Regulated rights

The well-being of women is often forgotten as lawmakers make decisions that affect their health.

Across the street from a liquor store on Oakwood Avenue stands a tall blue building that resembles a home. It has blue shutters, a walkway filled with small bushes and other plants, and a tall sign near the street that reads, “FREE PREGNANCY TESTS AND ULTRASOUNDS.”

The clinic opens at noon, but CEO Lisa Miller arrives much earlier. First Choice for Women has been in Delaware County since 1986. It doubled in size in early September, opening a second clinic 20 miles away in Anderson. Between the two locations, there was plenty of work to do.

Lisa arrives to a very tidy office. Her redwood-colored bookshelves are filled with white binders labeled for different subjects of law, finances, and general records. Near the window stands a lamp with a small plastic cross tied to the knob to switch the lamp on and off. The cross is from Dollar General, as the barcode sticker still on its back shows. On a pale, slightly yellow wall across from Lisa’s desk hangs a sign bearing a reminder that all things are possible through Christ.

Leslie Hatcher, interim center director of the new facility in Anderson, is at the Muncie center today. Before coming to work, she’d already answered two calls for the 24-Hour Care Line provided by First Choice for women who have no one else to call. One call was from a mother who recently found out her daughter was pregnant. She told Leslie that her daughter trusted First Choice and wanted to come in and talk about her options.

Around 40 people would come to First Choice that week for anything from pregnancy tests to counseling sessions to ultrasounds to baby supplies to parenting lessons. None of them would pay anything for it.

The pro-life, pro-choice debate has been one of the most divisive political issues in American history. The debate takes stage in churches, on bumper stickers, in television shows—most people seem to have opinions on whether or not women have a right to get abortions.

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