Women’s Center-Sharonville, located at 11262 Reading Road, celebrates its first birthday this month. Elizabeth’s New Life Center opened the center last July, joining with other pro-life individuals and organizations in the area in direct response to a new abortion clinic operating across the street. We tracked the number of unique clients served over the first year—more than 500—as well as the number of abortion-minded/abortion-vulnerable women who chose to carry their babies after receiving services.
“Our mission as a center is to empower women to make healthy life choices, both for them and their babies,” Executive Director Vivian Koob said. “We understand that some women leave our center believing that abortion is the right choice for them, but before they make that painful decision, we want them to know they have positive options, such as parenting and adoption, and support for those.”
Koob emphasized that Women’s Center-Sharonville, like the other five non-profit women’s centers that Elizabeth’s New Life Center operates throughout Southwest Ohio, doesn’t try to pressure women or coerce them through scare tactics but presents positive alternatives in a positive way. “We offer compassion, information and medical services at no cost to them. Other good-hearted people step in and foot the bill for that support out of genuine concern for these women and respect for human life.”
Much of the time support is at the heart of what women want, according to Melissa Guzman, who manages Women’s Center-Sharonville. She pointed out that some clients intend to carry from the outset, but others need space and a place to think through their options. “They need someone to listen. They need to hear all the facts about all of their options for pregnancy in a private confidential setting. They need support, regardless of the decision they make.” For women who choose to carry and parent that may mean material assistance or parenting education. For women who choose abortion, that may mean post-abortive healing, Guzman said.
Keeping it positive isn’t always easy, according to Guzman, because clients sometimes face extremely challenging pregnancy situations. For example, helping a young pregnant girl and her family wade through her options after a rape was heart-breaking—even when the final choice was adoption. “It’s emotionally devastating for everyone involved, beginning with the victim. That another family will be blessed with a new baby gives us hope that some good will come from this.”
While every pregnancy situation is not so dire, each woman who comes to the center needs encouragement, according to Guzman, with consequences that stretch beyond their personal circumstances. “When women make positive choices they become positive contributors to their community. I believe that Sharonville will be a better place to live and work because women who needed support last year during difficult pregnancies received it. We look forward to celebrating many more birthdays as a center and being there for women who need our support.”