TO help a girl or woman to see the bigger picture, beyond her immediate pregnancy crisis, enabling her to consider all her options in a confidential, loving and supportive environment, is what New Life Crisis Pregnancy Centre is all about.Newly elected chief executive officer of the centre, Johanna George, said she takes up the challenge in great spirits and aims to be of service to even more girls and women in a pregnancy crisis, regardless of their age, background, financial status, race or religion.“This centre has been of service to the community for the past 20 years, which is proof that our services are definitely needed in Uitenhage,” said Johanna.“One of the major challenges is to inform girls and women about abortions. There are a lot of misconceptions and ignorance. It is my wish during my term to strive to enhance on education with regard to all aspects of this deliberate termination of a pregnancy.”According to Johanna, statistics show that more pregnant girls choose an abortion than the option to have their child adopted. This whilst a growing number of married couples so wish to adopt a child.“My other focus point will be adoptions. Is it not better to have your baby adopted by a loving couple who so dearly would like to have a child, than to let the child grow up in a destructive environment or opting for an abortion?“To me an abortion is nothing other than murder. Posters are put up everywhere and girls think an abortion is a quick fix to get rid of ‘a blob’. It is not ‘a blob’, it is a human being, a new life.“That is why one of the centre’s mottos is that ‘every life is precious, God creates life. Every pregnancy is a creation from God’,” said Johanna.The core function at the centre is to offer a girl or woman a free pregnancy test, after which she will be assisted, through lay- counselling, to cope with the result of the test.“Sometimes a pregnancy is a crisis, whatever the reasons might be. And if a pregnancy is a crisis to you, then this centre is there for you, come and visit us, we will assist you,” said Johanna. Some of the other free services at the centre include: .Lay-counseling for a miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss, HIV/Aids and abortion recovery .Ante-natal classes: informal classes run by a retired nursing sister discussing the development of the baby, birth, breastfeeding, basic health and hygiene and baby care. .Loving Moms/Liefdevolle Mammas/Oomama Abanothando: A emotional support group teaching healthy parenting skills. .Beauty & Baby: How to take care of your newborn without losing interest in yourself. .Practical support: Baby clothes, toiletries, nappies and other baby items are provided to clients during ongoing visits and attending programmes.The centre is a non profit organisation affiliated to Africa Cares for Life, an umbrella body that helps the over 60 Crisis Pregnancy Centres in South Africa to network with one another.Each centre operates solely on donations, both financial and material.“Our entire centre is funded thanks to the support of our community. It is operated by trained volunteers who give freely of their time, skill and love,” said Johanna.These volunteers are the listening ears and provide shoulders to lean on for those who are in need. How can the public be of support? By volunteering, donating material needed, prayer support or financial support. ) Enquiries: The centre is situated at 130 Caledon Street, Uitenhage and operates on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 09:00-13:00; Wednesdays 09:00-15:30. For more information contact 041 991 0217 or 072 688 0560.