By Jill Kruse
Witness Editorial Assistant
DUBUQUE — “There’s been a transition here from darkness to light,” Kris Nauman, the executive director of Clarity Clinic, said of her organization’s new office space at 3365 Hillcrest Road in Dubuque.
The building at that location had, until April of this year, been the home to Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s Dubuque center where telemedicine abortions took place. In May, it was purchased by Clarity Clinic, a non-profit organization offering crisis pregnancy services with a Christian worldview.
Founded in 1994, Clarity Clinic provides a variety of services, all completely free of charge to its clients. These include pregnancy testing, STD testing and limited ultrasounds, as well as counseling on pregnancy options and post-abortion counseling.
Pregnant women who reach out to Clarity Clinic learn more about parenting and adoption, and the risks associated with abortion. The clinic can refer them to a medical doctor and can help them enroll in birthing and delivery classes. It can also make referrals for an adoption agency if adoption is the path chosen.
Nauman said the clinic does not refer for abortions, but also noted that after they have seen an ultrasound, heard their child’s heartbeat and gotten medical information from a registered nurse, most women who come into their clinic considering an abortion decide against one. “Ninety percent will choose life,” she said.
The clinic also provides abstinence education to students in middle and high schools in a number of districts in northeast Iowa and northwest Illinois, and offers programs such as “Boundaries” designed to help young people learn to set appropriate boundary lines in all aspects of their lives – physically, emotionally, sexually and socially.
The clinic also launched a satellite location in Platteville, Wisconsin, two years ago, which now independently provides similar services to communities in southwestern Wisconsin.
As Clarity Clinic in Dubuque continued to expand its services and increased the number of clients it saw, its staff began to realize the office they were renting on Asbury Road was no longer sufficient and there was need for a bigger space. They would find one in the most unlikely of places.
In January of this year, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland announced it would be closing its Dubuque office. This was welcome news to the local pro-life community, which had spent years peacefully protesting Planned Parenthood’s presence in Dubuque, demonstrating outside its building every hour of every day it was open for business.
Planned Parenthood is the largest single provider of abortions in the nation. Its Dubuque office did not perform surgical abortions but did offer telemedicine (telemed) abortions in which a doctor at another clinic could remotely dispense abortion-inducing drugs to a woman present at the Dubuque site.
When Clarity Clinic learned that Planned Parenthood would be leaving Dubuque and no longer offering telemed abortions in the city once the building on Hillcrest was sold, the organization made the decision to buy the facility, finalizing the purchase on May 6.
“It is a trial to take on this much financial debt, especially while we’re still paying on our old lease (which doesn’t run out until December),” Nauman said, “but the Lord opened the door for us to come in here, and the Lord will provide.”
Before moving in on May 31, Clarity Clinic invited priests and pastors from around the Tri-State area to bless the new facility. Clergy prayed together and walked around the building, blessing the rooms, and even blessing the parking lot outside.
Clarity Clinic is now open and seeing clients in its new location. Nauman said that during the month of June a number of pregnant women already came in for consultation and ultimately decided against abortion. “It is a beautiful thing to see life-affirming decisions being made here now,” she said.
On July 28, from 2-4 p.m., Clarity Clinic will celebrate its official grand opening and will welcome the community to meet staff and learn more about the services they provide.
Clarity Clinic is supported 100% by private financial donations and relies heavily on volunteers to help make the services it provides possible.
“We really appreciate the support we’ve received from Catholics in the community, many of whom are very passionate about the pro-life cause,” Nauman said.
Anyone interested in learning more about Clarity Clinic can visit its website at clarityclinic.com.
Father Dean Smith (pastor of St. Mary and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parishes in East Dubuque, Illinois) blessing the sign in front of the building at 3365 Hillcrest Road that would later say “Clarity Clinic.” The blessing occurred in May. (Contributed photo)