Gideon Strong - 300 men and counting
By Carole Townsend
Lawrenceville – There’s a movement going on in Gwinnett County, one that asks men to stand up and fight for life. Every year, 1.2 million abortions take place in the United States; in 2015, more than 7,000 took place in Gwinnett County alone.
According to Robin Mauck, Executive Director of the Pregnancy Resource Center of Gwinnett (PRCG), “In sixty-four percent of abortions that take place, the woman feels that she has no other option.”
The PRCG is tasked with a single but monumental job, and that job is to show women their choices regarding an unexpected pregnancy. The PRCG is a non-profit, faith-based ministry that exists solely for that purpose. The job may sound simple and straightforward, but any pregnancy can be an emotional one. An unexpected pregnancy often throws a woman into a tailspin of anxiety, fear, guilt and dread, and often the woman feels trapped, causing her to make a hasty decision.
PRCG recognizes that it’s not just the woman who is involved in making that decision; men are part of the process, too. “The father is the most influential person in the woman’s decision,” Mauck said. “We’re a life-affirming medical clinic for women, that is true. But we want men to know that they, too, should stand up and fight for life.” The groundswell that strives to involve men in the decision to protect life is called “Gideon Strong,” and it was kicked off last month at Cornerstone Co-Working in downtown Lawrenceville. Chick-Fil-A Scenic High-way is a strong supporter of both the PRCG and the Gideon Strong movement, providing meals for quarterly meetings, and giving other types of support and encouragement. Stewart Cink, professional golfer and winner of the 2009 British Open, spoke to 60 Gwinnett men last month. He told them that a pregnancy center just like PRCG helped him and his wife Lisa (then his girlfriend) choose life for their baby 23 years ago.
Right: Stewart Cink, Professional Golfer and winner of the British Open 2009, spoke at the first Gideon Strong event held at Cornerstone Co-Working in Historic Downtown Lawrenceville.
Mallory Fogas, Director of Development for the Center, shared a patient story that illustrates the fragile state of mind that some women are in once they’ve decided to abort their baby. “A woman walked in one Monday morning, which is often a busy day for us. This Monday was certainly no different. Our schedule was very full and we weren’t sure we could work her in, but she came in asking for a Dilation and Curettage (D&C) abortion. She was newly remarried after a divorce; both she and her new husband already had several kids between them.” Fogas went on to explain that, though the husband was thrilled about the pregnancy, he had told his wife that he’d support whatever decision she made with respect to aborting or keeping the baby.
“We talked with her for a bit and after reiterating that we do not perform or refer for abortion, the woman stated that she ‘wasn't sure how she got to our clinic.’” The staff at PRCG told her that it was no coincidence that she had walked through their doors that morning; she was there for a reason. They then shared accurate medical information with her about all of her options, and provided a free ultrasound that showed her 10-week-old baby. After seeing the ultrasound, the woman decided that she could not go through with an abortion.
“We shared how we could continue to support the couple’s journey with educational classes in our HOPE program, as well as with material items for them and their new baby,” said Fogas. A story like this one is considered a true success story at PRCG. A precious life was saved, a marriage was preserved, and the mother and father were better equipped to be parents because of the assistance they received.
Left: Jason Chandler, President of the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation, jokes around with Stewart and Lisa Cink.
The PRCG strives to meet the needs of women at risk of an unexpected or crisis pregnancy, with the full affirmation of the sanctity of human life and marriage always at the forefront. The Center’s work includes providing broad-based support to the woman who faces an unexpected pregnancy, is hurting from a previous abortion, or is in need of sexual/relational guidance. Likewise, support is available for the father. Last year, PRCG saved 209 babies.
A family resource since 1991, PRCG is a non-profit, medical clinic and pregnancy resource center staffed by professionals, peers, and trained volunteers. The PRCG provides free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, STI/STD Testing, and critical decision-making counseling concerning pregnancy. The center is located at 337 West Pike Street.
For more information about Gideon Strong and how to join the fight, and to learn about upcoming Gideon Strong events, visit www.prcg.org/gideon-strong.