Today’s Choice Resource Center – Where Expectant Parents Of Unplanned Pregnancies Are Informed Of All Their Choices
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 • 1:25pm
NEWTON, NJ - In the United States, about 6 million pregnancies take place every year, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
Of 60 million women ages 15 to 44, 70 percent are sexually active.
Of that number, 3 million use no contraception, the American Pregnancy Association also states, which yields 47 percent of the unplanned pregnancies in the country.
Of all the babies born each year, 468,988 are to teenage mothers.
Of the 6 million conceptions overall, just over 4 million result in live births, and 2 million in loss, the American Pregnancy Association reports. A staggering figure is of those 2 million lost pregnancies, 1.2 million, or more than half, are loss through termination of the pregnancies.
The most recent data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau indicates the greatest number of abortions occur within the 20 to 25 age group, with 32.5 percent of women making that choice. Of all the women, 83.7 percent of them are unmarried, 40.9 have had no previous live births, and for over half (53.9 percent), it was their first abortion, with 61.2 percent of the pregnancies terminated by nine weeks.
Although overall in the U.S., rates have dropped slightly since 2000 (then 1.3 million), education about other choices, including abstinence, has been on the rise.
Out of all the states in the nation, New Jersey ranks one of the highest, with over 54,000 abortions during 2008 alone per those U.S. Census Bureau figures.
Why the high casualties? Is it that women are not educated about all of their available options, or are they being pressured into making a choice?
In the Town of Newton, there is a place where women, and couples can learn about all of their options for unexpected pregnancies, in a supportive, faith-filled, and non-biased environment: Today’s Choice Resource Center. Although a Christian-based organization, Today’s Choice Resource Center is open and available to all expectant parents, no matter their religious background.
"With a pregnant women, we sort through all the options, and provide information about parenting, adoption, and abortion,” said Patricia Kelly, the non-profit group’s executive directorAll services are free for parents-to-be at Today’s Choice Resource Center.
One of the benefits is Options Counseling by trained peer counselors, to lay out for the clients who walk through Today’s Choice Resource Center’s doors of their three legal options: to parent, to put their baby up for adoption, or abortion.
“We want them to know they have a neutral place to come, no one is pushed into it, but told the choices,” Kelly said.
Part of the program includes free ultrasounds for the expectant mothers.
Once a mother has chosen her path, the counseling becomes more directed.
If a mother considers adoption, the counselor and client weigh out the pros and cons. If adoption becomes the final choice, Today’s Choice Resource Center will provide referrals to Christian adoption agencies.
If a decision is made in the direction of parenting the baby, Today’s Choice Resource Center offers an eight-week parenting program “5 Needs Your Child Must Have Met at Home”, focusing on physical, social, intellectual, emotion, and spiritual needs.
At the conclusion of the parenting class, each expectant parent is given a car seat. Additionally, a special clothing room with donated items from clothing to cribs is also available for clients to prepare for baby’s arrival.
Today’s Choice Resource Center offers a “MAN 2 MAN” counseling program, where, trained Christian male counselors work one-on-one with men who are part of the unexpected pregnancy.
Although abortion and making a choice about it are also discussed, Today’s Choice Pregnancy Resource Center neither provides abortions nor abortion referrals.
“Many young women don’t realize what it is,” Kelly said, in terms of how an abortion can impact a woman physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Kelly said 30 percent of all abortions are coerced.
Today’s Choice Pregnancy Resource Center teaches women about the different types of abortion methods and how each parallels with fetal development.
Today’s Choice Pregnancy Resource Center offers women a confidential post-abortion support group and Bible study, “Forgiven and Set Free”.
They also provide abstinence education, and information about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). The group will go into public high schools in Sussex County for their program “STRAIGHT TALK” and middle schools to present “STRAIGHT TALK, JR”.
“We want to provide the truth in love, loving them is putting them first. We’re not here for us, we’re here for them,” Kelly concluded.
For more information about Today’s Choice Resource Center, see their websites: www.todayschoice.org, or call for a confidential appointment at (973) 579-2272. Today’s Choice Pregnancy Resource Center is located at 43 Trinity Street in Newton, adjacent to the Newton Municipal Building.