NEWBERRY — The Crisis Pregnancy Center of Lake Murray has opened its Newberry location on Martin Street across from Aveleigh Presbyterian Church, providing a new haven those impacted by unwanted pregnancies
“We want to help (girls) become a good mother,” said executive director Michelle Nicholson.
Counseling and pregnancy testing is available as is a male mentoring program, Earn While You Learn program and a baby boutique. All of the services are free.
The Earn While You Learn program is available to girls to receive assistance and products but they must go through counseling.
Nicholson said they do not want to just hand out products without providing a service to better the girls and their baby.
The male mentoring program is hosted by Dale Gooding from First Baptist in Prosperity and Chad Ashby from College Street Baptist.
Nicholson said there is a closet full of supplies but they are looking for a local church or business in Newberry that has a room to transform into a bigger baby boutique. Currently, the center utilizes a closet for the baby boutique. Nicholson said they want a boutique like room for expectant mothers to go to.
While the group is a Christian, pro-life non profit organization, Nicholson said they never force beliefs on their clients.
“It is their choice and we go over all the options,” said Nicholson. “If they choose abortion, there will be grief so we have a PACE program, Post Abortion Counseling Education.”
The center always has a counselor on shift and has seven male and female counselors as well as on-call staff to help counsel women and men.
According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, the most recent statistics show there have been 178 reported abortions in the Lake Murray community which includes Newberry, Irmo, Chapin and Balletine. Fifty two of those were performed in Newberry. The national average is 17 percent for teens and 33 percent for the 20-24 year old age group.
Newberry County is more than 50 percent higher than the national average for teen pregnancies which is 31.3 out of 1,000. By comparison, Lexington County is 25 percent higher.
In the Lake Murry community, 1,566 births were reported with 126 in Newberry, 636 in Lexington and 804 in Richland.
The center is open Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursdays at 4 p.m. Mothers can make appointments by calling 276-4172. Appointments are recommended but walk-ins are welcome as well.