NRL News

God’s making it happen; Miami center changes minds and hearts, saves lives

by | Mar 25, 2021

By Gayle Irwin

Heartbeat of Miami client Jashley’s ultrasound
Heartbeat of Miami

The young woman arrived for her appointment at a Miami, Florida, pregnancy center. Jashley was filled with fear and confusion because her boyfriend was pressuring her to have an abortion. Recognizing she likely would be left alone during the pregnancy, she believed abortion was her only option. Little did she realize how dramatically her life, and the life of her boyfriend, was about to change.  

Heartbeat of Miami operates four pregnancy resource medical clinics in Miami-Dade County, with a sonographer working at each facility. Jashley visited the North Miami center, and during her appointment, she and her boyfriend were able to see their six-week-old unborn child on the ultrasound. They also heard their little one’s heartbeat. These experiences caused them to change their minds about abortion.

“They both had a change of heart and decided to choose life,” said Martha Avila, president of Heartbeat of Miami. 

That wasn’t the only change. 

 “Their counselor also shared the Gospel with them, and they both decided to make Jesus Lord of their lives,” she said.

Later, when Jashley was 24 weeks along, she returned to the clinic for a 3D/4D ultrasound, which revealed a baby girl. Jashley’s child is 

Growth and impact in 14 Years

Founded in 2007, Heartbeat of Miami was the first known pregnancy center in Miami-Dade County. At the time 37 abortion businesses were in the area. Some have closed, and Heartbeat of Miami occupies two of those former abortion sites.

Avila and her board were waiting in the wings for one of the locations.

“The abortion business closed on October 31, 2015 at noon,” she said, “and we signed the paperwork (that same day) at 2 p.m.” 

“We’re here until God says, ‘no,’” said Avila. “He made it happen!”

Other Heartbeat of Miami centers are located in areas targeted by abortion businesses, including a university setting and a Hispanic community in North Miami, she said.

A lot of renovation was done to turn the building of darkness into a facility of light.

Despite COVID-19 and only being able to serve at 50 percent capacity, the centers have remained open. Classes are done virtually, and diaper drives became ‘drive-through.’ 

“God is so awesome – even with the pandemic!” Avila said. “It’s taught us a lot, and we have so many incredible stories!” 

In addition to Jashley’s change of heart and new life in Christ, Heartbeat of Miami helped several abortion pill reversal clients, thanks to Heartbeat International’s Option Line®. 

Avila and her staff also assisted sex trafficking victims and teenagers, Avila said. 

A 13-year-old who turned out to be 37 weeks along and involved in a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ situation, sought services at one of the pregnancy center locations.

“If she would have gone into Planned Parenthood, she could have gotten an abortion even at that stage of her pregnancy,” Avila said. “Because we’re known to the public as Pregnancy Help Medical Clinic and two of our centers are former abortion facilities, many people come here that might not otherwise.”

Celebrating the ‘wins’

According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, 71,913 abortions were performed in Florida in 2019. The number of abortions went up more than two percent, and the number of chemical abortions rose more than nine percent compared with 2018. 

More than 2.7 million people live in Miami-Dade County. The area is a center for human trafficking, “a melting pot of nations,” and is first per capita for abortion, Avila said. 

“We are a miracle in this county, and we celebrate each win,” she said. “Changed minds, accepting Christ – nothing can compare, and that’s what drives me.”

She has been with the organization since the beginning.

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but God is so faithful,” she said. “All to His glory!”

Editor’s note: Heartbeat Miami was founded under the leadership of Rev. John Ensor, now head of Passion Life Ministries, when he was on staff as development director for Heartbeat International. Heartbeat International manages Option Line, the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network and Pregnancy Help News where this appeared. Reposted with permission.