Thursday, September 15, 2011


Searching. I was searching. But I didn’t know for what. God was calling me to do something; I just didn’t know what it was.

I had always believed in the pro-life movement. I could state plainly “I am pro-life.” But years and years went by without any action on my part. I didn’t give any money to a pro-life organization. I didn’t volunteer. I was not involved. I was not engaged.

Soon after overcoming the wear and tear of the “young children” phase of parenting, I began to become more involved at church. I began to spend more of my time on church projects, more time volunteering, more time teaching. I grew in my faith, but something was still lacking. Eventually, one of my good friends convinced me to go on a mission trip to Honduras. Reluctantly I went along. As is often the case, I was changed forever. “Church” for me was no longer a building; “church” was people. God’s work no longer took place on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights; His work was going on continuously. I had finally realized that fact and decided to join Him.

Around that time, I was playing around on the Internet (as I am prone to do). Something (or someone?) led me to search for “pro-life Birmingham.” There were many results, but the one that caught my eye was Sav-A-Life, Vestavia. I didn’t even know this ministry was a few short miles from my house. I found that they offered free pregnancy tests as well as basic medical services. As a physician radiologist, my specialty deals with images, not people. I tend to shy away from medical clinics feeling that I have nothing to offer. But then I read that Sav-A-Life offered free prenatal ultrasounds. What?!? Ultrasound was something I did. I was good at it. But could they use me?

When I first called to inquire about volunteering at Sav-A-Life, the person who answered the phone was cautiously optimistic. She couldn’t believe that a radiologist was calling to offer his services. They had only one nurse who performed the prenatal ultrasounds. They were looking to expand their services but didn’t know how they were going to train more nurses. It was a perfect match.

And perfect timing. Shortly after I began volunteering, the nurse who performed most of the ultrasounds had to resign. Had I not offered my services, Sav-A-Life would have been very limited in its ability to offer prenatal ultrasound, a very important service in the crisis pregnancy ministry. Do not mistake me: my timing was late. Years late, even. But God’s timing was perfect.

I had found my place of service -- outside the walls of my church, in my own town. Most Tuesday afternoons you can find me at the Sav-A-Life clinic helping with prenatal ultrasounds. I have been training the nurses at the clinic to perform ultrasounds so that exams can be performed almost any time the center is open. I cannot overemphasize the power of moving images of an unborn baby. My favorite times are when I get to share in the joy of excited parents. My most rewarding times are when we help a struggling mother grapple with the difficult decisions that lay before her. The good times are good; the bad times are hard. That’s life. And that’s my mission.

Dean Thornton, MD

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dear Friend for Life,

I'm always looking at numbers.  Numbers are good indicators of what's going on here at the Center and with society.  For example, the number of clients we've seen come through our mentoring/education department (for parenting classes, childbirth classes, fatherhood classes, etc.) has doubled when compared to this same time last year - we've already seen over 800 clients this year!  All I can really say about that is Praise the Lord!  Isn't it exciting to know that moms and dads want to improve life for the child they have chosen to bring into this world?

I recently discovered another number that causes me great concern though.  During 2010, we saw 32 clients age 16 and younger.  It seems we've had a rash of younger clients lately so I thought I would see what our current numbers looked like.  What I discovered broke my heart!  In the first six (6) months of this year, we have already seen 40 girls in that same age range - age 16 and younger.  That means we could more than double the number of clients in that age group by the end of this year!  Doesn't that make you sick?

So, what do we do?  Well, as we do about everything around here, we pray!  We pray for God to change the hearts of these precious young folks.  We pray for God to give us the wisdom to know how to address this issue.  For example, do we offer additional programming to address purity and self-worth?  Can we partner with our faithful churches to offer Bible Studies that address these issues?  We pray for God to continue to send these young women (and men) to us so we have an opportunity to minister to them.  Will you please pray with us as we seek His direction on this issue? 

In the meantime, we will continue to minister to thse and to all the women and men who walk through our doors - particularly those who are considering abortion as an option for their unplanned pregnancy.  Please continue to pray with us - we cannot survive without it! 

By the way, we often have immediate prayer needs that we like to share.  One of the most efficient ways for us to do that is by posting on Facebook or Twitter.  Will you please join us?  Just click here to find us on Facebook and here  for Twitter.  You can also email Missy if you would like to receive our newsletter .  Please find us, follow us, and become prayer warriors with us.

On a positive note, let me close by introducing you to some more of our newest babies!

born February 28, 2011 

born May 28, 2011 

born June 1, 2011 

born March 13, 2011 
born February 14, 2011 

By His Grace,

Lisa Hogan
Executive Director

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


"To help men and women embrace the Truth of God’s Word as they make life-affirming decisions about their unborn child."

The two-fold purpose of Sav-A-Life, Vestavia is reflected in the above mission statement. We strive to share the Word of God with the women and men who walk through our doors. And we are committed to promote the sanctity of human life by helping our clients make life-affirming decisions.

So, how do we do this?

Sav-A-Life, Vestavia's staff and volunteers educate both men and women about the alternatives to abortion, post abortion syndrome and sexually transmitted diseases. With this knowledge they are empowered to make informed decisions and bring needed restoration to their lives.

Sav-A-Life, Vestavia provides both emotional and spiritual support for men and women with unwanted or unplanned pregnancies. Women who come to us are shown the love of Christ without judgment or condemnation. All clients hear about the love of Christ and how they can have a personal relationship with Him. To date, we have had the privilege of leading over 4,000 people to a relationship with Jesus Christ.

In this brand new blog, we will share our experiences from the counseling room, the medical clinic, the mentoring program, and the classroom. You will meet our dedicated staff and wonderful volunteers. Hopefully, you will be informed, encouraged, and inspired.

Be sure to follow this blog. And don't forget to "like" us on Facebook and "follow" us on Twitter.