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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Effort underway to reopen pregnancy center

Friday, May 7, 2010

A coordinated effort is underway to re-establish the Pregnancy Care Center of Aurora under independent leadership and focus its mission on a local level.

The Pregnancy Care Center of Aurora was established in 2004 as a satellite of the Pregnancy Care Center in Springfield. According to Dr. Brady Hesington, who served as medical director of the Aurora facility since its inception, an effort started quickly after the closing was announced in April.

"There was pretty much an immediate outcry by church leaders and folks in the community," Hesington said. "We all contacted one another through folks involved."

The pregnancy resource center, Hesington explained, is a generic term for a resource office where pregnant women can come for help.

"The main goal of our pregnancy center is to promote life," Hesington said. "In doing so, we offer ultrasounds and mentoring for pregnant moms and their families. The Aurora center was also one of the main bodies responsible for abstinence training in the schools, which was mandated by the state by not funded. We did a lot with volunteers.

"We would also help young mothers get back into school to earn their diplomas or GED," Hesington continued. "We did life mentoring. When physical needs were met, girls through classes could get rewards of maternity clothes, diapers and other material."

The effort to get the center open again is being pursued by two paths. Paperwork has been filed to establish a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation under which the center can reopen independent of the Springfield organization. When the not-for-profit status has been received in another six to eight weeks, a board will be established to oversee the operation. Hesington said the public will be asked to nominate people to serve.

The second thrust is financial. Hesington said money needs to be raised. He hopes all of the previous services can be restored if enough money is available. The Aurora center was open three days a week. Hesington hopes it can reopen for two or three days a week. The new leadership plans to focus its attention on services in Barry, Lawrence and Stone counties. Hesington said the ultrasound machine used at the Aurora center will probably be given to the new organization once the office reopens. One of those involved in the effort to reopen the pregnancy care center is Heno Head Jr., of Monett.

"I guess for 15 to 20 years I've had a heart for underdogs, the preborn, in this whole scenario. And over time, I've become equally conscious of the struggles young women are going through due to unplanned pregnancies, " said Head, who has been involved with both the Springfield Pregnancy Care Center and the Aurora satellite ministry.

Head has sent out letters to churches explaining the situation and asking for support. He said he would be willing to speak to any organization, public or private, about the undertaking. For more information, call Head at 417-489-1963.

Other inquiries can be made to Shannon Walker at 417-678-4150 or via email at tricountyprc@gmail.com.

"The main thing I think that is different in the task we're doing that many folks, especially in the church community, may be unaware of is the need in the region," Hesington said. "Over the past six years, the Pregnancy Care Center of Aurora served 800 pregnant women. I don't want to see 800 women in another four to six years go without the resources and care the pregnancy resource center can provide for them."

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