The Abel Pregnancy Resource Center is a life-affirming Christian ministry serving needs of women with unplanned pregnancies through God’s love, help and hope.
The History of Abel Pregnancy Resource Center
In January 1992, Carrie Bradshaw, a member of First Baptist Church, sat listening to her pastor deliver a message about the value and humanity of the unborn child and the church’s responsibility to reach out to his or her mother with compassionate help. As pastor Ken Frazier continued, Carrie began to envision a place in her community where free pregnancy services and resources would be offered to her so that she would know that she has the option to continue her pregnancy and give birth to her child. From this initial vision, a community interest meeting was held at the Bluefield Union Mission, a steering committee was soon formed and from this committee was birthed a board of directors. During this time, the Abel Crisis Pregnancy Center (since then we have done business as Abel Center and currently as Abel Pregnancy Resource Center, hereafter Abel PRC) was incorporated, received its not-for-profit 501C-3 tax-exempt status, hired its first and only executive director, trained its first group of volunteer patient/client advocates and opened its doors to the community in March 1994. Then in 1999, two local foundations awarded the Abel PRC with matching grants which enabled the organization to purchase, renovate and then move into its current facility located behind the First Nazarene Church just off Stadium Drive in Bluefield, WV. Soon after this relocation, another local foundation awarded the Abel PRC with a seed-money grant that started the Abel PRC on a path toward becoming a medical clinic that would provide pregnancy testing and limited obstetrical ultrasound services, under the orders and protocol of a medical director and supervised by a nurse manager. In 2006, the Abel PRC hired and trained a nurse manager to perform limited obstetrical ultrasounds and received a grant that enabled it to purchase an ultrasound machine. We began offering medical services in October 2006. Eleven years later, through funding from a couple of local foundations and generous supporters, we were able to purchase a new ultrasound machine, exam table, large screen TV and to give the ultrasound room a fresh look.
Since opening its doors in 1994, the Abel PRC has never received any state or federal funding, relying entirely on the generosity of individuals, businesses, churches and organizations in the Four Seasons area and beyond. Because of this support, the Abel PRC has been able to maintain a consistent presence in the community, offering hope and help to those in need of its pregnancy resources.
FREE and confidential services provided to the community by the Abel Pregnancy Resource Center include:
- Medical related services:
- Pregnancy testing and confirmation of pregnancy through limited obstetrical ultrasound
- Patient education including but not limited to: healthy pregnancy, prenatal development & care, pregnancy options, sexual health & STI risk factors, and lifestyle & healthy relationship choices
- Referrals for prenatal care & other available appropriate community resources
- Post abortion support – Through our Save One abortion recovery program, women who have been emotionally, spiritually and mentally hurt by a past abortion are given the opportunity to experience healing and freedom from that painful experience. Women, who need this service, meet with a trained abortion recovery facilitator one-on-one for a period of about twelve weeks.
- Material Needs – The Abel PRC provides a method to meet material needs while enabling clients to take responsibility & initiative to meet those needs through its Earn While You Learn program. Clients receive education & training about pregnancy, parenting skills, infant care, healthy relationships, life skills, money management, men’s issues and the Bible. Completion of these lessons allows clients to earn credits used to purchase items (i.e. diapers, cribs, car seats, etc.) provided by the Abel PRC. This sense of accomplishment helps to foster self-esteem in those that participate in the program.
- Promotion of healthy youth behavior/relationships & goal setting through a staff-developed abstinence based program called CHOICES which is adaptable for presentation to (1) secular or non-secular settings & (2) middle school through college ages, designed to equip students to make healthy choices leading to positive outcomes.
Findings of the Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee congressional report released July 6, 2012 concluded from their analysis that Sexual Risk Avoidance (an abstinence-centered approach to sex education) is the best & most effective strategy to prevent teenage pregnancy.
The service region for our programs primarily extends through the counties of Bland, McDowell, Mercer, and Tazewell. We accept patients from outside of this area, having served women from Buchanan, Monroe and Wythe counties and the Greater Greenbrier Valley.