DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) - A helpful resource for expectant mothers and their families is now open in Duncan.
The Charis Pregnancy Center opened earlier this month, after three years of planning. Their goal is to help expectant mothers through what could be one of the most difficult times of their lives.
"Unplanned pregnancy is scary. It's not an easy thing, like I'm pregnant this is going be a breeze," said Executive Director Emalee Ligon. "I think it's important to have someone here to say you can do this and we want to help you do that. That's really our goal, to walk alongside the women through everything they need."
Ligon said they have been working to get this resource center open for more than three years and after three weeks of business, they've already seen how needed it is in Stephens County.
"Oklahoma has one of the highest unplanned pregnancy rates. Stephens County has one of the top three in Oklahoma so really the rates here of unplanned pregnancy and teen pregnancy are crazier than a lot of people realize. We've been open three weeks and seen probably 7 or 8 women so it's a need here for sure, but it's one we can kind of look past if we don't want to see it," Ligon said.
They do that by offering a variety of services, completely free of charge, to any pregnant woman in need.
"We offer pregnancy confirmations by a medical grade pregnancy test," Ligon said. "That's usually the initial consult we have with women. We talk about all of their options and what those options look like. From there, they can get a free ultrasound if they haven't already seen a doctor and gotten hooked up with that. Then we also have an education program."
That program walks women through each stage of pregnancy, focusing on things like nutrition, budgeting and life skills. The classes are free from the time you are pregnant up until your baby is one-year-old and by taking them you can actually earn something called baby bucks.
"With those baby bucks they get to shop in the baby boutique," Ligon said. "They will earn clothes, food, cribs, car seats. Anything that a new mom might need. Really, it's just our way of walking alongside them, through the entire pregnancy up to a year after to let them know they can do this and we want to be there to help."
The Charis Pregnancy Center is located at 1700 West Jones in Duncan. It's open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
If you want more information, they are holding an open house on October 25th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.