by Karen Harris Brooks
For New Pittsburgh Courier

In 1985, The Pregnancy Care Center opened in Wexford to provide a wide range of pregnancy-related services. It was the beginning of a ministry that would “defend, rescue and deliver” countless newborns who continue to make a difference in the lives of those who fight to save them.

Serving women in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh, the Crossroads Pregnancy Services also became a reality. These two professional clinics united to form the Women’s Choice Network, an alternative choice to abortion. Current locations include Wexford, Oakland, Monroeville Mall and more recently, Hosanna House in Wilkinsburg.

On Nov. 13, The Rivers Club Downtown, was the setting for a day of fund-raising for the Women’s Choice Network. The events began with a press conference, followed immediately by “One Great Mission Brunch,” and culminated with a “Gala Dinner.”

Under the leadership of Executive Director Amy Scheuring, author and founder of The Chastity Challenge, members of this board of directors gave new significance to the value of compassion. The Women’s Choice Network strongly desires and needs the support of the African-American community, Scheuring said.

With a caring attentiveness, the Christian-based ministry works to empower abortion-vulnerable women, informing them of the choice of life. “This message,” states Scheuring, “must come from the African-American community, where pregnancies, abortion, STDs…are ravaging.” The centers, she continues, present “a vision and tools to help young women” who are at a pivotal moment in their lives.

The two Black members serving on this board of directors are Judge Cheryl Allen of the Pennsylvania Superior Court and Rev. Dr. William R. Glaze Sr., senior pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Homewood. Reverend Glaze said he was “excited about the positive support of the organization.” Impressed with the “favorable focus on education that deals with the importance of abstinence,” he said he is pleased with the impact the staff and volunteers are making on the young people who seek help and/or counseling.

The message of remaining abstinent until marriage was brought to life by an outspoken young woman who is passionate about both her life and her beliefs. An anomaly, Lakita Garth, media consultant and author of “The Naked Truth,” made a choice, at a very early age, to remain chaste until marriage. The straight-shooting speaker tells her story in a loving, humorous, and genuine manner. “African-American children need more role models,” she says. “Growing up in an area where the term ‘baby’s daddy’ was commonplace,” she says she is determined to let young people know that abstinence provides an answer to their choices. “We teach them the ABC’s,” she says passionately, “but we do not teach them the CBAs: Conceive It, Believe It, Achieve It!” An international speaker and youth pastor, her message is a catalyst for the determination of perseverance and conviction.

The former Miss Black California who “talks the talk and walks the walk,” is married to Carl Jeffrey Wright, president and CEO of Urban Ministries, Inc. The family lives in the Chicago area.

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