Nov 282004
 
Authors: my Resseguie / Joanna Larez

 

For more information contact:

Alpha Pregnancy Resource Center 221-5121 or 491-4872 Birthright of Fort Collins 493-8444 Hartshorn Health Service Women's Clinic 491-1754 Planned Parenthood 1-800-230-PLAN

Andrea LeBlanc's New Year's plans changed drastically to include baby blankets and bottles after she found out she is pregnant.

Leblanc's baby is due Jan. 1. When she first suspected that she was pregnant she went to the phonebook to find some resources.

"I went to the Alpha Center," said LeBlanc, a junior civil engineering major. "They were really helpful."

The Alpha Pregnancy Resource Center, 921 E. Prospect Road, is one of several resource centers in Fort Collins for unplanned pregnancy. It provides free pregnancy tests and sexually transmitted disease tests, as well as pre- and post-natal support, peer counseling, adoption resources and material assistance.

"The Alpha Center helped in more ways than I knew they could," LeBlanc said.

The center provided a pregnancy test, ultrasound and counseling. They also helped LeBlanc find a place to live.

"That's technically their job," LeBlanc said. "They just have big hearts."

According to its Web site, www.thealphacenter.org, the Alpha Center exists "to serve students with information and education on sex, pregnancy, abstinence, adoption, abortion, parenting and birth control."

Alpha Center Executive Director Sharon Hindman said the majority of the center's clients are college-aged women.

"We work to get them from crisis thinking to critical thinking," Hindman said. "We help them make a decision about their pregnancy that they can live with."

Pregnancy resources are also available on campus.

The Women's Clinic at Hartshorn Health Service administers pregnancy tests for $16.

From there, the clinic refers pregnant women to other service and health care providers in the community, depending on whether they choose to continue or terminate the pregnancy or put the baby up for adoption, said Sharon Kennedy, a nurse practitioner at the clinic.

Planned Parenthood and Birthright of Fort Collins also provide pregnancy tests and other services for pregnant women.

Birthright of Fort Collins, 1500 S. Bryan Ave., offers a "non-moralistic, non-judgmental" approach to help women with unexpected pregnancies, according to its Web site, www.birthright.org.

Mary Walsh, a Birthright volunteer, said Birthright provides free pregnancy testing and counseling and will assist women however possible throughout a pregnancy and for the first year of a child's life.

"We run interference for them, more or less," Walsh said.

Birthright volunteers also help women with material needs, such as housing or clothing.

"(Women) come in here and we'll do everything we can to help them in their time of need, and this is definitely a time of need," Walsh said.

Planned Parenthood, 825 S. Shields St., will perform abortions until about 17 weeks into a pregnancy. The organization also administers pregnancy and STD tests, provides conventional and emergency contraceptives and refers clients who are interested in adoption or other services, according to its Web site, www.plannedparenthood.org.

Neither Birthright nor the Alpha Center performs abortions. However, both centers stress that they do not judge women who choose to terminate a pregnancy and will support them in any way possible.

"We do not push or press people to make one decision over another," Hindman said. "This is a place for people to come and talk about their situation and get whatever help they need."

LeBlanc found the Alpha Center to be a great resource during her pregnancy. She shared her story about her great experiences with the Alpha Center at its annual banquet on Nov. 5. The topic of her speech was the great help the center gave her in her decision to keep the baby.

"If you want help, I think it's easy to find," LeBlanc said.

 

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