Leanne serves as the Executive Director of Pregnancy Resource Centers of Central Oregon, which has been serving our region for over 25 years.
As indicated by the name, Pregnancy Resource Center serves as a place for free pregnancy counseling and support – whether the pregnancy is planned or unplanned.
The Pregnancy Resource Center understands that the decisions surrounding a pregnancy can lead to a wide range of emotions. When a woman suspects that she might be pregnant, or even if she’s had a positive pregnancy test, she may be needing answers and feeling pressure to make a decision quickly. Pregnancy Resource Center is there to assist her throughout her decision-making process. Its non-judgemental and confidential client advocates are trained to provide support and resources to help women in just that circumstance.
And the service is not just for women. There are services for fathers, as well. Whether a pregnancy is planned or unplanned, the man plays an important role in the decision of whether or not to parent a child. Regardless of the relationship now or in the future, both parents should be involved in making the best possible decision for the current situation.
So in this interview, we’ll learn a bit about the services offered at the Centers and some of the options that potential parents have, including many they may be unaware of in the stress of the moment. You can also learn more at www.prcco.org.
truthfully, whether she visits our center in Bend, Redmond or Prineville, she's going to receive a warm, friendly welcome. without judgment. She's going to be listened to with compassion. She's going to receive truth. She's going to receive accurate and complete information that will empower her to make the best possible decision for her situation. Without regard to her pregnancy decision her ultimate decision, we will always be there to support and encourage herNarrator:
Welcome to cascade views a discussion with Central Oregon leaders. Your host is Michael SIPE, local business and community leader Best Selling Author of the Avada principle and candidate for Oregon State Representative for House District 53, which encompasses southern Redmon, sisters tombolo, and Northern bend. The purpose of these discussions is to share the views and insights of local leaders from a variety of community sectors on a range of timely and important regional and state issues. With that, now, here's your host, Michael SIPE.Michael Sipe:
Thanks for joining us on cascade views. My name is Michael SIPE, and I'm here today with Leanne woods. Leanne serves as the executive director of pregnancy resource centers of Central Oregon, which has been serving our region for over 25 years. As indicated by the name pregnancy resource center serves as a place for free pregnancy counseling and support. Whether the pregnancy is planned or unplanned. The pregnancy resource center understands that the decisions surrounding a pregnancy can lead to a wide variety of emotions. When a woman suspects that she might be pregnant, or even if she's had a positive pregnancy test, she may be needing answers and feeling pressured to make a decision quickly. Pregnancy Resource Center is there to assist her throughout her decision making process. It's non judgmental and confidential. Client advocates are trained to provide support and resources to help women in just that circumstance. And the service is not just for women, there are services for fathers as well. Whether a pregnancy is planned or unplanned, the man plays an important role in the decision of whether or not to parent a child. Regardless of the relationship. Now or in the future, both parents should be involved in making the best possible decision for the current situation. So today, we're going to learn a little bit about the services offered at the centers and some of the options that potential parents have, including many that they may not be aware of, in the stress of the moment. You can also learn firstname.lastname@example.org. With that, it's my pleasure to welcome my friend Leanne woods to the show. Hi, Leanne.Unknown:
Hi, my can Hey, thanks for the opportunity to spend some time with you and to talk about what's happening at the pregnancy resource center.Michael Sipe:
Fantastic. I've known you for many years, I've seen you excel in a number of leadership situations. So just give us a little of your personal and professional background as we get started here. Yeah,Unknown:
I'd be happy to. I think you could probably understand, Mike, that people have always been my passion. I really have an innate desire to understand how people think and why they make the decisions that they do. And that led me into my decision in college, to double major in psychology and sociology. And then I went on to get my master's degree in a little known field called sports psychology. And I think putting those two together, putting those three things together, really has given me that the wisdom that I've gained over the years in studying how people function in a variety of stressful situations, and ultimately brought me where I am today. And that career path in and of itself started really in not a traditional way. I was at Director of Student Activities in San Diego, where my husband and I lived. Shortly after we were married, we moved up to beautiful central Oregon, where I started a class reunion business. And so I ran Central Oregon class reunions for a number of years while raising a young family and simultaneously worked at Westside church in a variety of positions. But most notably as their communications director. And about, I would say seven years ago, I was called to work at the pregnancy resource center and have enjoyed the transition from telling people's stories to actually living those stories step by step with them. So ultimately, I think I'm just passionate about leading teams and seeing lives transformed.Michael Sipe:
What a great distinction about living the stories with them. So I just want to dig in just a little bit more about this one, what specifically drew you to pregnancy resource center originally? And and then what keeps you there? Obviously, with your skill said, you could do just about anything you wanted to so. So why this?Unknown:
Yeah, great question. I don't think I was ever drawn to the work of the pregnancy resource center. And in fact, I never knew anything about it until my sister, who was volunteering at our local center told me that there was a job opening there. And I think for myself, I had had two healthy pregnancies and really knew nothing about the world of unplanned pregnancies. But I was drawn to the opportunity to make a difference. I really wanted to fully utilize my skills in leadership and communication and psychology. Really, what I say is the perfect trifecta of influence. And I stay there because I love what I do. I love seeing women and men who come into our doors, broken and hurting and scared and afraid. And we welcome them in without judgment without hesitation. And we're given the gift of time to talk with them about their lives, and this current situation that they find themselves in and making in those few minutes, healing begins. And questions are answered and miracles happen. And that's why I stay because without a doubt, the pregnancy resource center, the managers, the nurses, and the volunteers, the staff who are there, we're impacting lives across Central Oregon.Michael Sipe:
That's so good. Because I there, there is a lot of stress around this right and a lot of fear and uncertainty.Unknown:
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. It's one of the I would say on the top 10 stressors and a woman's life is finding out that she's pregnant, whether planned or unplanned. Sure.Michael Sipe:
Well, you're you're growing. We have locations in Bend, Redmond Prineville. And I don't know if you can unveil the potential of the fourth ButUnknown:
The services you offer, or you do it and and talk about women first. Okay.Unknown:
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So yeah, so we are considering right now and hoping to open a senator in Jefferson County as well. So we would be serving all three the Tri County areas here in Central Oregon. But when you talk about services for women, let me just first of all say that all of our services are free. And a lot of people don't believe me when I say that. But we are fully funded by our community and individual donors who believe in the impact that we make. We don't accept money or any type of funding from the local state or federal government. We are fully a volunteer driven organization. And so with that our focus is on resourcing a woman, beginning from the moment that she's pregnant. So we offer a litany of services and I'll hit a few free medical grade pregnancy testing, free options consulting, free limited ultrasounds, meaning where they get to see the heartbeat, measurements of the baby are taken, and we make sure that it's a viable pregnancy. Nowhere else in Central Oregon can you get free prenatal vitamins. We do free parenting education. We have a service where we provide free diapers and clothing and baby and maternity clothes as well. We are starting and intensifying our pregnancy loss support programs. So for those around Central Oregon, who have experienced a miscarriage, abortion or any type of fetal demise, we are we are there to help provide encouragement and to listen to those women. We also as our name implies, we provide resources within our community. And new thing on just coming down I would say we're getting ready to launch within the next month or two is a free car seat program. Moms and Babies can't leave our Central Oregon hospitals without a safe car seat. So we are hoping to launch a program called Safe seats for Central Oregon, where we give away free car seats to those in need. So I'm excited about that.Michael Sipe:
I have two for you right now because Kathy, Kathy thinks we're gonna have more grandkids accumulating. But yeah, what a cool program. You know that one of the things that struck me when you mentioned the services is number one free and then number two access certainly would appear to me like through the last couple couple of years and in COVID the I mean it cost money for the services in a regular medical facility. Right. And, and getting in is is hard, right?Unknown:
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it is. I mean, most women have to pay for these services. And oftentimes, our local doctor's offices won't even be able to get you in until you're 812 weeks along. And during COVID, it was worse than that. So we are we always like to say we're your, your first look. So we are there to help you get that first look into your pregnancy, with an alt with the help of an ultrasound, especially to see your baby for the first time. It's a great service.Michael Sipe:
So cool. Well, can you give us a I just would like to get a handle on maybe who your your clientele is anonymously, of course, but maybe you could give us a profile of, of a couple of representative client situations like what brings women to you and and what are they spirit experiencing?Unknown:
Mm hmm. is exactly what you'd expect, you know, although there's no simple answer, and I get this, as I get asked this all the time, what kind of woman walks through the door of a pregnancy resource center? And I have a litany of answers, I'd say she might be homeless, or she might live at their parents. Sometimes she's working or looking for work. Sometimes she's happy to be pregnant or see she's still unsure. I've seen 14 year olds, I've seen 45 year olds, sometimes they're fearful. Sometimes they're joyful, but most often they're nervous, desperate, crying. Truthfully, we see them all. And I think for me, my mic, the ones that have touched my heart the most. I've met girls sleeping in cars, girls who are sleeping intense. And then on the other side of that I have consulted with police officers, and daughters of our local pastors, women who have kids and women who are desperate to have kids and women who are loved, and women who are desperate to be loved. Some are abused, obviously, some physically mentally or emotionally even. But honestly, some come from happy homes, the girl next door. But truthfully, whether she visits our center in Bend, Redmond or Prineville, she's going to receive a warm, friendly welcome. without judgment. She's going to be listened to with compassion, she's going to receive truth. She's going to receive accurate and complete information that will empower her to make the best possible decision for her situation. Without regard to her pregnancy decision, her ultimate decision, we will always be there to support and encourage her.Michael Sipe:
One of the ways that I've heard you express this is the right to love.Unknown:
amazing concept. Okay, let's let's shift them. And let's talk about men. When I first learned that you served men in a pregnancy resource center, I can I confess it to me a little bit by surprise, you know, what brings a guy to you and how do you help men?Unknown:
Yeah, I would say obviously, the world is changing. And if you would have asked me this question five years ago, we I would have said, we rarely see men in our center. Because we're taught that an unplanned pregnancy is a woman's issue, that it's that it's her choice and her responsibility. And so really, men felt like they don't have a right to be involved. But these, the fathers of these babies play a huge role in the influence that they provide in a woman's pregnancy decision. And so to that end, we realized that we needed men in our centers who could provide support, and provide these often justice frayed, just as upset, just as shame filled or guilt field, young men, they needed someone to talk to. And so we provide them with an education program and a mentor where they can learn how to be a parent, they can learn how to communicate with a child, they can learn how to change a diaper, and really what to expect when the mom of the baby is pregnant, and how to help her during and after delivery. And it just doesn't focus on that. We talked to him about the what ifs what if you don't want to be part of this woman's life, but you still want to be a father? What if she doesn't want to keep the baby and you do we talk through all of those situations we talked about jobs and finances and and the great thing about it which I have seen so many men who really engage in this program Bam, when they go through the education and meet with our, their mentors, they earn points which allowed them to shop in our boutique and provide for their babies before they're even born. They're providing diapers and buying diapers and wipes and clothing for their kids. And they feel like they are tangibly contributing to their children, and in a great way. So ultimately, we do this fatherhood coaching program to provide a safe place for men to ask questions, and to understand their role in this unplanned or planned pregnancy situation.Michael Sipe:
Wow, that is so amazing, because, you know, the, the myth of the, the silent, tough guy, Central Oregon male, doesn't take away from the truth of the situation, the emotions and all of the issues that that a guy is facing. I don't know where else a guy could go to talk about this, learn about this, particularly in a safe, non judgmental, confidential place. What an incredible service.Unknown:
It's great. You know what Mike, and it was really birthed out of, we would see young men come into the centers, and they would simply sit there in silence, like they were just being drug along for the, you know, here's the big reveal. Are we pregnant or not? And he was never given a voice. But the moment you asked him the question, How are you feeling? He had something to say. And we realize that he has a voice, and he needs just as much attention as that woman does.Michael Sipe:
Wow, this is incredible. I want to talk for a second, I got a couple of big questions for you. But I just want to get a sense about the because you alluded to it a couple of times through the conversation so far. And that's about teen pregnancies, about the magnitude of teen pregnancies. Is it a is it a big issue? Is it growing or diminishing? How about unplanned adult pregnancies, especially for single women? And maybe we should factor in the last two years of COVID? I don't know if that was? I don't know if that started or reduced it? Give us a little insight.Unknown:
Yeah, magnitude growing, diminishing, planned, unplanned. You know, are there trends in this industry? I would say yes, and no. The honest answer, if I can be truthful, is no, because the fact is people have sex and women get pregnant. Age or marital status really isn't a factor within our scope of services, we serve everyone. And in general, everyone's having sex and at the rate at which the rate at which that seems to happen seems to be pretty static. Although what I find interesting for us, is the trends we see for some of our young adults, and I think people get a kick out of this much I explain. Getting technical here for a minute. I would say that most girls will consider the fact that they might be pregnant when they miss their period, that that's a given. Women to explain women have menstrual strike menstrual cycles that normally occur about every four weeks. And when a girl misses her cycle, she often waits maybe another week just to see if it's late. And then she may take a home pregnancy test to see if she's pregnant. And I'll say honestly, many of those girls don't trust the test. I had a girl one time, I said, How many tests have you taken and she said 16. So they obviously don't trust the test that they're seeing. And so that's why they come to us for those medical grade pregnancy tests. So usually, it's about five to six weeks after she has missed a period that she's making the phone call to us. So often, when we talk about trends, we see an influx of clients after New Years, after Valentine's Day, five or six weeks, five to six weeks after spring break. Or what we find funny is we track the hottest day in Central Oregon, the first hot day in Central Oregon when everybody is down at the river, they're in their bikinis five to six weeks after that we have a spike in pregnancy tests after homecoming, winter dances and Prom when more people are having sex, we get more clients making appointments, usually five to six weeks later. But all that to say Mike, you know what, I've never been a fan of the whole statistics and I operate by analysis, analyzing the data that we receive in our centers. But what we do see is more girls coming through our doors to talk about abortion right now. And the impact of COVID on that has made really getting the abortion pill as simple as a telehealth visit with a doctor so they After the doctor online, the pills arrive at their doorstep. We've seen an influx in that, because really, the abortion industry has made it easy. And girls are confused. I've talked to hundreds of clients who have had abortions, and I hear their stories, I hear how difficult and painful and scary that experience was for them. Those who have taken the abortion pill share about the surprise, amount of painful contractions they have and the bleeding that they have. And all of this for me. It leaves unspeakable real scars in these women's lives and the guilt and the sadness that I see and hear from countless women. It troubles me It troubles me that no one is there to listen and to hear their stories. It saddens me that the women making this decision, this life altering choice, because they often see it as their only way out and they're scared and they don't really realize that they have other options available to them. So teen pregnancy Yes, it's an issue. Pregnancy with women who are in pre menopause is an issue. It happens. But the truth is, we're there for all of them, were there to talk them through their options, and be that secure foundation, when really their world is falling apart.Michael Sipe:
Well, we're gonna have to wrap up here pretty soon. But what you're talking about right now we need to spend a couple of minutes on. So you know, people make all sorts of decisions when they think they don't have options. So give us an overview of the options that men and women, in this circumstance have? What are you What do you teach them that their choices are?Unknown:
Yeah, this is a simple one, I'll tell you exactly what I say to the girls who come in, I say you have three options, and three options only. You can choose to parent and raise that child, you can choose to place the child for adoption, or you can choose to terminate the pregnancy and have an abortion. But the conversation doesn't end there. Because we will walk through each of those options, honestly, truthfully, without bias without coercion. And, and we talk about the pros and cons of each because there are pros and cons of each of those options. And, and Mike, I have to be honest with you, our centers do not perform or refer for abortion because we value life. But that in no way alters how we present the honest factual information to our clients, because we want every client to know she is valued, and she is loved, and that we want her to make an informed decision.Michael Sipe:
Yeah, I love that takes me back to your statement that you've told me many times, you know, the right to love is, is so critical in this and thank you for offering that to men and women in our region. It's highly probable that there are men and women listening right now who are facing the issue of pregnancy, either for themselves or for someone that they love. So as we begin to close here, what words of guidance or maybe words of encouragement might you have for them?Unknown:
Yeah. Here's my one minute elevator pitch I give everyone when I'm asked this question. When you're in a car accident, and you're taken to the emergency room, the doctors treat your most immediate need. And a pregnancy resource center does that. For you, men or women, when you find yourself in an unplanned pregnancy, we are your emergency room and we talk you through the most life altering surprise moment of your life. We listen, we give you information and we help you move forward. And then no matter what your choice, we are here for you to support you. No matter what.Michael Sipe:
So good. Here's my last question for the day. How can we help? How can people help you? How can we support you? How can we support the work you're doing? Since it's since it's all us that do it and there's no government? You know, we're rolling in.Unknown:
Yeah, yeah. So like I said, you just touched on it. We all thought all of our service serves for free, no money, no insurance free. So naturally, we need financial support. Our supporters, those who choose to pledge monthly to us make it possible for us to keep our doors open. We love them. We appreciate them. But there are other ways you can donate diapers, baby wipes, car seats, those tangible items that all moms need. And then you know we haven't ongoing opportunity for people to recycle cans and bottles. It's a simple thing, we all have them. And we've got designated bags that if you put your cans and bottles in and take them to the Oregon bottle drop, we get the money for that. So if you want to support the pregnancy resource center, visit our website, stop by or contact one of our centers for more information. But honestly, Mike, the best way to support us is to spread the word about the services we provide. If you know someone who is facing an unplanned pregnancy, send them to us. And if you just simply want to know more, call me call one of our centers ask for a tour because we would love to just simply show you around.Michael Sipe:
That's cool. And that's the point of this interview, discussion, conversation, whatever you want to call it and into our listeners, I would just urge you to forward this, this conversation on forward this podcast to your friends. Let people hear Leanne's heart, let them hear about the the valuable services that are being offered. Spread the word, this is a great way to do it. Just Just pass this on to someone that you know, that needs to know about this. Leann. It's been great having you on the show. Thanks for how you're serving the men, women and babies of our community. I got to tell you as a guy, my main my main takeaway is the work that you're doing with men. What an enormous, incredible service and, and, and one that's so desperately needed in our community today. So thanks for your time. Thanks for your message today.Unknown:
Yeah, my thanks for allowing me to share my story on cascade views and giving time and a voice to the important topic of unplanned pregnancy here in Central Oregon. You're soMichael Sipe:
welcome. My guest for this show has been Leanne woods, Executive Director of pregnancy resource centers of Central Oregon. You can learn more about the organization and its services at pr cc o.org. That stands for pregnancy resource centers of Central Oregon prcc o.org. Thanks for tuning in.Narrator:
Thanks for listening to cascade views with Michael SIPE. To find out more about Mike the upcoming election. The key issues he's focused on in his campaign to represent Central Oregon and Salem as a state representative. Visit www dot a voice for Central oregon.com that's www dot a voice for Central oregon.com You can get your own copy of Michael sites best selling book the Avada email@example.com. And finally, please vote in the upcoming election. Your Voice Matters