Tyneside pregnancy centre
Tyneside Pregnancy Advice Centre, run by the Christian charity ‘Foundation for Life’, was officially opened on Saturday 25 October by Baroness Cox. The centre provides support for women with unplanned pregnancies. In addition, it offers women an ultrasound scan performed by trained nursing staff.
At the opening, Baroness Cox praised the generosity of local supporters who contributed to the £71,000 set-up costs and the hard work of volunteers who prepared the centre for use. She said, ‘I am delighted that such a service is being made available to the women of Tyneside.
‘The provision of advice about the nature of abortion and its important complications together with the ultrasound scan, will allow the women to make a truly informed choice at a time of pressure and high emotion. So often in these circumstances women are told that there is only a blob of tissue in their womb. The scan will help them realise that there is a little life inside them. I hope that this will be the first of many such services around the country’.
The opening was followed by a service of dedication led by Rev. Dr Alan Munden, who gave thanks for the centre’s provision and committed its work to the Lord. The opening was also welcomed by leading local health professionals.
Sandra Bosman, who works at the nearby Royal Victoria Infirmary and was Midwife of the Year 2007, commented, ‘This centre will be a great help to women facing an unwanted pregnancy, who are often tempted to consider abortion as a quick fix in a crisis, without realising the huge and damaging implications.
‘Many women express regret and guilt after an abortion and often live with these feelings for the rest of their lives. With support and care, keeping the pregnancy can be much more positive than anticipated – the joy at the end is usually much greater than the initial feelings of despair in the midst of crisis when abortion is being considered’.
Dr Phil Brookes, a GP in Newcastle, commented, ‘Many doctors and health workers in Tyneside welcome this new venture. It will bring life-transforming help to many in our region and a powerful Christian witness to the value of human life’. Ultrasound scanning has been available in crisis pregnancy centres across the USA for several years, but this is the first centre in the UK to provide such a service. The scan offered is termed ‘non-diagnostic’ because it is not intended to replace a hospital scan, which is used to assess the gestation and the baby’s well-being.
Rather, the centre’s scan will allow the mother to see the baby’s heartbeat only four weeks after conception. Two weeks later she will be able to see her baby’s fully formed head, body, arms and legs, and one week after this the baby moving around in the womb.
The director Dr Chris Richards, who is a consultant paediatrician, said, ‘In our first few weeks we have had an encouraging number of women approach the centre for help. Most women who attended chose to have a scan and many said that they found it helpful’.
Further information from http://www.pregnancy-tyneside.org.uk