DURANT – “Pregnancy Help Centers are good for America.” This is the message that four members of the Pregnancy Center of Bryan County (PCBC) brought to the nation’s capitol recently. They, along with associates of pregnancy centers across the United States, were a part of Heartbeat International’s “Babies go to Congress,” an event, held in late July, in which pregnancy centers across the country select a client with a compelling testimony to represent the center and share their moving story with America’s leaders. The star of PCBC team, Shelly Louis, a mother of three and member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, shared her moving testimony with many congressmen and women over the two-day event, where she felt she made a significant impact on views about the importance of pregnancy centers.
“We went to show congress that this country was built on Biblical principals, that God knows us even in the womb, to let them know we all have a purpose and abortion is not the answer,” declared Shelly as she spoke of her reason for participating in the conference. Shelly was able to share her story in a personal setting many times – a message that does an excellent job of displaying a pregnancy centers at its brightest. She was six weeks pregnant with her now 1-year-old daughter, Kiree, when she needed the center the most. “Abortion was a very real option for me,” Shelly said. She was unmarried and unsure about finances, a situation that put immeasurable stress on the mother-to-be. Just a few days before following through with her decision to abort baby Kiree, Shelly felt an overwhelming feeling pushing her to a breakdown. She turned to her instructor at Kiamichi Technology Center and board member of PCBC, Penny Lovell, who was willing and ready to help Shelly in any way she could. Penny brought her to PCBC, and as Shelly was counseled, she found support and hope. It brought her back from the brink of despair and gave her courage. She then had a support system and her fears began to subside. Baby Kiree’s life was saved when Shelly decided to see the pregnancy through. After the birth, the support of PCBC did not stop. They continued to teach and counsel Shelly, showing her how to be the best mother she could be for her children. Since this experience, she has begun to share the same support that was given to her. She has shared her story to others considering abortion, steering them away from that decision. “I am thankful and blessed that God has used me to continue the work of the pregnancy center beyond its doors,” Shelly declared. Traveling with Shelly to “Babies go to Congress,” was her daughter, Kiree, Penny and Bridget Youngblood, who had counseled Shelly, and the Executive Director of PCBC, Brenda Williams. These four women not only brought a message to Capitol Hill, but learned from others as well. “I was just in awe of these young mothers, the things they went through and their courage,” stated Penny. They were able to meet personally with U.S. Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, and many others. “I brought home a feeling of gratefulness that these leaders are supporting us,” said Shelly as she described the support shown by the congressional members. PCBC, located on the corner of 2nd and Beech in Durant, provides help to anyone who is a crisis pregnancy. The center is not funded by federal dollars because in order to receive government funding it would have to present abortion as an option, a choice PCBC is firmly against. PCBC is funded by private donations from individuals and organizations such as the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. “As a nation, we support the sanctity of human life,” stated Chief Gregory E. Pyle of the Choctaw Nation. This private funding allows them to have prayers with clients, teach Biblical lessons and present all new clients with Bibles. Anyone who seeks help from PCBC will have access to a wealth of information, many resources that will help along the journey of parenthood. PCBC provides a detailed curriculum taught in classes over the length of the pregnancy and beyond. Lessons demonstrating how to care for a mother’s body during the term and how to care for mother and child after the birth, are taught by counselors, as well as providing support systems. Clients have access to the Mommy Market. This is a place where mothers or expectant mothers can come and use their “mommy bucks” to shop for items such as clothes, strollers, diapers and other baby essentials. Mommy Bucks are earned by participating in the curriculum, which entails discussions, literature and videos provided by PCBC. Several resources are provided for expecting mothers who are unsure about whether to abort the pregnancy. Diagrams showing what the child looks like within the womb, with toes developing at only 10 weeks, are visible in the office to show that what is inside them isn’t just a blob, but a distinguished human being, said Penny. Ultrasounds are also given in emergency cases when a future mother is seriously considering abortion. According to Penny, 90 percent of fathers who see the ultrasound will turn down abortion, and over 80 percent of mothers who see it will also refuse to abort.
“We want them to know exactly what they are doing so they can make an informed decision that they won’t regret,” said Youngblood, as she discussed why PCBC makes sure all who consider abortion know all the facts. If you are in need of services provided by PCBC or would like more information call (580) 920-2229, or toll-free at (866) 924-2229. Or contact Pregnancy Center of Bryan County at P.O. Box 1441, 308 N 2nd Ave, Durant, OK 74702.