Sav-A-Life opens doors on Pensacola Ave.

Published 9:06 am Wednesday, May 18, 2005

By by Tim Cottrell
Many young women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy find themselves with few options or friends to turn to in a time of need.
Statistics compiled by the Alan Guttmacher Institute and courtesy of state that approximately 1.37 million pregnancies are terminated each year in the United States alone, and that 43 percent of women in the United States will have had an abortion by the time they turn 45.
Alarming statistics such as these were what prompted Mr. Wales Goebel to found Sav-A-Life in Birmingham in 1979.
Information provided by the Atmore Sav-A-Life office stated that Goebel had spoken to a sorority house at a major university, and that following the speech a young woman had asked him where he was when she was pregnant and needed help. Her question prompted him to found the first office.
The Atmore Sav-A-Life office opened in 1987 and recently moved to a new building on S. Pensacola Ave. Director Ruth Weber is holding an open house May 22 to allow citizens of Atmore and Escambia County to view their operations.
"It's just a chance to let them see the facility and learn about who we are and how we operate," Weber said.
Statistics such as the ones stated above are much of the reason Weber believes Sav-A-Life to be of vital importance to the area, even with the closest abortion clinics nearly an hour away.
"The primary objective of Sav-A-Life is to make abortions unnecessary and undesirable in our area," she said. "In addition to that, we want to help young moms be the best moms they can be. We saw over 420 clients in Atmore in 2004, and 550 in the county."
The Sav-A-Life program, which is staffed entirely by volunteers, has 22 volunteers working throughout Escambia County in offices in Atmore and Brewton, and 12 volunteers here in Atmore.
One of those volunteers, Mearlene Bishop, who has worked with Sav-A-Life for 10 years in Atmore, said that it was an easy choice to devote her time to this cause.
"It's a cause I believe in and I'd like to give my time to such a cause," Bishop said. "We try to help the ones that need help."
Weber, who has been with Sav-A-Life since 1995 and the Director since 1998, said she was happy to be of service to young women in the area.
"I feel like we help a lot of young women," Weber said.
According to information provided by Weber, Sav-A-Life primarily offers these services to its clients: pregnancy testing; "Earn While You Learn" classes, which offer information on pregnancy and parenting in which clients can receive vouchers to be used to purchase baby items available in the "Mommy Store"; post-abortion recovery; and adoption referrals.
The open house will from 2-5 p.m. Sunday at the Sav-A-Life office in Atmore.

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