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Informed Choices sets pro-life walks

By RENEE WEBB, Globe senior reporter
(Email Renee)

One of four Mother’s Day to Father’s Day Walk for Life events planned in the state will be held in Fort Dodge.

These walks are organized by Informed Choices Medical Clinic, a pro-life organization with clinics in Ames and Iowa City.

Rachel Owen, executive director of Informed Choice of Iowa, said the purpose of the organization is to eliminate the need for abortions.

“We work off of the statistics that 95 percent of women who have had an abortion wish someone would have given them more information,” she said. “We are all about fully informing women on all of their options and the medical side of abortion.”

The walk in Fort Dodge will be held at Kennedy Park on May 31. Local organizer Wynn Touney, a pro-life advocate at Holy Trinity Parish of Webster County, said registration will be held at 8:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 9 a.m.

“We want to be supportive of Informed Choices Medical Clinics that we hope to open in Fort Dodge in the near future,” said Touney, who noted that Holy Trinity Parish has been a vital supporter of this effort that has spread to gain backing of several churches.

The purpose of the walk, she said, is two-fold. First, it acts as a means to raise awareness about the work of Informed Choices and, second, to raise funds for the local clinics.

Owen confirmed that Informed Choices will open a medical clinic in Fort Dodge this summer and has plans to open a fourth clinic in Burlington.

Informed Choices Medical Clinics offer pregnancy testing, obstetrical ultrasounds, early prenatal care, abstinence training, cervical cancer screening, decision-making consultations, post-abortion healing as well as STD risk assessments, testing and treatment. They also provide referrals for persons seeking to learn natural family planning techniques.

The concept of meeting needs is big for Informed Choices clinics, noted Owen, because “every need we meet, we have eliminated a need for an abortion – whether it is an informational need or financial need. We are a very serious pro-life organization.”

She stressed they are an organization that puts their money where their mouth is.

“The vision of Informed Choices Medical Clinics is to cover the state wherever there is a need,” Touney said. “They see a need very definitely in areas with universities and community colleges.”

Owen offered stats to affirm this philosophy in choosing locations.

“Fifty percent of the abortions that are performed in Iowa are performed on college students who are 18 to 24 years old, upper-middle class on their parents’ insurance. Those are the ones having abortions in Iowa,” she said.

Involvement in pro-life activities is not new for Holy Trinity Parish. Touney said they had been active in 40 Days for Life campaigns at their local Planned Parenthood clinic.

“When it closed on Dec. 12, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, that was definitely an answer to our prayers,” said Touney. “At the same time, we had begun the efforts to establish a pregnancy resource center.”

After a visit to the Informed Choices clinic in Ames, they opted to pursue a pro-life medical clinic.
Everyone is welcome to participate in the Walk for Life in Fort Dodge or the other three locations of Iowa City, Burlington or Ames. Those who walk will receive pledges. For those who reach $250 in pledges, they will receive a T-shirt.

You can register to walk at www.iowawalkforlife.org. You may also call Touney at (515) 576-2296 for more information or to receive a pledge flier.

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