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Laura Austin Photo / New Executive Director Judy Bernard.

Ridgecrest Pregnancy Care Center under new leadership

By LAURA QUEZADA News Review Staff Writer–

Ridgecrest Pregnancy Care Center is holding a donations-only sale in its parking lot tomorrow, Saturday, June 1, from 8 a.m. until 12 noon. Donations-only means you pay what you wish; there is no set price. They are clearing out their extra storage space with plans to turn it into a training center. You will find baby clothes, baby shoes, jumpers, bouncers, and more.

You may have seen little baby bottles with a coin slot around town labeled “Ridgecrest Pregnancy Care Center 760-384-2273.” New Executive Director Judy Bernard tells us that is one way to donate to this 501 (c)(3) that provides services for free to women of all ages who may need their services. The baby bottle campaign ends on Father’s Day. You can also donate on their website.

Bernard tells us, “Since March 1, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital has had no OB-GYN services. So we have to extend our services so we can be what the community needs and in whatever way that we can help.

“We are pro-life, so we don’t refer out for abortions; however, we do talk about all the options that they have available. If they don’t want to keep the baby, we have a referral system for adoption. We have lay counseling, adoption information, abortion alternatives, referrals, abstinence education, post-abortion support, and loss of child and STDs.” On Thursdays, they conduct ultrasounds from 2 pm to 5 pm.

The Center offers an online education program, Bright, that provides a way for participants to learn and earn points. As they complete a module, they earn points that they can use to purchase goods from their boutique, which is filled with baby goods. Their website says that Bright offers “online parenting classes, as well as helping new moms understand their pregnancy through trimesters. We have videos ranging from single parenting, to co-parenting and how to take care of your newborn baby. We have over 2,000 videos available.”

There are several volunteers who assist in keeping the Center viable, including their bookkeeper, outreach coordinator, and lay counselors who receive specialized training. On staff are Sonographer Mikaela Anderson and Nurse Manager Laurie Ochoa.

Bernard is a former Ridgecrest resident who kept her ties to the area after moving to the Greater Tehachapi Region. Bernard earned a bachelor’s degree in Theology and Practical Ministry and is a former licensed Registered Behavior Technician. She taught at Immanuel Christian School for several years and has a wealth of experience working with families in crisis and at-risk kids. For the past 11 years she traveled throughout East Kern County for Autism Learning Partners.

The Ridgecrest Pregnancy Care Center is located at 341 East Ridgecrest Boulevard. It is open three days per week and plans to extend its hours as needed. Its current hours are Tuesdays from 2 pm to 6 pm, Wednesdays from 10 am to 2 pm, and Thursdays from 12 noon to 5 pm. The boutique is open on Wednesdays.