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Thursday, 20 September 2018
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Serving women in Phoenix since 1984, Hope Women's Center meets a wide range of community needs. Serving women in Phoenix since 1984, Hope Women's Center meets a wide range of community needs. Photo Courtesy: Hope Women's Center

Phoenix Pro-Life Center Translating Need into Hope

Having recently immigrated to the United States, “Rosa” had zero connections or support when she found out she was pregnant with her fourth child in Phoenix, Arizona

With her closest family connection in California, Rosa had just escaped a physically abusive relationship and hadn’t settled into a home, let alone found a doctor or thought through how she’d care for another baby.

In short, Rosa was the perfect mark for the abortion industry.

Feeling abortion was her only choice, Rosa first paid a visit to Hope Women’s Center. Instead of asking for the first payment for the abortion, as she expected, the center’s staff provided a listening ear and a helping hand.

For the first time in her journey, Rosa realized she didn’t have to turn to an abortion that—in addition to robbing her child’s life—wouldn’t solve any of the underlying problems she was facing.

Rejecting abortion, Rosa turned to Hope Women’s Center not just in her time of most urgent need, but for ongoing help. Over the next several months, she took ESL classes, parenting classes, abuse recovery classes—all in Spanish—at the center, while benefiting from its Earn While You Learn material assistance and learning incentive program.

“They always come and think, ‘I don't have any other options,’” Hope Women’s Center executive director Tammy Abernethy said. “So they are able to know, ‘I do have options. There are people that care. I'm not alone in this.”

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In 2014, Rosa gave birth to a baby girl and moved to California to reconnect with her family. But although she moved on, Rosa’s story bears similarities to many of the 1,200 mothers Hope Women’s Center serves every year.

Out of every five women who come into the center, at least three are Spanish speakers in need of ESL help, Abernethy says.

“We have a lot of our moms that are learning English,” she said. “It helps them be able to communicate with teachers because there's a language barrier with their children, and school, and understanding things that they need to for their kids.”

Hope Women’s Center began serving women in 1984. Ten years ago, the center expanded its mission to serve at-risk women and teen girls facing a variety of issues—poverty, domestic and sexual abuse, drug and alcohol abuse and homelessness.

Tweet This: #Arizona #prolife center serves 325 women each month with everything from pregnancy services to ESL and gardening classes. @Jtaggart17

With four campuses in the area and plans to open a fifth this year, Hope Women’s Center serves about 325 women every month. In addition to pregnancy-related services and ESL classes, Hope Women’s Center teaches a variety of other classes ranging from the practical—job training, parenting and inner healing classes, to the therapeutic—art, crochet and gardening classes.

“Working with women on unplanned pregnancy is a big part of what we do, but it is much more broad to encompass any women, or teen girl,” Abernethy said. “The leadership at the time were seeing that women who were struggling with so many coexisting issues, whether abusive relationships, or poverty, or difficult job situations or just a lot of family conflict.”

Jen Taggart

Jen writes for Heartbeat International and Pregnancy Help News and is a fellow at the Baton Exchange, a Christian leadership development program for millennials. She recently graduated from Cedarville University and grew up in northeast Ohio.

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