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San Angelo's Pregnancy Help Center Lends A Hand to Women

More than a dozen Texas abortion clinics have stopped providing services since last week's ruling instating most of the state's new abortion restrictions. One service still available here in the Concho Valley -- the Pregnancy Help Center.
Women in San Angelo have a long way to travel now if they choose to have an abortion -- with hospitals only performing the procedure if the mother is at risk and Planned Parenthood of the Concho Valley now closed.

Still in town is the Pregnancy Help Center -- with a mission to inform women of their options if they are pregnant.

"This is kind of her first step and we're a place where she can talk out her fears and her issues and we're going to help her see if she can find a solution," Sandra Franke, executive director of the Pregnancy Help Center, said.

They offer free pregnancy tests, ultra sounds and referrals.

The center also offers an abundance of free baby and maternity clothes and toys for families.

They've seen a 30-percent increase in clients since Planned Parenthood closed over the summer -- Franke had no comment when asked about the latest House Bill, forcing the closure of abortion clinics.

"We're here for individual women and really all the laws swirling around us, don't matter at all to our clients," Franke said.

While Franke says the Pregnancy Help Center assists women no matter what choice they make, they are a pro-life ministry, fully funded by the christian community of the Concho Valley. They do not refer women to abortion clinics and they do not provide contraception.

"Our stand on contraception is that we don't have a stand on contraception," Franke said.

Pro-choice activists say closing more than a dozen abortion clinics throughout the state is only going to cause additional problems.

"Prior to HB2 taking effect, 93-percent of Texas counties did not have an abortion provider and now that number is even higher," Heather Busby of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas said.

A woman in San Angelo will now have to travel as far San Antonio or Dallas for an abortion.
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