COVINGTON, Ga. - Newton Pregnancy Resource Center now offers free ultrasounds.
“We want to help our clients as much as possible," Executive Director Rachael Long said. "Providing free ultrasounds is just one more way we can support them.".
NPRC serves a specific clientele – women who are facing the challenges of unplanned pregnancies.
“Most of the women we serve are single and either unemployed or make less than $14,000 a year," Long said. "Sometimes they have support from their families or their boyfriends, and sometimes they don’t. We stand in the gap.”
The center provides weekly support for women throughout their pregnancy and six months after the birth of the baby.
“Our goal is to be able to provide ongoing support for two years after the birth of the baby,” she said.
Getting to the point of being able to provide free ultrasounds hasn’t been easy.
“We learned a lot along the way,” Nurse Manager Bekah Kirkland said.
In addition to purchasing an ultrasound machine and medical supplies, the nurse manager had to be trained, medical malpractice insurance had to be secured and privacy practices had to be established. And, of course, the budget had to increase.
“It costs about $30 a month for 12 months to provide an ultrasound for one client,” Long said.
What services does NPRC provide?
In addition to free ultrasounds (initial obstetric ultrasounds, not diagnostic), the center provides pregnancy testing, proof of pregnancy for Medicaid, parenting and family education, adoption information and referrals, abortion information and post-abortion support.
“We’ve just started offering the post-abortion services,” Long said. “While we never refer or perform abortions, we know that there are a lot of women who are hurting because they are experiencing grief after an abortion.”
Long speaks from experience.
“I was one of those women.”
At 19, Long was pregnant and single. Her boyfriend abandoned her and her mother gave her no other option.
“I felt like I didn’t have a choice because I couldn’t figure out how to keep my baby if no one was going to help me,” she said. “I really believe I would have made a different decision if there had been a center like ours near me.”
NPRC is a relatively new nonprofit in Newton County. The center officially opened in August of 2016 and has already served more than 100 women.
“It’s amazing what God has done in such a short period of time,” Long said.
While Long credits the Lord for the success of the center, she is also quick to commend former director, Dara Lynn Rieger.
“Dara Lynn had a vision for this center, and she was faithful and tenacious in pursuing that vision," she said. "This center would not be where it is today were it not for her.”
Rieger resigned in September in order to spend more time with her family.
What are future goals?
“We’re growing so much. We really need to be able to open three days a week. And eventually, we want to provide STD/STI testing,” Kirkland said. “There are so many services we want to offer. We just have to take it one step at a time.”
All services are free of charge and provided by five staff members and 10 volunteers. If you are interested in ultrasound services, call first as there are specific guidelines to which the center must adhere. For example, you must be between six and 17 weeks gestation and have a positive urine pregnancy test. Hours of operation are Mondays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The center is located at 6142 Gordy St. in downtown Covington. You can contact the center at 770-415-1176 or email email@example.com.