Mosaic offers life-affirming pregnancy services

When expectant mothers first walk through the doors of Mosaic Pregnancy and Health Center, they often feel scared, alone, helpless and overwhelmed. However, they often leave with the strength, courage and support they need to bring their babies into the world.

Mosaic is a crisis pregnancy center with locations in Fairview Heights and Granite City. The centers offer free and confidential pregnancy testing and ultrasounds, along with testing for sexually transmitted diseases and infections.

Mosaic does not offer abortions and does not refer women to abortion providers.

“We are 100 percent pro-life,” said Kathy Lesnoff, Mosaic president and CEO. “We believe that God creates all life, and abortion would end a life that God created.”

Mosaic also offers free counseling, pregnancy classes, parenting classes and help with insurance and obstetrician and pediatrician referrals.

Mosaic provides $250 worth of baby items to mothers who complete the parenting classes. Items include diapers, wipes, bottles and onesies.

Mosaic also has a post-abortive recovery program led by women who have had abortions and have gone through the post-abortion healing process themselves.

“We recognize that this is a very difficult time,“ Lesnoff said. “Studies show that it takes women an average of five years to recover from an abortion physically, emotionally and spiritually. To help with that, we offer a nine-week Bible study which focuses on God’s forgiveness and His promises for the mother and her child.”

Male counselors are also available for fathers and couples offer mentoring for other couples.

Mosaic has helped over 16,000 clients make unplanned pregnancy and health decisions since its inception in 1987.

Mosaic offers an abstinence-based sex education program for middle and high school students. The curriculum, Rel8, serves 2,200 students a year in Madison and St. Clair counties.

The St. Louis Metro East pro-life community was caught off guard last fall when Planned Parenthood moved its Fairview Heights offices to a newer, larger and more visible location near the intersection of Interstate 64 and Illinois 159.

But Mosaic already unwittingly had a counterplan in place. Mosaic is completing a move of its St. Clair County location from Belleville to Fairview Heights, placing it much closer to the Planned Parenthood clinic. The new Mosaic office is located at 5016 N. Illinois St., two miles from the Planned Parenthood building at 317 Salem Place.

Lesnoff said she was unaware of Planned Parenthood’s plans for a new clinic when Mosaic made its own plans to move.

“When we first opened 32 years ago, we had a location in Fairview Heights,” Lesnoff said. “We moved from there to the east end of Belleville several years later to be closer to Southwestern Illinois College and the Belleville high schools. But we came to realize we saw more clients while we were in Fairview Heights than Belleville. We simply decided we needed to be where we were needed. We didn’t realize at that time how much we would be needed.”

Mosaic’s move to its new building doubles its available space, from 1,000 square feet at its Belleville location to 2,000 square feet at its new facility. It had outgrown the smaller location and was using a nearby church for its pregnancy and parenting classes. Mosaic has not completely moved into the Fairview Heights site because it is undergoing renovations.

Mosaic also has a mobile unit that is parked next to the new Planned Parenthood clinic. Since moving the mobile unit to an adjacent parking lot a few months ago, Lesnoff said 130 clients have gone directly into the Mosaic unit instead of Planned Parenthood. Members of Coalition For Life St. Louis, a pro-life organization, stand outside the gate at Planned Parenthood and inform those arriving for services at Planned Parenthood that Mosaic is available for testing and alternatives to abortion.

“We give them enough information to make them at least stop and reconsider,” Lesnoff said. “Not everyone that comes to Planned Parenthood is considering abortion. Some just want to get a pregnancy test. But last year, 92 percent of abortion-minded clients that came to Mosaic chose to keep their baby.”

Mosaic is a donor-supported ministry. It is funded by three fundraising events each year, and donations from individuals, churches and other organizations. Mosaic has a baby bottle campaign each January around the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision making abortion legal. Mosaic provides churches and organizations with baby bottles that members can fill with cash or checks. In March, Mosaic hosts a dinner gala for monthly donors. It also holds Mission Life Saturday each September with games and food.

Lesnoff is Mosaic’s only full-time employee and she’s been with the organization since its inception. The center also has 10 part-time employees and 32 volunteers.

Volunteers are needed at the center, especially volunteers in nursing. Mosaic also trains volunteers interested in counseling mothers and being a client advocate for them. Volunteers also can help lead childbirth and parenting classes, help with administrative work, be a receptionist, serve on the board of directors or even clean the facility. “We are happy to have people volunteer for anything that helps us save money,” Lesnoff said.

Forty years ago, Lesnoff herself worked in an abortion clinic in Granite City. During that time, she became a Christian and joined a church. “But I still didn’t do anything with that faith and church membership in regards to my work in an abortion clinic for five years. I finally realized what I was doing was contrary to God’s teaching and my faith.”

Lesnoff first became a client advocate at a crisis pregnancy center in Missouri before opening Mosaic in the metro east.

“I wanted to offer not just an alternative to abortion, but a Christ-centered answer to abortion in our area,” said Lesnoff. She said that last year, 51 women returned to their church or became Christians after Christian counseling from Mosaic.

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