According to the research
group Child Trends, as reported in the New York Times earlier this year, more
than half of all American children born to women under 30 are born out of
wedlock. In addition to this, 41% of all births in the U.S. are out of wedlock. This
includes 29% of white children born to unmarried mothers, along with 53% of
Hispanics and 73% of black children. Of course, millions of such pregnancies
end in abortion. Truly America
is awash in what is commonly deemed “crisis pregnancies.”
Since the late 1960s, in
an effort to respond to such pregnancies, and to serve as an alternative to abortion,
the crisis pregnancy center movement began. There are now over 4,000 such
centers in the United States.
Since 1987, Gainesville
has been blessed with such an operation.
Formerly known as the GainesvilleCareCenter, ChoicesPregnancyCareCenter
(Choices) began with a full-time staff of one and an annual operating budget of
just over $13,000. That first year, the CareCenter
offered pregnancy tests, provided maternity and baby clothing, and 15 volunteer
client assistants ministered to 182 often young and very scared young ladies.
Today, Choices has a staff
of 10 and the 2013 budget will be around $400,000. Choices
has 45 female client advocates, 25 male client advocates, a nurse
manager, and two volunteer sonographers. They offer a
variety of programs and services which range from pregnancy tests and
ultrasounds, to STD tests (for male and female), to post abortion recovery
support (for male and female). They also educate clients on the “adoption
option” and then refer them to Christian adoption agencies in the area.
In the 25 years of its
existence, Choices has served over 30,000 clients. Over 1,100 children have
been spared abortion as a result of their work. In the coming year, Choices
will provide services to well over 1,000 individuals, female and male.
The vision for ChoicesPregnancyCareCenter came about in
1985. The “core group” then consisted of Don and Sylvia DeLozier,
Jim and Ethel Boone, and Brad and Mary Dunagan. The
doors opened in 1987 with Sylvia DeLozier serving as
the executive director.
The current director, who
has held the position for the last 20 years, is Ann Gainey.
Many local churches, businesses, and individuals help support the center
financially. Local nurses and physicians volunteer their time to serve at the
center or on the board of directors.
As a recent press release
indicated, in an effort to broaden its reach and appeal to more young women and
men facing an untimely pregnancy, the 25-year-old GainesvilleCareCenter
has changed its name to ChoicesPregnancyCareCenter (or simply
“Choices”). “We are changing our name, but the heart of our mission and
services remains focused on the tiny hearts that inspire us every day,” said
Ann Gainey, the organization’s long-time executive
director. “Our new name also is more descriptive and will help people better
understand what we do.”
The name change was a
carefully thought-out decision in which even an outside consultant was hired to
help in the effort. The change was made to serve the targeted constituency more
broadly. The previous name was sometimes confused with nursing homes and senior
adult day-care centers.
Also, the decision to go
with “Choices” is an effort to reclaim the word from the pro-abortion
community. “We are hoping to reclaim the word ‘choice’ and help young men and
women narrow down and eliminate the choices available to them when they are
facing a tough decision,” said Choices officials.
also noted that, “Another reason for the name change is the recent opening of a
second location off Winder Highway
in South Hall.” She added that, “Most importantly, we wanted to attract more
area young women and men in need of pregnancy information as well as our many
Those who visit Choices looking for help are treated with respect, compassion,
and care by the client advocates and administrative staff whose goal it is to
show them the love of Jesus in real and practical ways. Call 770-535-1413, or
to find out how you can be a part of this vital ministry in our community.
Copyright 2012, Trevor
At the Intersection of
Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason