oxnard are at the top of the list.
“This mobile medical unit (MMU) will provide a way to reach women out in the community. Women who are close to making a life-or-death decision concerning their pregnancies,” said Michele Loughman, LCVC executive director. “Our hope is that it will inspire women to pause and get the facts. The high visibility of the mobile unit parked in strategic places has been proven effective in getting the message out that ‘help is available and that we care.’”
See more Stork Buses in action here.