Pregnancy Center idea open for discussion

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 14, 2006

AHOSKIE – In 2003 (latest figures available), there were 367 pregnancies and 71 reported abortions in Hertford County.

Statistics also show that nine of 10 women who chose abortion would have given birth to their babies if they had received support in that decision.

Figures also reveal that 254 of those pregnancies were experienced by unwed mothers. This group of women needs support in making decisions during this crucial time in their lives.

It is with figures like those that a group of people has decided to step in and give women with unwanted pregnancies an alternative to abortion.

A Pregnancy Center Ministry Steering Committee is being established by interested men and women in the Roanoke-Chowan area. An informational meeting will be held on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m., in the Roanoke-Chowan Community College Small Business Center’s conference room in the Freeland Building.

Cheryl Bowen, a member of the Steering Committee, said the group hopes to establish a Pregnancy Center which would offer alternatives to abortion and hope for women facing unplanned pregnancies. The Centers are multiplying throughout the United States and thousands of women are being encouraged and assisted in practical ways as they carry their babies to term.

For most women, proximity to a free, community supported pregnancy facility is an important factor in whether they will choose a healthy and well-planned birth for their babies.

Bowen added that the Steering Committee believes establishing of a pregnancy center is a call on the Christian community to provide practical and compassionate care to women and men facing difficult decisions concerning an unplanned pregnancies. The committee is also concerned for those who have already faced such decisions, and the group is even looking at a program entitled “Worth Waiting 4!” in which abstinence teams speak in schools, churches and to community groups.

Once the pregnancy center is established, there will be many ways in which volunteers can be of great help. They will need prayer intercessors, peer counselors and church liaisons that can help get the churches involved in annual events and informing them of service opportunities.

Volunteers would also be helpful as receptionists and child care providers among other services.

It is the belief of the Steering Committee that a crisis pregnancy does not mean a woman has to make a crisis decision. The Pregnancy Center would be a free-of-charge pregnancy center that supports women who are unprepared or unable to deal with a pregnancy. They would offer a wide range of services to clients, and the organization would be made up of women dedicated to helping and educating women who are in crisis situations. Their goal is to help women make the most informed decision possible.