Friday, 06 April 2018 09:37

First Choice Women's Medical Center: Help for Women Facing Unexpected Pregnancy

Written by  Angela Hardgrave
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The most important need for someone going through a hard or life-changing time in his or her life is to know, without a doubt, that they are not alone. For women or couples facing an unexpected pregnancy, First Choice Women’s Medical Center of Montgomery gives the comfort and assurance that is so critical during this time. According to their mission statement, First Choice provides “Christ-centered medical, parenting, and life-skill services to extend help, offer hope, and promote healing.”

 

First Choice Women’s Medical Center began in 1982 as Sav-A-Life Montgomery, a crisis pregnancy center with the vision of reaching “abortion-vulnerable members of our community in the name of Christ to make life their first choice.” Sav-A-Life offered free pregnancy tests as a means to give “positive alternatives to women considering abortion.” In 2007, they transitioned into a medical clinic and began providing ultrasounds as well as pregnancy tests.

 

In 2018, Sav-A-Life Montgomery officially changed its name to First Choice Women’s Medical Center, Inc. Throughout the changes over the years, the goals of the staff have stayed consistent—to provide support and education to those facing a crisis pregnancy and to share the message of life. 

 

Executive Director Bethany Garth said, “We come alongside, giving hope, help, and compassion. We ask women, ‘What can we do to empower you to make a decision?’ A client advocate talks them through the dynamics of their decisions. We educate them without using scare tactics. They need to know exactly what they are getting into. The advocate also shares the Gospel with them, sowing the seed of the Word of God and showing the truth: that life begins at conception.”

 

In addition to client advocates, First Choice has licensed nurses who administer free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. In 2017, they had 2,306 client visits and gave 970 pregnancy tests and 562 ultrasounds. Because the transition to a medical center in 2007 allowed them to offer ultrasounds, it has made a impact on women who were considering abortion. Because of these tests, more women are choosing life. Of women who were planning to have an abortion, or who were in a situation vulnerable to abortion, about 68% of those who had an ultrasound at First Choice left saying they would choose life for their unborn baby.

 

In the case of a positive pregnancy test, the client advocate will discuss adoption as an option and can refer women or couples to local adoption agencies. They also offer parenting classes as a means of support. Garth said, “We show them what it is like to parent or co-parent. We educate them on the reality of their pregnancy and offer long-term support. In addition to our regular parenting classes, we just began fatherhood classes as well.”

 

Besides education, First Choice’s parenting classes have an added bonus—the Earn While You Learn program. Their weekly classes are video based, which means appointments are at the clients’ convenience to allow for more flexibility. They cover everything from pregnancy to parenting—conception to two years old. Clients meet regularly with a volunteer who checks their progress on the videos and workbooks. For participation, clients earn “Mommy Money” and “Daddy Dollars” to spend in First Choice’s baby store, a boutique-style store with everything from baby clothes and diapers to toys and strollers. Garth said, “It’s not a handout. The clients earn the money through watching the videos, completing the workbooks, and Bible study. We set up the store like a boutique with all these wonderful donated items so that our clients wouldn’t feel like they were digging through cast offs in someone’s basement.”

 

First Choice has made a huge impact on the surrounding community, helping thousands of women during very difficult times in their lives. Sometimes the impact is not seen until years later. “We had one client who came to the clinic and had a positive pregnancy test. We counseled her, but she left abortion-minded. We never knew what happened to her until two years later. She came back with her two year old child and thanked us. She chose life,” said Garth.

 

First Choice Women’s Medical Center is on the front lines in the River Region, fighting against abortion, shining the light of the gospel, and sharing truth about choosing life. They can’t do it alone—they need your help. Their ministry is 100% privately funded, and a large portion of their services are provided by volunteers. They always have a need for more volunteers, especially for receptionists to work the front desk and answer phones. They also need financial support from individuals, businesses, and churches. If you would like more information on how to volunteer or give, you can contact Bethany Garth at (334) 260-8010 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

 

Angela Hardgrave is a graduate of the University of Mobile with a degree in journalism and currently works in the Marketing Department of Faulkner University as a graphic designer. Angela is also a freelance writer for several publications in the River Region. She resides in Wetumpka, Alabama, with her three awesome daughters and her dog, Emmy.

 

 

Last modified on Monday, 21 May 2018 10:04
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