When a representative from the Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation called last year during the application process for a $42,000 grant to ask if they were an abortion clinic, a volunteer told them “no,” she said.
But they do offer the morning after pill.
And when an unidentified pastor saw that the Baptist group had awarded WOW the grant he called the Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry, accusing the local clinic of providing abortions, she alleged.
On Tuesday, Ringstaff received a letter from Will Bacon, vice president of development for the ministry, officially rescinding the grant offer.
Ringstaff does not know who made the anonymous call after seeing an announcement about the grant on the Rome News-Tribune website.
The “morning after pill” is not an abortion pill, rather, it is a contraceptive that can be given to a woman after sex to diminish her chances of getting pregnant, Ringstaff said.
“It’s just like any other birth control,” Ringstaff added. “It prevents ovulation and fertilization.”
And it’s not always successful. The morning after pill has a 10-percent failure rate, she said. The morning after pill is available over the counter without a prescription, Ringstaff said.
“It’s not RU-486,” Ringstaff said, referring to the controversial abortion pill that will disrupt an already established pregnancy. “But they still believe it is.”
Ringstaff said she explained this different to officials with the ministry.
Tom Duvall, an attorney with Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry, said they don’t comment about grant awards or those who receive the grants and offered no other comment Tuesday.
Ringstaff said she was disappointed. The money would help with staffing needs for the clinic, which has been run by volunteers since it opened in 2008.
“We thought this would be an ongoing relationship,” Ringstaff said.
The ministry has asked for the money to be returned. Returning the money will not affect the upcoming free Pap smear day on April 28, she said.
“We already have appointments,” Ringstaff said. “We are not canceling it.”
Anyone who wants to make a donation to the clinic can send mail to Women of Worth, 1513 Dean St., Rome, GA 30161.
The clinic’s phone number is 706-232-3408.