|A family environment will welcome women at the Women’s Care Center-Madison, the new crisis pregnancy center located in east Madison. In the photo, Ann Manion, left, national director, and Angela Gorenc, director of the local center. To view or purchase photos from this event, visit: madisoncatholicherald.smugmug.com (Catholic herald photo / Kat Wagner)|
MADISON – Comfortable chairs, bins of children’s books and beautiful photos of women and children – these are just some of the things that welcome visitors to the new Women’s Care Center-Madison (WCCM) located at 3711 Orin Rd. on the east side of Madison.
It’s like walking into someone’s house. “We want to make our centers warm and welcoming,” said Ann Manion, National Director of Women’s Care Centers.
Manion was visiting WCCM the week before the pregnancy center opened on January 17. She said the women’s health center model was effective. “Ninety-seven percent of the women who come to our centers choose life for their babies,” she said. “So many lives are affected. “
Like most of the 18 women’s health centers located in four states (Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin), WCCM is located directly across from the Planned Parenthood abortion facility.
The founders of WCCM are hoping that some of the women who come to the family planning clinic will look across the street and see a sign that says Women’s Care Center-Madison. They hope that these women will first decide to stop at the Women’s Health Center.
Receive a warm welcome
At WCCM, they will receive a warm welcome in a peaceful and family environment. They will be greeted by attentive staff and will benefit from free ultrasounds and pregnancy tests. They can learn the facts about abortion and find out how they can be helped to overcome obstacles that make them think that abortion is their only choice.
“The main goal of WCCM is to save the lives of unborn babies,” said Greg Wagner, who helped develop WCCM. Most women who visit a women’s health center are made to make an informed and loving decision to choose life for their babies, either to become parents or to place them with a loving foster family.
Birth of an idea
Women’s Care Center-Madison was created as a result of a group of dedicated volunteers, many of whom have been involved with Vigil for Life in Madison, who provide a witness of prayer and peace at the Madison Planned Parenthood Clinic 365 days a year.
In March 2010, a couple was praying outside Planned Parenthood. They noticed a “for sale” sign on the property located directly in front of the clinic.
After a nine-day novena of prayer, the couple discerned that God was calling them to buy this property for the sake of saving babies.
They found two other pro-life couples and together they purchased the property in May 2010 under the name Our Lady of Victory, LLC. Many ideas were discussed on how best to use this property when trying to promote a culture of living.
Healthcare center model
The group investigated the Women’s Care Center located in South Bend, Indiana. Founded by Dr. Janet Smith, the center has been in operation for over 25 years. Seventeen other emergency pregnancy centers have opened in four states, including one in Milwaukee.
The local group decided to emulate the model of the Women’s Care Center in Madison, but WCCM would not be a branch of the organization but rather a licensee. WCCM has its own board of directors, including two diocesan priests as advisers, and was responsible for raising all the funds needed to renovate and operate the center.
Building permits were obtained from the City of Madison in February 2011. Many volunteers worked to clear out the interior of the building located on the property. Construction professionals were hired, many of whom contributed all or part of their work.
Bishop Robert C. Morlino encouraged donors to support this project. With the bishop’s permission, the Women’s Care Center will have a chapel, which will contain a tabernacle. The presence of the Blessed Sacrament will be on site at all times.
Many people helped fund the project, including the Knights of Columbus, who purchased an ultrasound machine.
Supports women, babies
Manion said the ultrasound machine is very important. “It helps women bond with their babies,” she said. “They see their baby and hear the heartbeat. “
She pointed out that the Women’s Care Center supports women before and after the birth of the baby. There will be parenting skills classes, abstinence education and self-reliance training.
By attending classes, parents can get coupons to help get cribs, car seats, diapers and new baby clothes available through the centre’s “Crib Club”.
Angela Gorenc, BS, RN, has been hired as director of WCCM, along with nurse Mary Markielewski and counselor Kate Rossing. They all received training in the South Bend office. Dr. Michael Kloess, who operates the Our Lady of Hope Clinic in Madison, is the centre’s medical director.
Gorenc, a member of St. John the Baptist Ward in Waunakee, has worked as a nurse for a midwifery clinic in Madison and has experience in women’s health education. “It was a good fit for me,” she said of her new job. “I love to teach, I love women’s health, and I love babies. Everything seemed to come together. “
A surge of support
WCCM will work closely with the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (clothing and cradles), the Catholic Multicultural Center (references) and Catholic charities (adoption).
“We are blessed that everything is falling into place,” Gorenc said. “We are grateful for the outpouring of support.”
She and Manion thanked Greg Wagner for his efforts. “He’s full of faith and tenacious,” Manion said. “It wouldn’t have happened without him. “
Wagner himself said that the mission of the health center depends on Vigil for Life. “It’s a beautiful marriage of prayer and works,” he said.
The center must now raise funds for its operating budget. Contributions to the Women’s Care Center-Madison can be sent to PO Box 10, Cross Plains, WI 53528.