Abria Pregnancy Resources gains new partner

| February 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

When Cindy Koeppl experienced complications at 26 weeks pregnant with her third child, a couple of doctors urged her to have an abortion because the baby had less than a 5 percent chance of living after birth.

Koeppl, the new executive director of Abria Pregnancy Resources in St. Paul, sought another doctor instead and carried the baby to term despite the baby’s health issues. That doctor told her “hope until there’s no hope left.” Her daughter is now a teenager and runs on her school’s cross country team despite having one lung. She also plays in the school’s orchestra despite deafness from medication.

“When I reflect on all of this and how it has come together, it’s [then] that I realize every woman deserves that reflection … ‘hope until there’s no hope left,’” Koeppl said. “There’s always another way to look at things. That’s what Abria is — hope when fear stops you in your place. It’s a place where people can come and get the full spectrum of options.”

Her experience motivated her to take on her new role at Abria late in 2018 after a corporate career and volunteering in the pro-life movement. She has extra support as she begins that role, as Abria is expected to receive $50,000 from this year’s Catholic Services Appeal Foundation campaign.

“The most important and exciting thing about it is that our base of supporters already will grow because their awareness of what Abria is doing in [Minneapolis and St. Paul] will become heightened,” Koeppl said. “It’s a great gift to us. It’s part of our overall budget of $1.5 million in the year to operate.”

Abria had more than 3,000 women visit its centers in 2018. The fully-certified clinics offer ultrasounds, consultation on expectant mothers’ options and ongoing support services for new mothers.

Originally founded by a religious sister in 1975 as the University LifeCare Center, Abria has continued its mission to help women choose life under its new name. The pregnancy resource center has two locations: one on University Avenue in St. Paul across the street from Planned Parenthood and one on Broadway Avenue in Minneapolis.

“One of the most important things is that Abria has very intentionally positioned herself in the heart of the urban core of both cities,” Koeppl said. “We really are accessible to women right where they are, right where they need to be met.”

Outgoing executive director Nancy Utoft added that the urban core is “where the women are that are most vulnerable for abortions.”

“Our life-affirming mission is something that I would say … represents the full values that the Catholics who give to the appeal embrace,” Utoft said.

Tags: , ,

Category: Catholic Services Appeal