What is a Pregnancy Resource Center?
You might have heard someone mention a Pregnancy Resource Center or recently seen one in your community, but you’re not sure what they’re all about.
Simply put, Pregnancy Resource Centers are non-profit organizations that offer free pregnancy services to the community. They also offer resources, such as educational materials, supplies, and information about what services are available in the community.
Did you know that Pregnancy Resource Centers, or PRCs, provide much broader services than that? The PRCs primary goal is to come alongside men and women to offer practical and tangible support for whatever situation they are currently facing.
First, PRCs are non-profit organizations. They are privately funded through donors and do not receive government funding. They also do not profit (or make money) from their clients, but provide their services free of charge. They serve clients from all social and economic backgrounds, without judgement of their religious background or sexual orientation.
Some PRCs are also medical clinics. These Centers are under the supervision of a Medical Director, often an OBGYN that works in the community. They employ medical staff, keep medical charts, follow HIPAA (privacy) rules, and offer pregnancy tests and limited OB ultrasounds free of charge. This is a great resource for someone who is facing an unplanned pregnancy and wants to know what her options are. An ultrasound confirms whether the pregnancy is viable (growing in the uterus) and the gestational age of the fetus. PRCs follow their states’ laws regarding informed consent and provide information about client’s rights, as well as education about abortion procedures and risks, and abortion alternatives.
Some medical PRCs also offer STD testing. While some charge for the lab fees incurred from testing, all PRCs have free STD consultations and provide information, education, and referrals to medical services free of charge. Nurses employed by the Center perform STD testing and provide education. PRCs typically do not provide birth control, but provide education about birth control and sexual risk avoidance.
PRCs provide a variety of resources. Some have parenting classes and an “Earn While You Learn” program, where participants can earn points by learning about child development, budgeting, and parenting and then purchase supplies for their babies. Some have support groups for women considering adoption or for women who are in need of support after an abortion. PRC staff are also aware of what programs are available in the community and provide this information to their clients – everything from food resources, medical assistance, counseling, and more!
Pregnancy Resource Centers primary goal is to educate and empower men and women who are facing difficult situations. Their staff are caring and kind. They listen without judgement and love people without an agenda. Check out your local Pregnancy Resource Center to learn more!
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