By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
Barbara Kincaid has been serving as the Director of the Central W.Va. Center for Pregnancy Care for 17 years in Buckhannon, including working at the Satellite Office set up in Parsons. With a Master’s Degree in Counseling, she has worked as a Social Worker for 25 years, currently being employed at the St. George Medical Clinic.
“The Knights of Columbus was able to raise the money to purchase an ultrasound machine, a portable ultrasound machine, for our pregnancy center in Parsons,” explained Kincaid. Pat Kotten, member of the Knights of Columbus Council 2010 in Thomas, provided additional information about the Faith in Action Life Programs. The literature he provided stated the goal of the program is to “save lives by helping women choose life by giving them the opportunity to view their unborn children on ultrasound machines at pro-life pregnancy centers. This initiative is funded by Knights of Columbus state and local councils with matching grants from the Supreme Council’s Culture of Life Fund.”
“Our center is designed to help women who are undecided. If they choose to have an ultrasound, it confirms their pregnancy and then they can decide what they want to do,” she explained. The difference in choosing to go to a doctor and the pregnancy center to confirm pregnancy is, regardless of whether the woman has insurance, the service will always be free. “But when they’re undecided, those first probably eight weeks are crucial,” Kincaid stated. The purpose of the ultrasound is not to make any diagnosis; it’s simply to confirm pregnancy at an early stage to assist them with the next phases of their decision.
At the Buckhannon Office, St. Joseph’s Hospital has been instrumental in assisting the Pregnancy Center in performing ultrasounds for undecided women, however now they can be performed by the center staff. With the machine being portable, the machine could travel along as needed to assist in pregnancy diagnosis in all regions.
Kincaid confirmed that, in her experience, when a pregnant woman has a chance to see the developing baby earlier than most doctors will perform an ultrasound, it increases the likelihood of that baby being carried to term and either kept or given up for adoption.
Bishop Mark Brennan, of the Wheeling-Charleston Dioecse, made the trip to the Parsons Pregnancy Center Satellite Office to offer his blessing on the ultrasound machine. He began by stating, “God has given us minds and free will, and we can use our minds and free will to do bad things or we can do good things, but what is going on here is using our minds and free will to do good things.”
Scripture from the Book of John was read by Matt Hinkle. Bishop Brennan offered some comments reflecting the reading about the woman who met Jesus Christ at the well. “What we’re trying to do here is preserve that first gift of natural life, and God Willing this machine helps convince some women to look at that and say ‘That’s my baby’.” He shared some stories about individuals he knows or has been made aware of that were undecided if they wanted to terminate their pregnancy, who chose not to and where those children are now. “We preserve the natural life so that we have more people who can respond to that gift of eternal life,” said Bishop Brennan.
Father Timothy Grassi of the Parsons Catholic Church offered a variety of responsive readings with those in attendance. Kincaid was then asked to read a selection of passages. Bishop Brennan asked for everyone to join him in prayer before he went into the room where the sonograms will be performed. He then took a vial of Holy Water and sprinkled it over the ultrasound machine and the monitor.
At the conclusion of the blessing, those in attendance shared stories and snacks that were provided by the Pregnancy Center. If you or someone you know is in need of services including maternity or baby clothing or necessities, a parenting class, or other pregnancy and/or parenting needs, you can call the center at 304-642-8496 for Parsons. For the Thomas area call 304-463-4388, and is located at the St. Thomas Ed Building open each Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. You can also visit their website at www.cwvcpc.com.