- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 10, 2009

Burgeoning with donations of baby items, the staff of Assist Pregnancy Center in Annandale shared its community’s kindness with Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center in the District on Nov. 30. Assistant Executive Director Jane Fuller handed out strollers, car seats, baby bouncers and lots of clothing to Janet Durig, executive director of the Capitol Hill center.

Established more than 20 years ago, these centers began as part of a Christian response to the hallmark Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal in the United States, said Cynthia Thomas, director of outreach at Assist.

“Recognizing that abortion today is so readily available and acceptable, the challenge today for faith-based pregnancy centers is encouraging abortion-vulnerable women to come to the center before going to an abortion clinic,” Mrs. Fuller said.

Free and confidential pregnancy testing and counseling originally were the mainstays of these independent, nonprofit centers. Today, with cheap and accurate home pregnancy tests available over the counter, the needs of their clientele have changed and the centers are expanding their services to include ultrasound and testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

These centers are not medical clinics but aim to help those who decide not to terminate their pregnancies by providing material resource needs, such as furniture and housing, after the baby is born. Newer services include Earn While You Learn programs and parenting, educational and post-abortion support groups.

“We, pregnancy centers across the nation, are making a difference one woman, one pregnancy at a time,” said Mrs. Fuller. “And by loving and helping women, we are helping their babies,” she said.

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