At age 17, Dawn was in crisis.
She was pregnant and alone, afraid to tell either her
parents or her friends. When she visited a Florida abortion clinic, her baby
was too far developed to abort and she bore a baby girl whom she loved very
When she became pregnant again two years later she didn’t
wait. She walked into an abortion clinic, ended her pregnancy and walked out
vowing never to speak about it again.
Some 6.3 million women face a crisis pregnancy in the United
States each year, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and
More than 1.3 million of those pregnancies end in
Pregnancy resource centers exist nationwide to tell these
women there is hope and a future for them and their babies in Jesus Christ.
The North American Mission Board (NAMB) partners with 270
pregnancy resource centers, including 18 in North Carolina.
Because of NAMB-related centers, more than 3,600 babies were
saved from abortion in 2009. Additionally, some 1,700 women accepted Christ
because pregnancy center staff members shared the gospel with them.
On Jan. 17, Southern Baptists again will observe “Sanctity
of Human Life Sunday,” marking the 37th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s
Roe v. Wade decision.
Hope in Burnsville
Tri-County Pregnancy Center in Burnsville was started as a
ministry of West Burnsville Baptist Church 16 years ago.
Because Mary Higgins and her husband Michael “were burdened
about the abortion issue” they began to research the possibility of a center.
The center served close to 700 clients in 2009, said
Higgins, who with Michael is a Mission Service Corps (MSC) missionary through
West Burnsville Baptist donates money and shares center
needs in the church bulletin.
“One of the nicest things a church can do is include the
local pregnancy center in their budget,” Higgins said. “It’s a great thing to
call the center and ask ‘What are your greatest needs?’ Or to have someone come
by and pray with you.”
Michael had worked with social services and as a counselor
in the school system. Since his retirement, Michael has begun a Bible study
exploring biblical principles for
Serving Yancey, Avery and Mitchell counties, Higgins said,
“We don’t care where they come from. We see any person that comes as a
She sees a greater reliance on the center from community
agencies such as the Department of Social Services and the Health Department.
“We frequently get referrals from them,” she said. “We have
some of the maternal outreach workers who bring clients to classes.”
Centers like these often help with the financial burden of
counseling as well as getting supplies for parents with little support.
“There’s a lot of people that are financially in such a bind
that they don’t know what to do,” Higgins said.
“A lot of times they are scared to come.”
Higgins believes the earlier you can reach people, the
She said the center has resources available to help youth
ministers talk to their students. Higgins is also available to present the
ministry in churches and to host groups at the center.
“It’s good for
our young people to know what kind of situation their friends might be dealing
with,” she said.
“Sometimes those kids can be the very ones who save a baby’s
life. If we can educate kids we can make a difference.”
Brevard center active
Started 17 years ago as Mom’s Place, The Center for Women in
downtown Brevard receives up to 1,200 visits each year.
Like other centers, The Center for Women awards points to
expectant mothers for coming to classes, getting counseling, keeping WIC appointments,
Earned points allow parents to get needed items from the
thrift shop; anything from maternity clothes to baby clothes and products as
well as furniture.
“It’s a way to keep them connected with us,” said Wendy
Kicklighter, director. “We ask them to carry their child to term.”
A majority of the center’s clients are in their 20s but in
the last couple of weeks Kicklighter said she saw 14- and 15- year-old girls.
“It still is a major problem,” she said. “I don’t know what
to say about the way the country is headed. We accept teen pregnancy too
readily. Nowadays it’s something they’re proud of … girls in school. It’s
something they brag about. That’s really sad.”
Kicklighter wishes more young mothers would make their
babies available for adoption.
Instead, those who choose abortion say they would “rather
have no child than to have given up a child.”
Bridging a Gulf
Renee Haugh (pronounced Hawk) is executive director of Reach
Out Crisis Pregnancy Center Inc. in Gulf, a rural area.
They saw 173 clients in 2009.
Eight of those made professions of faith. The center,
started 12 years ago by a local pastor’s wife, offers ultrasounds as well as
counseling and material support.
Reach Out serves Chatham and Lee counties, and Haugh said
they want to relocate to a more populated area like Sanford.
They are seeing pregnant clients as young as middle school
age, and women to age 40, said Haugh, who wants to gain greater ground in
social networking tools, such as Facebook and Twitter.
“If we can’t even reach our clients it will be a moot
issue,” Haugh said, because few of them consider adoption.
One of the needs Haugh sees is reaching young men. She hopes
to have some men volunteer to teach.
Elaine Ham, pregnancy care ministries associate at NAMB, wants
Jan. 17 to be not only a day of remembrance for babies who have been lost to
abortion, but also a day of hope for babies and mothers who can be saved if
Southern Baptist churches and pregnancy resource centers will work together to
Dawn Pate knows firsthand the need for Christ to be the hope
in the midst of a crisis pregnancy. She was that girl who had faced two crisis
pregnancies and an abortion by the time she was 19.
“It’s amazing how God works,” Pate said. “The very things we
don’t want to talk about are the things He uses to bring about healing and to
minister to other people.”
Churches across the country are invited to join in The
Invitation Stands by going to www.nambforlife.net to download free resources
and order the video.
Ways you can help
Most pregnancy centers have common needs:
- Financial donations
- Maternity and baby clothes
- Baby furniture, car seats, etc.
- Baby food and formula
- Hold a baby shower
When in doubt, call and find out the current needs.
Below is a list of North Carolina pregnancy care centers
affiliated with the North American Mission Board:
- Ashe Pregnancy Care Center, Jefferson; [email protected];
- Caldwell Pregnancy Care Center, Lenoir,
- Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship, Charlotte; [email protected];
www.cpcflink.org/home.html; (704) 596-8932.
- Carolina Pregnancy Center, Greenville, (252) 757-0003;
Washington: (252) 946-8040.
- GATE Pregnancy Resource Center, Harrisburg; [email protected];
www.gateprc.org; (704) 455-5200.
- HELP Crisis Pregnancy Center, Monroe;
[email protected]; (704) 289-5133.
- In His Hands Pregnancy Support Center, Smithfield,
- LifeCare, Inc., Raleigh; [email protected];
lifecarenc.org; (919) 873-2440.
- McDowell Pregnancy Care Center, Marion; [email protected];
mcdowellpregnancycarecenter.org; (828) 652-7676.
- New Hope Pregnancy Care, Yadkinville; [email protected];
www.newhopepregnancy.com/Home.aspx; (336) 679-7101.
- New Hope Pregnancy Center, Clayton; [email protected];
newhopepregnancy.org; (919) 585-4353.
- Pee Dee Crisis Pregnancy Center, Rockingham; (910)
- Pregnancy Care Center, Drexel; [email protected];
- Pregnancy Support Center, Roanoke Rapids;
www.mypregnancyoptions.org; (252) 519-4357.
- Reach Out Crisis Pregnancy Center Inc., Gulf;
[email protected]; (919) 898-2923.
- The Center for Women, Brevard; [email protected];
www.brevardwomenscenter.com; (828) 885-7885.
- Tri-County Pregnancy Center, Burnsville;
[email protected]; (828) 682-7250.
- Wilkes Pregnancy Care Center, Wilkesboro;
[email protected]; (336) 838-9272.
Contact the individual center to see about how you can help
provide for the needs of their clients.