Pregnancy Center West (PCW) has seen dramatic changes in the past 15 months since the launch of ultrasound services for women with unintended pregnancies, having passed 500 ultrasounds in a short period of time. It also became necessary for the long-standing Cincinnati Pregnancy Center to add a director of customer services to its staff in January of this year.
With the availability of ultrasound, the center has seen a dramatic increase in the number of clients, as well as a change in the composition of the clientele, mainly from those seeking material assistance to women largely vulnerable to abortion. This challenged staff to adapt quickly to a new level of customer traffic while staying true to their âlayers of loveâ approach.
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Laura Yards became Executive Director of PCW in August 2018. Monetary donations that enabled the center to provide internal ultrasounds have been part of the transition.
Yards also credits its partnership with a pro-life marketing agency Choose life marketing for changes. Since we started working with the agency, research on abortion on the Internet is now effectively directing clients to a landing page which attracts the majority of vulnerable abortion clients seen at PCW.
Previously, PCW referred clients to the local nonprofit Christian Medical Center Healthy Beginnings for ultrasounds once a week. The center now offers its own ultrasound appointments five days a week, which changes the dialogue with clients from the first contact.
âThe ability to provide a sonogram to our at-risk clients is critical in helping them make an informed decision as we seek to fulfill our mission to save and serve,â said Yards.
The PCW ‘diapers of love’ approach focuses on clients from the first text or phone call, to the pregnancy test and ultrasound appointment and every contact beyond.
Client advocates first meet with clients for a pregnancy test, then an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy in utero, determine gestational age and fetal heart activity. The client advocate at this point can consult with the client further about their options.
Information about parenting and adoption, as well as the risks and realities of abortion are all shared with the client based on the specific stage of pregnancy. Using Live Action video on abortion procedures, clients are provided with a medical description of the abortion procedures.
Each meeting ends with the definition of the next steps for the client. If it is too early in the pregnancy to confirm a fetal heartbeat and the client remains vulnerable to abortion, the client advocate encourages a follow-up ultrasound in two weeks.
As the composition of PCW’s clientele has shifted to women more vulnerable to abortion, the client advocate is challenged on the first visit to effectively invite the client to take a break and consider options that are available to him or her. give life.
In September 2019, Planned Parenthood closed its Western Hills site in Cincinnati. As PCW approaches 40 years of service in 2021, Yards perceives that God’s faithfulness has been demonstrated time and time again.
Loving customers, whatever their choices, brought both immediate and some delayed results.
Among clients vulnerable to abortion, 80% choose life after ultrasound. Yards recalled a December 2019 client who did not choose life, ending pregnancy with her third child. Yet this client returned in June 2020 and is now choosing life for her fourth child.
The client admits that she regrets her decision to have an abortion last December, and her visit to PCW certainly made her think long and hard about that decision. She had made a few appointments at Planned Parenthood before proceeding with the abortion in January.
The COVID pandemic has not stopped God’s work through PCW.
Forced to close for a month, the center continued to serve clients. Material resources were always provided to those in need and Beth Hegedus, the new director of client services, constantly followed up with clients vulnerable to abortion.
The majority of abortion-vulnerable clients who said they were going elsewhere, potentially seeking an abortion, were still pregnant and were seen for services a month later when the center reopened. The volunteers did not return to serve until June, so the staff of 10 worked tirelessly to meet the needs of clients.
âMay was the second highest number of ultrasounds in a month since the launch of ultrasounds,â Yards reported.
âWe have also noticed an increase in pregnancies as a result of the blockages,â she said. âThose who had an unplanned pregnancy were even more anxious. It was as if everything that threatened them was even more intimidating.
âWe are fighting an enemy who whispers to our clients, ‘abortion is a responsible choice,’â Yards said. “But the truth is that a new life brings the potential to be the change in this world that is needed.”
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Celebrating over 500 free ultrasounds since March 2019, Yards said, âWe are delighted to be able to support these women at a special time. ”
Noting the level of impoverished families in the area, Yards added, âOver the past year, the ability to also provide an ultrasound has had a profound impact on the women visiting our center. ”
âMost of the women who come to PCW think abortion is the best option for them,â she added. “However, witnessing the infant in her womb via ultrasound has a life changing impact.”
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Yards was so encouraged by the impact of adding Hegedus to the staff. Her focus on following up with clients keeps the love and encouragement going.
âWe are grateful for the opportunity to engage with these women at a time of anxiety and distress,â Hegedus said. âThey need to know that people care about them and have options that save their child’s life. We are delighted that clients stay in touch with us during and after their pregnancy.
âTime and time again, we have witnessed the joy of customers who made a decision that allowed them to live,â added Hegedus. “We are especially thrilled when they return to visit PCW with their baby, grateful that they have been there for them when they need them and that we have the resources to help them and their families.”
Loving and caring for customers has always been PCW’s way. Yards believes results have been significantly accelerated with the addition of ultrasound services.
âWe are deeply grateful to those who made the purchase of the ultrasound device possible,â she said, âand those who continue to donate to PCW to support staff, supplies and resources. necessary for its maintenance. It changes lives for the better every day.