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Help with unexpected pregnancies: Elizabeth’s New Life Center Opens in Dayton

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by Sister Eileen Connelly, OSU

A 14-year-old girl in distress recently visited Elizabeth’s New Life Center (ENLC) with her aunt and boyfriend. Olivia was visibly upset as she shared that her family was forcing her to consider an abortion and threatening to kick her out of the house if she didn’t agree. Fortunately, with support from the Center, Olivia found the courage to carry her baby to term.

The Women’s Center on North Dixie Drive in north Dayton is ENLC’s seventh and newest facility, opened Feb. 25, with the goal of serving women and families who are at-risk for abortion, premature births and infant mortality (death before age one).

“We place our centers in areas that have the highest vulnerability for women considering an abortion,” explained Hannah Carr, manager at the North Dixie site. “We specifically chose this area as a result of the Memorial Day tornado last year. We realized that this was an area that was directly affected and we wanted to be a resource to the community.”

“This effort fulfills a strategic goal of our board and staff to find ways to help women choose life who are most vulnerable for abortion. From the data we have, this region and the surrounding zip codes have a great need for additional pregnancy center resources. Thanks to the benevolence of our donors and the Knights of Columbus, we are able to provide immediate pregnancy testing, 3D/4D ultrasound and educational services to a highly vulnerable population,” said Vivian Koob, executive director of ENLC.

Other free services offered at the center include prenatal vitamins, information about prenatal development, and referrals both to prenatal care and to community organizations that help with food, housing, job training and more.

Carr shared the story of Shailey, another recent client, who visited in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Initially excited about her pregnancy, Shailey returned the next day devastated that the baby’s father was not supportive and had ended their relationship.

“We were able to talk about her options and provide resources so she didn’t feel so alone,” Carr said. “Unfortunately, after the ultrasound, we learned that it may not be a viable pregnancy.

Being available for these women in crisis when they just need a listening ear, support and the love of Jesus is one of the most fulfilling aspects of the women’s center.

“I find one of the most rewarding things of this ministry to be celebrating with our clients when they choose life,” she added. “It is heartbreaking to walk alongside a woman in distress, especially when she is confused about her circumstances or what the ‘right’ decision is. But it’s incredible to see her come back later stating that she has chosen to be brave and to keep her child. We truly get to see direct results of how God is working in their lives and providing for their every need.”

All women facing unexpected pregnancies are welcome to visit Elizabeth’s New Life Center. For more information, please contact the center at (937) 938-5667.

This article originally appeared in the July edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. To receive your complimentary subscription, click here.

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