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Hundreds turnout to support Center for Pregnancy Choices

More than 100 people took to the streets in downtown Vicksburg Saturday and walked a mile in support of the unborn and pregnant women.

The annual Walk for Life serves as a fundraiser for the Center for Pregnancy Choices, which supports women with pre-natal care, free pregnancy tests, assistance with Medicaid and more. Following a balloon release, the mile-long walk started and ended at the Center for Pregnancy Choices.

“We released 108 balloons, which is representative of the number of Warren County women who received abortions at the Jackson clinic in 2016,” Center for Pregnancy Choices executive director Priscilla Black said. “We talked about how we will keep supporting women and families and unexpected pregnancies and all pregnancies until we don’t have to release any balloons.”

A final tally wasn’t available, but Black said the event raised between $7,000 and $10,000. The top fundraiser was Robert Fuller, who raised more than $2,000 for the center.

“It was about twice the size it was last year,” Black said. “If we can keep that trend, we’ll be good.”

Black said the Center for Pregnancy Choices — in addition to a number of other services and counseling — works to support pregnant women by helping to fill the gap of available medical care during the first trimester.

“We help women to get all their prerequisites for Medicaid in,” Black said. “There is a 30-day gap between when you turn in your paperwork and when you can actually be seen by a doctor.”

That 30-day gap causes women to miss their initial ultrasound to check for issues that cause high-risk pregnancies and check the viability of the pregnancy. Women also miss out on the initial pre-natal education on how to care for themselves and their unborn baby.

“We do a lot of that first trimester pre-natal education and we have a full-time nurse that does limited ultrasounds that check for viability and high risk,” Black said. “We also do free pregnancy tests, because part of what you need to get approved for Medicaid is proof of pregnancy from a medical organization or clinic.”

All services provided by the center are free, and the money from the walk enables them to continue to help women in need.