by Kat Schneider–
An unplanned pregnancy can be a terrifying thing for women to face. The Valley Women’s Clinic in the New River Valley aims to love and support women who seek help.
“What we do really makes a difference by coming alongside people and giving them support, and not just in a pregnancy but as a woman,” said Debbie Christian, the CEO of Valley Women’s Clinic. “We encourage them to grow and help them be the best they can be.”
Valley Women’s Clinic is a pregnancy resource center that offers free services to women in need. The clinic offers STI testing, pregnancy testing, consultations, educational classes, counseling and goods for the mother and child. All services are free of charge. This way any woman has access to them and the clinic can offer services without a financial influence.
“The Pregnancy Resource Center wants to give you the capabilities to continue with your pregnancy and feel you are equipped to be a mother,” said Margot Davis, a student at Virginia Tech who has previously worked with the center.
When women choose to keep their child the resource center offers parenting and life skills classes through which the mothers, as well as fathers, can earn materials such as baby clothes, diapers, bottles, maternity clothes, cribs and strollers.
Christian explains that the Valley Women’s Clinic saw 792 distinct clients last year alone. With two locations in the NRV – Blacksburg and Radford – the clinic is able to help many women of the New River Valley who are not able to make the trip up to the nearest Planned Parenthood located in Roanoke.
Pregnancy resource centers are able to fill that need all over the state of Virginia as well as the rest of the country. According to the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, there are over 2,300 pregnancy resource centers in North America. However, according to CNN based on Planned Parenthood’s official reports, PP has 650 affiliated health centers across the country. In the Commonwealth of Virginia alone, there are five Planned Parenthood locations: Charlottesville, Hampton, Richmond, Roanoke and Virginia Beach. To compensate for that, there are 39 pregnancy resource centers around the commonwealth.
The accessibility, free services and variety of resources are not the only things that separates the Valley Women’s Clinic from Planned Parenthood. The clinic is pro-life and faith-based. While it does give information about abortion and offers counseling post-abortion, the clinic does not refer for or offer abortions.
“We provide help from a holistic perspective, and we do offer a spiritual component to what we do by permission, of course,” Christian said. She believes the support and counseling the clinic provides helps women to feel strong enough to choose life. Over 90 percent of women who have stepped into Valley Women’s Clinic have chosen parenting, either for themselves or through adoption.