The Liberty Women’s Clinic is getting ready to help even more people in 2016. Group leaders expect a spring move to a location that will triple service space.
The pregnancy help center, which offers free services to women with unexpected pregnancies, has been at its current location for 15 years. The group has been in a year-long fundraising campaign to buy a new building.
The 501(c)(3) nonprofit is currently housed in a building near the Historic Downtown Liberty Square. It opened there in October of 2002.
Leaders of the organization, which is mainly funded through private donations, started raising money for a new location in January of 2015. So far, they have raised about $540,000 of a $1.7 million goal. The fundraising already has enabled the purchase of a new building at 1532 NE 96th St. The new facility will double the number of counseling and exam rooms available, which means more women can be served.
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Carol Graham, founder and CEO of Liberty Women’s Clinic, calls the clinic a life-affirming organization. The clinic focuses on education services and what Graham calls “options counseling.”
Counselors there provide information for women about parenting and adoption. They also provide pregnancy tests and ultrasounds to help people confirm and date pregnancies, as well as connections for women to health and social services. In addition to the Liberty location, the clinic also offers a mobile unit at 39th and Troost every week and at Central High School once a week.
Most of the clinic’s clients are between the ages of 18 to 25. Graham says many of the young women confused about options. They are often in school or starting careers and see a pregnancy as a major hiccup in their life.
“We aren’t judging them or forcing them into any kind of decision, but we are just supporting life.” Graham said. “They have an opportunity to come to the clinic and receive our services and talk to nurses and volunteers who are trained, and have an opportunity to see their way through a really difficult time in their lives.”
Graham calls the ultrasound, which became an offered service in 2007, a powerful tool.
“It allows someone to see their pregnancy and date it. There’s a lot of difference between talking about something and actually seeing the facts in person,” Graham said.
Based on the gather data gathered by the clinic, 86 percent of women make a decision to carry a child to term after they see an ultrasound, she added.
The number of women using their services has grown, particularly in recent years. Graham started the clinic with one staff person; now there are 11 on staff. About 80 percent of clinic appointment times are filled.
Liberty Women’s Clinic staff started looking for a new location about a year and a half ago.
Graham started the clinic after a sermon series by her pastor at Liberty Christian Fellowship caused a junction in her own life.
Pastor Kim May had challenged his congregation to think about finding their personal mission in life. Graham remembers the sermon series wrapped up on “Sanctity of Human Life” Sunday. “He mentioned this type of ministry would be birthed out of the series, and I just knew it was what I was supposed to do,” Graham said.