Kym Klass
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March 1, 2024
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First Choice Women’s Medical Center is not just about being pro-life but also pro-abundant life.

Those at the center know that each time a mom chooses life for her baby, she needs a lot of support to bring that baby into the world.

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“And ultimately, we know the truth is that the greatest need of every woman or man who walks in the front door of our center is not to choose life for her baby but to have a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Bethany Garth, the center’s executive director. “With that truth in mind, the Gospel is the foundation of everything we do.”

Core Values of First Choice

Life-affirming: Every person is made in the image of God. Because life begins at conception, our ministry works to affirm life in the womb and empower women and men to value that life.
Family: God uses family to demonstrate His love, and we support decisions that build God-honoring families.
Education: Knowledge is power, and as we provide women and men with truth about fetal development and human sexuality, they are empowered to choose life and make healthy choices.
Compassion: Women and men facing unplanned pregnancies need to know and experience compassion, so we offer our services with no judgment, extending the kindness and love of Christ in each encounter.
Obedience: We are obedient to the revealed Word of God through Scripture, and to His continued guidance and direction for our ministry today.
Discipleship: Lives are transformed through the power of the Gospel. We foster authentic Christ-centered relationships so that each client, staff member, and ministry partner will grow as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Excellence: We work as unto the Lord and strive for excellence in every interaction with First Choice through our environment, professionalism, words, and actions.

(Source: www.supportfirstchoice.org)

First Choice Women’s Medical Center is a pro-life Christian ministry serving the Montgomery community since 1982. Formerly called Sav-A-Life Montgomery, the heart of the ministry has always been to come alongside women and men who face unplanned pregnancies and, with the center’s services and support, empower them to choose life for their babies.

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They offer free, confidential medical services to serve their clients, including pregnancy tests, ultrasound confirmation, nurse consultations, options education, and STI/STD testing and treatment.

“For support services, we offer both group and individual parenting classes, which allow our moms to earn baby supplies from our on-site baby boutique,” said Garth. “We also offer a fatherhood program to educate and empower our dads to be engaged and effective in their role as a father. And finally, we offer abortion recovery care for women who have had an abortion who need to know and experience the healing and forgiveness that is available in Christ.”

First Choice has two locations in Montgomery – one off Atlanta Highway and another near Baptist South.
“We also just opened a third location, as we merged with another pregnancy center serving Elmore County,” Garth said. “So, now we have an office in downtown Wetumpka as well.”

Clients range in age, background, and life stage, but the largest group the center sees is 18 to 24-year-olds. Most clients are not married, but sometimes they are engaged.

“But truly, there is no ‘normal,’” Garth said. “You can never tell from the boxes they check on their intake form what their story will be, which is why we focus on really listening to each person and truly hearing about their life and what brought them to First Choice.”

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Since 1982, thousands of women – and even more lives – have been touched or impacted by First Choice. While it is difficult to have concrete numbers, Garth said after the center’s 40-year anniversary in 2022, research shows the center has served about 40,000 women directly and touched more than 70,000 lives.
Also, since 1982, nearly 4,000 lives have been saved from abortion because of the ministry of First Choice/Sav-A-Life.

“Recently, we had a client come in who was wanting an abortion,” Garth said. “She said the baby’s father was not going to be involved, and she was not ready to be a mom. She met with one of our staff, and they discussed her options and the barriers she saw to choosing life for her baby.

“She agreed to have an ultrasound. She was still early in her pregnancy, but our client advocate prayed with her, and she agreed to come back a week later for another ultrasound. We could see that God was slowly shifting her heart. During the second ultrasound, she said she was leaning toward parenting, and afterward, our nurse took some time to show her our on-site baby store. She said she hoped her baby was a boy.

“That’s when we knew she had truly changed her mind. Since then, she has been coming for our individual parenting classes and, as an add-on to those, has been working through a discovery Bible study with one of our staff members.”

As believers, Garth said, if “we are going to say that we believe each life is sacred and made in God’s image, it’s important to put action to that belief.”

The ministry does that practically by meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of women and men in the midst of that pregnancy decision process.

“A lot of Christians think that we have ‘won’ this battle in Alabama because after Roe was overturned in June of 2022, abortion became illegal in our state,” Garth said. “We are certainly glad that there are no operational abortion clinics in Alabama, but I can absolutely assure you that women are still seeking and obtaining abortions.

“Our services have actually become more important than ever.”

For instance, in 2023, First Choice had more women looking for abortions call their center and walk through our door than in any of the five years prior.

“The problem has not gone away, and ultimately, laws will not resolve the abortion issue,” Garth said. “We must acknowledge that this is primarily a heart issue. And our ministry speaks to the hearts of moms and dads, walking alongside them, loving them where they are, and showing them that they ‘can’ choose life for their babies.”

The need to serve more clients, Garth said, has caused the center to expand and grow its ministry like never before, but that is not possible without the support of individuals, churches, and businesses.

“Ultimately, every believer who states they are pro-life must take action on that belief and invest in ministry in the trenches,” she said.

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How to Contact:
www.supportfirstchoice.org
Call: (334) 260-8010
Email: bethany@firstchoicewmc.com
Social Media: Instagram @support_firstchoice Facebook: Support First Choice Montgomery

How to Volunteer:
Contact Laura Williams, client services director, at 334-260-8010. Or email laura@firstchoicewmc.com for more information about the volunteer application process. Volunteer opportunities include receptionists/office assistants, nurses, fatherhood mentors, client advocates, parenting education facilitators, and lawn care and maintenance.

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Kym Klass
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Kym Klass has lived in the River Region since 2007. She is the Director of Communications at Frazer Church. She is the author of "One More Day: a powerful true story of suicide, loss and a woman's newfound faith." She serves on the board of directors for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (Alabama), the Samaritan Counseling Center, and the Alabama Coalition Against Rape.

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