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Group Celebrates 33 Years of Helping Expectant Mothers

8:27 PM, Feb 10, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Birthright celebrates 33 years of helping expectant mothers in the Midlands.

"We're in the baby business," said co-founder, Hank Chardos.

Chardos and his wife, Sally, have turned their family business into a business of making families. Birthright is celebrating 33 years of helping women support themselves and their babies.

"So often we come and that girl doesn't even have herself to count on. So now she can look at somebody in their eyes and say, 'I want to go through the preganacy with you," he said. "And I've said that to tens of thousands of girls who have come here."

The state's teen birth rate ranks 11th in the country. But it wasn't until that statistic was staring Chardos in the face did he really understand.

"A family member came to us and said, 'I can't tell my parents that I'm pregnant. What can I do?' The next time that we talked to her was in two weeks and she ended up getting an abortion. And that's really when it came through the front door," Chardos said.

Other than Hank and Sally, Birthright is run by volunteers. And although they've seen many bouncing bundles come through their doors, it doesn't happen all the time.

"A statement we hear a lot is that when a woman will have an abortion they'll regret it. But we have yet to hear someone who has given birth to a child say they regret it. It changes your life but it's in a positive way," said John Staab. He and his wife, Rosanne met at Birthright when they started volunteering in 2009.

Even though Birthright is clearly a pro-life group, you won't see them rallying on State House grounds any time soon.

"We don't get inolved in picketing, we don't get involved in lobbying," Chardos said. "If you say you're pro-life you have to provide alternatives."

With 33 years under their belt, they're hoping to continue the mission and see more babies coming back to see them.

"I'm not going to be around forever, but it's been 33 years and we're looking for a lot more years, a lot more volunteers to continue that effort," Chardos said.

Birthright is looking for new volunteers. Training will begin Tuesday, Frebruary 26 at 6:30 p.m at 1405 Gregg St. For more information, call 781-7457.

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