Counseling and support |

Counseling and support

Yampa Valley pregnancy Center helps mothers, fathers and families

Michelle Wallar

What qualified as a crisis pregnancy 20 years ago is not such a crisis today, said Sandi Billig, director of Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center.

“When I was a teenager and you got pregnant and you were not married, your family shipped you out of town,” Billig said. “Now there isn’t the stigma that there used to be.”

The center, which was started 20 years ago for women experiencing a crisis pregnancy by First Baptist Church of Craig, continues to provide services for men and women in need, though their focus has changed, Billig said. Although women may not find themselves in a crisis situation as often, many still need help, she said.

Center volunteers offer physical and mental support to anyone who walks through their doors, Billig said.

The center’s motto, “Love them all,” demonstrates the mission to support men as well as women. The center has baby and maternity clothes, toys and other supplies to loan and free diapers, food and formula for those in need. Clients may volunteer 25 hours in exchange for a crib and the center also provides pregnancy tests.

The center gave out 9,651 diapers and 106 pregnancy tests last year, Billig said.

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A majority of the center’s funds come from outside donations, although it still receives support from First Baptist Church.

Volunteers for the Christian faith-based nonprofit present pregnant women with options such as becoming a parent, carrying a baby to term and adopting, or aborting the fetus, Billig said.

After describing the pros and cons of each, they will direct clients to other agencies, Billig said.

“It is always our prayer that they would not make a decision to have an abortion,” Billig said. “There is a reason for every life God creates. As far as I’m concerned, abortion is wrong, but that’s not a popular opinion.”

In addition to offering services at the center, Billig plans to present lessons on abstinence to a high school health class next fall.

The center’s by-laws prevent it from promoting any other form of birth control, Billig said.

In the health class presentation, Billig tells students “they are unique and intelligent and can make choices for themselves,” she said. When people make their own decisions, however, they might make decisions contrary to Billig’s own beliefs.

As a mother of three, Billig said it has been difficult to step back and let people make their own choices.

“I try to listen more now and try to be helpful … to try to advise people and not to try to coerce them. I present options and let them make their own choices,” Billig said.

After two years as the center’s director, Billig said she really enjoys the work.

“When you have someone come in who is having a lot of problems and is unsure of what they’re going to do, and then to see them make healthy decisions for themselves … like going back to school, getting a job, taking care of themselves and their families — it’s very rewarding to see that happen.”