Published January 29, 2022

Dakota Hope Clinic Continues to Grow

Written by
Lydia Hoverson
| The Dakotan
Ultrasound at Dakota Hope Clinic [Photo: submitted]
Ultrasound at Dakota Hope Clinic [Photo: submitted]

MINOT — The Dakota Hope Clinic received additional funding this past week from the St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation’s Twice Blessed program, which matches donors’ contributions given to preapproved organizations. [The Dakotan link]

Dakota Hope Clinic is a charitable outreach ministry formed to provide care, support, and education related to sexual health, pregnancy, and childbirth. 

Clinic Director Nadia Smetana said, “God is so good, and he has blessed us with the most generous donors,” she said.  

Besides the Alternatives to Abortion program, Dakota Hope does not receive any government funds, and what it does receive is less than 1% of its budget. “We totally rely, for the vast majority of our funding, on our community,” said Smetana.  

It receives many of its yearly donations through its banquet in September and the Festival of Trees in November.  

Dakota Hope is an interdenominational, Christian organization. The idea started around 2011, with a “group of local citizens who had a burden on their heart to help women who had unplanned pregnancies,” said Smetana. In September of 2013, they opened the clinic.  

Smetana has worked at the clinic since March of 2016 and became the director in 2017. “I never thought I would work there, but it’s been the best job I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some good jobs throughout my career. This is definitely the most rewarding and interesting and challenging,” she said. 

The purpose of Dakota Hope Clinic is to help both women and men with unintended pregnancies. “Research says that about half of pregnancies are unintended,” said Smetana.  

"We can do an ultrasound for them, we can confirm their pregnancy, with a medical grade pregnancy test, and we can help them to make sure they’re totally informed on all their options." Nadia Smetana, Dakota Hope Clinic director

“We can do an ultrasound for them, we can confirm their pregnancy, with a medical grade pregnancy test, and we can help them to make sure they’re totally informed on all their options. We are honest with them that we do not perform abortions,” Smetana explained. 

Smetana said the clinic takes in about 4 to 5 new clients each week. Last year, it took in 255 new individual clients, of which 196 were pregnant. “We’ve had more funds available to do more advertising, especially online,” she said. 

Dakota Hope offers a program called Earn While You Learn, which lasts up to three years after the child is born. The parents can watch video-based lessons on pregnancy, prenatal care, labor and delivery, parenting and other practical and relationship skills, like how to keep a clean house and write a resume. “Every time they complete a lesson, they earn points, and they can use those points to get free items for their child,” Smetana said. Those items include diapers, wipes, clothes, toys, bath items, and gas stamps. 

Dakota Hope also offers abortion pill reversals. According to Smetana, about a third to a half of abortions are done with pills and may be able to be reversed after the first dose, for women who are no more than ten weeks pregnant. Immediate help can be found at abortionpillreversal.com or 1-877-558-0333. “If they call that hotline, they can be put in touch with a local pregnancy center and physician, or nurse practitioner, who can prescribe an antidote to that first pill that they take, and many times it can keep that child alive, and it’s recommended that they don’t take the second drug. The first drug essentially starves the baby from oxygen and nutrition, so it kills the fetus. The second drug causes her uterus to cramp and essentially go into labor, and expel the dead fetus,” said Smetana. Smetana also mentioned that the reversal pill is about 70-80% effective, with no more birth defects than the general population. 

Dakota Hope offers another program called Discovery Peace, for both women and men, to help them recover from regret they may have from having an abortion or convincing someone to get one. Smetana said, “First of all, we don’t condemn them. We never recommend abortion. When we educate them about abortion, we let them know that they might have very serious side effects, including psychological, emotional effects from it, we warn them about that, that research shows that that happens. But it’s up to them what they do. We let them know that our doors are always open for them, and that, especially if they regret their abortion, or just need to talk about it, our door’s always open, and we offer services. It’s not a condemning thing at all, it’s helping them find peace with God. Many of them have asked for forgiveness, but they can’t forgive themselves. In some cases, it was many years ago and they may have never told anyone. There's a lot of silent suffering.”  

Dakota Hope Clinic's location in Minot [Photo: submitted]

There are seven total pregnancy centers in North Dakota. Dakota Hope, being the only one in the north central and northwest area, is working on its Mini Clinic Project, where they are planning on expanding to eight different locations.  

Currently, they are working on one in Tioga and one in Bottineau. “It’s a work in progress. It’s very exciting, and the people in those communities are very excited to have a local place for people close to them to go,” said Smetana. 

Dakota Hope’s Director of Development Tim Knutson said the matching funds from Twice Blessed will help make those a reality.  

More information on Dakota Hope can be found on its website. It can also be called on a 24/7 hotline at (701)-852-4673 or (701)-852-4675 and texted at 978-705-3421. 

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