Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Serrans hear report on Pregnancy Aid Clinics’ work

Published January 21, 2016

ATLANTA—After seeing their unborn infant in ultrasound pictures, almost 80 percent of women considering abortion will make a decision for life, said a representative of Atlanta-area Pregnancy Aid Clinics in Hapeville and Roswell.

Alix Shattuck, director of the organization that began more than 30 years ago in Hapeville, was addressing the Jan. 8 luncheon of the Atlanta Serra Club. Maria Brown, the executive director, also attended and fielded questions.

Part of a Catholic organization of 20,000 men and women in 37 countries, the Atlanta Serra Club hosts speakers on pertinent topics. It supports vocations to the priesthood and arranges special events to thank priests, seminarians, deacons and sisters for their service.

Shattuck said the Hapeville clinic added ultrasound in 2010 and considers this technology a critical part of their work that “opens up a window to the womb so that women and men can meet their child up close and personal.”

Their services have recently expanded twice.

“In 2014 we launched a mobile clinic, which provides pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, as well as advocacy and referral services, in such places as shopping center parking lots and churches. In bright blue, it is hard to miss,” Shattuck said. “October 15 saw the grand opening of the Pregnancy Aid Clinic office in Roswell which offers all the same services,” she added.

“Our services have grown from mentoring to include client advocacy, providing options counseling—frank discussions about adoption, parenting and abortion—as well as parenting classes, partnerships with adoption agencies and PATH (Post Abortion Treatment and Healing) programs.”

“Because men often feel out of place in this women’s environment, we began a men’s program with help from deacons in the Atlanta Archdiocese,” she said. “In small classes they talk man-to-man on issues regarding family, finances, children and, needless to say, pregnant women.”

All clinic programs are free. So that clients take personal responsibility, they work to earn the right to shop for baby items at the clinic by attending clinic classes, going to their prenatal appointments, working with clinic mentors on resumes, attending GED/college and Bible study classes, and other self-improvement classes, Shattuck said.

“Our women clients are usually between 17 and 30, single, from middle- and lower-income brackets, and from varied ethnic backgrounds. We are currently seeing an average of 50 new clients a month and help another 60 each month through classes or mentoring,” she said.

About 30 volunteers help at the Hapeville clinic and 20 at the newer Roswell clinic as class instructors, office helpers and by helping with painting, landscaping and preparing mailings, she said. “One of our greatest assets is our volunteers,” she said.

Shattuck concluded with a mention of supportive funds.

“Receiving no state or federal funds, we rely on grants from Christian organizations, including the Order of Malta, Knights of Columbus councils and donations from 25 Atlanta-area Catholic parishes.”

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