By Anne Marie Amacher
BETTENDORF — The Women’s Choice Center, a pro-life medical clinic, will make its 10th anniversary July 1, says Leigh Geramanis, director of development.
On June 21 she said the pro-life movement overall has been having a “milestone year. This is on the heels of a watershed Gallup poll showing pro-life sentiments at a record high,” Geramanis says. Since opening July 1, 2002, the Women’s Choice Center (WCC) has helped to save hundreds of lives that would likely have ended in abortion, she noted.
“It is not possible to know exactly how many women have decided not to abort as a result of options counseling and ultrasound provided by the Women’s Choice Center, but WCC has confirmed by name the births of enough children to fill a classroom every year.
“The Women’s Choice Center has counted no fewer than 252 babies, confirmed through birth announcements, born to previously abortion-minded or abortion-vulnerable women who came through the Women’s Choice Center over the past decade. That is enough children to fill an entire elementary school,” Germanis said.
Violet Taylor of East Moline, Ill., is among the hundreds of women who changed their minds about having an abortion after visiting with client advocates at the Women’s Choice Center. Her son Joshua, now 10, was the first of hundreds of children who likely wouldn’t be alive today if their mothers had not come to the center.
Taylor says fear drove her to consider an abortion. “It was tempting to just ‘make it go away.’ But I’m so glad I didn’t follow my first instinct. Joshua is such a blessing, I now can’t imagine life without him.”
Joshua’s father, James Taylor, calls his son “an extraordinary child.” He adds, “Everyone who meets Joshua and knows his story believes he was saved for a very special purpose.” Joshua and his parents will be among Women’s Choice Center supporters marching in Bettendorf’s July 4 parade.
The Women’s Choice Center is operated by Life and Family Educational Trust. The center offers free services including pregnancy tests, limited obstetric ultrasound, options for counseling and post-abortion counseling and more.
Vicki Tyler, the center’s executive director, said: “When pregnancy is an unwelcome surprise, many women seek what they think will be a ‘quick fix.’ They usually aren’t considering all of their options, or the consequences. The Women’s Choice Center helps women move beyond the shock and fear of an unplanned pregnancy and help them make informed decisions they won’t regret.”
In 2011, the Women’s Choice Center served 687 clients.
A Gallup Poll conducted last month found 51 percent of Americans call themselves “pro-life” on the issue of abortion and 42 percent “pro-choice.”
This is the first time a majority of adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in 1995. Tyler believes ultrasound, not widely available at the time of the 1973 Roe V. Wade decision, has been a key reason why hearts are changing. “Having a window into the womb to see life at its earliest stages has been a game-changer. There really is no debate anymore about whether abortion is taking a human life.”
WCC supporters invited to walk in parade
Anyone seeking to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of Women’s Choice Center by taking a stand for life is invited to walk with center supporters in the Bettendorf Fourth of July parade. Meet at 9 a.m. at the staging area at 23rd Avenue and State Street behind the Alter Building. Kids may ride on the “‘Birthday Cake” float. The parade begins at 10 a.m. at the intersection of 23rd Avenue and State Street. It will travel east on State Street, around McDonald’s west to Grant Street to 15th Street, turn south on 15th then east on State Street and end at 21st Street. Whitey’s Ice Cream is offering a certificate for a free ice cream cone to anyone who walks with the pro-life center’s entry. Stand for Life T-shirts will be available at the parade. For more information go to WCC’s Facebook page: facebook.com/WomensChoiceCenterQC.