We do have girls that come to us, and after all is said and done, and even [after they have] seen the baby and gotten all the information, they say, "OK, where can I go for an abortion? "I can help you with diapers; I can help you with baby furniture; I can help you with the material things to help you through with that baby until you can get on your feet." And that's a part of every center. We have about 23, 24 of them now, pretty evenly spaced about, and we'd like them to be very easily accessible. So that, at least in the state of Mississippi, there would be no way to get an abortion. We don't believe that abortion needs to be easily accessible to the poor women of Mississippi. We want Mississippi to be a safe place for every baby here. " And we don't refer for abortions; we don't give them the numbers of a clinic, because that, to us, would be harmful to her health. We don't do adoptions, [but] we do refer for adoptions. We want pregnancy resource centers easily accessible for the women of Mississippi. I think that's hard for some people to understand -- why we wouldn't want it to be easily accessible -- but we think abortion is bad medicine. We want every baby in Mississippi to be guarded and protected and cared for, and we don't want there to be places where our babies are being killed. We want to speak the truth, and we'll make sure it's done in a compassionate, loving and tender way, hopefully so that it can be understood and received as mercy and grace and not judgment and condemnation. About three years later, there was a movement of pregnancy resource centers [opening] across the nation. And I think that if we give them, in addition to that, the birth control stuff, it sends a mixed message. that there was a revolution along the way that the focus shouldn't just be on the child but on the mother, the woman. I think probably that the pro-life movement did get started because of the atrocity of destroying a baby.[That's what] they called them then: crisis pregnancy centers. We think abstinence is kind of a "no" word, kind of a negative word. I believe that we don't need to send to our young people a mixed message that says, "Don't have sex, but if you do use this." I think that's mixed for them. But by the time we opened the center, it was just real evident that you weren't going to minister to that baby without ministering to the mama; that if you wanted to help that baby, you needed to help that mama.I really think I do want to have an abortion, [and] I've really heard everything that you have to say." What do you do with her then? We do not refer to abortion clinics or abortuaries; that wouldn't be life-affirming. We have parenting classes for her, to teach her if she's never had a baby … So the girls come, and we have classes, and we interact with them, and we teach them about how to bathe the baby and how to massage the baby, and they earn points. And then they can go and spend those points for items in the store that we have. We want to make it unnecessary so a woman with an unplanned pregnancy has a place to go where she can get help, and she can give life to that baby and life to herself.
the challenge[s] is when to actually have a girl have a sonogram. Yeah, that is always an interesting thing -- when to do the sonogram. The rationale for a sonogram is that before she makes an abortion decision, she needs to make sure she has a viable uterine pregnancy.And we said, "We need one of those in Jackson where we go that can be a quiet, peaceful place, … We want to talk about sexual wholeness and sexual healing and sexual health. I think that's not clear enough for our young people. And if you help that mama, then you'd help the baby.where the girl can come and have her pregnancy test and find out about her pregnancy apart from the furor of the immediate crisis thing." … Can you talk to me a little bit about why you went from the Crisis Pregnancy Center to the Center for Pregnancy Choices and [about] taking back the word "choice"? And we don't believe that birth control methods are effective in curbing unplanned pregnancies. I think we need to be adamant about "Wait until marriage to have sex. So the pregnancy resource centers and pregnancy help centers are there primarily to minister to the woman. I think that initially maybe there were other aspects of the pro-life movement that maybe [did] focus a bit more on the baby, because in the early days, too, the thing was education. There was a lot more ambiguity about when was a baby a baby, you know? I was hoping you can talk a little bit about the Jackson clinic specifically -- the last abortion clinic [in Mississippi].That's our mission statement: to deal with a woman who has an unplanned pregnancy. She has basically those three choices, and we want to give her full information about all those choices. None of those choices are easy; none of them are simple solutions. I believe that each baby is unique and special and has special things that will never be again. I don't think it's many who are going across the border. As far as the high infant mortality rate, we need to do better. 8, 2005 FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of wgbh educational foundation.We want to talk to her about abortion; we want her to be fully informed about that. We don't do adoption services, but we can refer her for those. But there are good choices, and there are bad choices, and we do believe that abortion is a bad choice. I don't think there [are] many abortions when it's not easy accessibility.