Health

Arkansas pregnancy resource centers prepare for more unplanned pregnancies

Arkansas pregnancy resource centers prepare for more unplanned pregnancies
Written by Publishing Team

“We are going from now saving babies to raising children and I don’t think that anyone’s thought about the infrastructure that needs to be put in place for the baby boom that’s coming in 2023,” said Christie Robertson, executive director of First Choice Pregnancy Health Center.The nonprofit Christian-based organization offers free services to women across the River Valley with unplanned pregnancies.The Fort Smith-based center, combined with its mobile clinic, sees nearly 80 women a year. Robertson estimates the average age of their clients to be 18-24 years old.”The girl comes in scared —am I pregnant? She’s considering an abortion possibly. We can counsel her on that. We, of course, want them to choose life, knowing that we’re not just pro-birth, we’re pro-life because we do come alongside them for the first year. If she chooses abortion, we still love her. A lot of times we can provide that mom with the formula that she needs or clothing or a stroller or a pack and play so the baby will have a place to sleep at night,” she said. Now that abortion laws are in place in Arkansas , Robertson told 40/29 News she expects there to be a greater need locally and across the state for family services.”The foster care system is broken, so that needs to be worked on. How many children, all children in the state of Arkansas are put on AR Kids First. So, what are they planning to do about Medicaid and things like that for these children? And then Medicaid for mommas that are pregnant,” Robertson said. First Choice Pregnancy Health Center is one of two resource centers in Fort Smith. The center does not accept state or federal funds, but relies on help from local churches and from private donations. Opening more clinics throughout the River Valley is something Robertson said she’s considering.

“We are going from now saving babies to raising children and I don’t think that anyone’s thought about the infrastructure that needs to be put in place for the baby boom that’s coming in 2023,” said Christie Robertson, executive director of First Choice Pregnancy Health Center.

The nonprofit Christian-based organization offers free services to women across the River Valley with unplanned pregnancies.

The Fort Smith-based center, combined with its mobile clinic, sees nearly 80 women a year. Robertson estimates the average age of their clients to be 18-24 years old.

“The girl comes in scared —am I pregnant? She’s considering an abortion possibly. We can counsel her on that. We, of course, want them to choose life, knowing that we’re not just pro-birth, we’re pro -life because we do come alongside them for the first year. If she chooses abortion, we still love her. A lot of times we can provide that mom with the formula that she needs or clothing or a stroller or a pack and play so the baby will have a place to sleep at night,” she said.

Now that abortion laws are in place in Arkansas, Robertson told 40/29 News she expects there to be a greater need locally and across the state for family services.

“The foster care system is broken, so that needs to be worked on. How many children, all children in the state of Arkansas are put on AR Kids First. So, what are they planning to do about Medicaid and things like that for these children? And then Medicaid for mommas that are pregnant,” Robertson said.

First Choice Pregnancy Health Center is one of two resource centers in Fort Smith. The center does not accept state or federal funds, but relies on help from local churches and from private donations. Opening more clinics throughout the River Valley is something Robertson said she’s considering.

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