Creating places in greater Portland where moms and dads facing unsupported pregnancy can experience abundant life for themselves and their children.
Hear From Our Patients
Our Ava Health Clinics hold a 98% Net Promoter Score (NPS), meaning at least 9 out of 10 women would recommend our services to others they know.
First Image is part of a larger movement of pregnancy centers spread across the nation. There are currently about 3,000 pregnancy centers and ours began as Crisis Pregnancy Center in 1984. Started by a group of churches and Christian business leaders in east Portland, our first clinic was the 15th pregnancy center in the country.
The first pregnancy centers were started as a redemptive response to the reality of abortion that even goes beyond the “political activism that followed the Roe decision” (link to the TGC piece).
These ministries are made up of people who put themselves in the lives of those facing pregnancies that are unwanted, unsupported, or are otherwise challenged.
The heart of the pregnancy center movement has always been to reach women actively considering abortion. It is born out the conviction that every person conceived is created in the Image of God, and worthy of love and protection. And it is born of a love for the woman who is experiencing an unwanted or unsupported pregnancy.
In an unwanted pregnancy, there are a number of things happening at once. There is often a broken or strained relationship with the father of the baby, economic hardships, lack of an adequate network of relational support, and so many other circumstances that can feel insurmountable. There is also often a disconnect from the personhood of the child they are carrying.
We know that very few people like abortion or want one. The reality, though, is that the circumstances these women may be in can feel overwhelming, and it often feels like there is no other option.
Stepping into these seemingly impossibly circumstances, pregnancy centers offer medical, social, educational, spiritual, and practical services from people who genuinely care about both the woman who comes to us, and the child she carries.
When we first began, we offered pregnancy testing, peer counseling, baby and maternity clothes, and referrals for critical community resources. In 1999, our name changed from Crisis Pregnancy Centers to Pregnancy Resource Centers of Greater Portland.
In 2001, our centers became medical, and we added nursing staff and limited 1st and 2nd trimester ultrasound services. Our centers are “licensed medical clinics” (link to Real Clinic article) and we have continued to develop our capacity to provide professional medical services, like STI testing and treatment, pregnancy confirmation, ultrasound and nurse consultation. These services are all at no cost to patients.
In 2016, our organization name changed to First Image. In 2023, the name of our pregnancy clinics changed from “Pregnancy Resource Centers to Ava Health”. Today, under First Image, we operate our network of 3 life-affirming pregnancy and women’s health clinics in Gresham, Portland, and Beaverton.
This is our mission:
At First Image, we are compelled by the love of Jesus Christ to empower those facing unexpected pregnancy to make life-affirming choices by offering compassionate care, information, and medically professional pregnancy and women’s health services.
So much has changed in the landscape of abortion. Since the Dobbs decision in 2022, the approach to abortion regulation and access has fractured across the country. In Oregon, abortion is better funded and more accessible than ever. Today, the vast majority of abortions are done via medication, which can be obtained online, rather than surgery. Abortion access is a superhighway, and we want to be the very first offramp for women who are actively considering abortion in the Portland Metro region. This means providing excellent, compassionate care, and medically professional services that meet the needs of those who are facing unexpected pregnancy.
At the center of all of this is our commitment to the gospel, which shapes both the why and the how of our work. We offer a spiritual conversation to every patient we see, and we are consistently blown away by what happens in those conversations. We have learned that when you simply create the space to ask deeper questions, miraculous things happen.
Going forward, the heart of our mission is the same as it was from our founding. We are still just a group of people motivated by the gospel to empower those facing unexpected pregnancy to make life-affirming choices. Our ultimate hope is that they will experience not just life, but abundant life.
We look with anticipation to the next chapter of this story, which is still being written. All of this is possible because of the hundreds of churches and thousands of individuals who give, volunteer, and spread the word about this critical work. They have been part of the story from day one. We’re so incredibly thankful for such a compassionate and generous community of ministry partners.