Photo by George Lauby
Amy Woods of the Women's Resource Center with new ultrasound that displays image of fetus in the womb.
The ribbon was cut June 11 at Women’s Resource Center in North Platte, which has been remodeled and now includes a long-awaited feature – an ultrasound machine. The center offers free counseling, support and services to women in the Lincoln County area who face an unplanned pregnancy. The goal is to provide emotional support and practical assistance to help women carry babies to term.
The WRC receives no local, state, or government funding and depends on businesses, churches and individuals, as well as annual fundraising walks, for financing.
The ultrasound service is “something many people have been praying about,” executive director Amy Woods said. “To have it actually happen is a huge milestone.”
The center started its work in 1972, offering a helpline for pregnant women. The building opened in 1989. Services expanded over the years, with STD testing, maternity and baby clothing, diapers and parenting education classes.
The mortgage of the building in the Parkade Plaza downtown was paid in 2011 and the board of directors began saving money for an ultrasound machine and building renovation.
Woods said a $48,000 donation from the Knights of Columbus helped greatly.
The building was remodeled with new heating, ventilation and air conditioning and a new entrance was installed on Front St. The address is now 316 E. Front St.
According to the center, one in every three women in American will have an abortion by age 45. However, studies show that 90 percent of abortion-minded women who receive an ultrasound and support end up carrying their babies to term.
Services now include:
• Free pregnancy tests with immediate results
• Free limited OB Ultrasounds
• Accurate information on pregnancy, abortion and alternatives
• Pregnancy & fetal development information
• Referrals for housing, childbirth classes and future medical assistance
• Referrals for ongoing prenatal care
• Learn & Earn Incentive Program
• Maternity and baby clothes
• Prenatal and infant care education
• Referrals to community resources and agencies
• Post-Abortion Counseling
Woods said the center strives to provide as much information as possible to women faced with an unplanned pregnancy.
“Given the importance of the decision, a pregnant woman deserves all the information possible,” she said. “Viewing the child on ultrasound provides even more information, not less.”
Woods said the resource center does not preclude abortion as a choice, just explains it.
“We make sure they are fully informed. It is a woman’s choice, not ours,” she said.
The center operates on about $150,000 a year. Much of its support comes from two major fundraisers – a banquet in August and a “Walk for Life” in May.
On May 4, a total of five “Walks for Life” were held in Hershey, North Platte, Dunning, Stapleton and Arnold, with more than 230 people walking. Combined, the Walks garnered more than $40,000 in donations.
It was the 12th year of the Walk(s) for Life.
First published in the June 19 print edition of the North Platte Bulletin.