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franklin county times

Unplanned pregnancy: There are choices

By Staff
CHOICES FOR WOMEN IN CRISIS – The staff of the Center for Pregnancy Choices of Meridian held an open house and baby shower Sunday afternoon at their new offices in North Meridian. Gwen Hall gives a baby shower present to volunteer counselor Peggy Keenum, left, while her mother, Marilyn, gives a hug to volunteer counselor Terrey Roberts, right, and asks about her 2-year-old daughter, Zion. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Nov. 11, 2002
A new ministry it reaching out its hands in Meridian. The Center for Pregnancy Choices held an open house Sunday at its new location, 4905-C Poplar Springs Drive.
A "baby shower" was held at the same time to collect clothing and other baby supplies.
Craig Ziemba, chairman of the board and founder of the ministry, watched happily as items were placed in a small room in the office suite.
He said the ministry is a culmination of two years of work. It is supported mostly by churches and individuals.
Ziemba is a former U.S. Navy pilot who now flies for the Mississippi National Guard.
The "cause" of the center is to connect women with unplanned pregnancies to support and services, and hopefully convince them to carry their infants to full term.
The center's services are free and include: confidential pregnancy tests; education on pregnancy, sexual health and abortion alternatives; baby clothes and other items; referrals to community agencies; parenting education; adoption referrals; and post-abortion support.
Karen Sims of Collinsville is the director of the center. She said the ministry started seeing clients at the end of June. She says the inter-denominational ministry "empowers women to choose life."
The center's first newsletter, called "Lifeline" has been mailed. It announced the new location and asked for volunteers to answer phones, help with fund-raising and serve as "Mentor Moms" to pregnant teen-age clients.
Sims said some volunteers have had abortions, and share their experiences with women who come to the center.
Sims served as director of a similar center in Texas and was previously on staff at a Center for Pregnancy Choices in Jackson. She has also worked as a maternity counselor at an adoption agency. She has a bachelor's degree in social work and a master's degree in marriage and family counseling. Sims, 37, was adopted.
She also said birth mothers can sometimes continue communication with the family after adoption through the adoption agency.
NEW MINISTRY IN TOWN
The Center for Pregnancy Choices, at 4905-C Poplar Springs Drive, is a non-denominational ministry dedicated to giving women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy support services and information about carrying their babies to term. For more information, call 482-1230 or visit www.cpcofmeridian.org.

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