The effort to promote life and protect unborn babies in Central Louisiana just got stronger with the opening of the Avoyelles Pregnancy Center on April 9

The site, a 600-sq.-ft. facility located at 115 Ferdinand Street, Suite 3, in Marksville, is a satelite site of the Cenla Pregnancy Center, opened in Alexandria less than two years ago. This pro-life ministry center is the first of its kind in Avoyelles parish.

The Avoyelles center currently operates Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., offering an array of services including free pregnancy tests, post-abortive Bible study resources, consultation from trained client advocates, educational classes, a boutique in which they can earn credits to acquire maternity and baby items, as well as community referrals to help mothers find a doctor to care for them, insurance coverage, and public assistance when needed. Center leaders at the Avoyelles parish site hope to also provide ultrasound services soon to determine how far along a woman’s pregnancy is, if the pregnancy is in the uterus, and if there is a heartbeat.

Heidi Peavy, RN, who served as office manager at the Cenla Pregnancy Center since its opening in December 2017, will serve as the Director of the Avoyelles Pregnancy Center. “Many of the women think they have no other option other than abortion, and we are here to make sure they know that there is another option,” Peavy said. “We are ready to give them all the resources available that let the pregnant women know they can choose life.

The opening of the center in Avoyelles Parish fulfills a dream of Claire Lemoine, director of the Cenla Pregnancy Center. “It’s incredible to think the Lord has allowed us to expand our services after only 15 short months of being open in Alexandria.

The Cenla Pregnancy Center has served more than 225 women since its opening. “This will raise awareness of the services we offer and will help expecting mothers who may not have the transportation to travel all the way from near Marksville to Alexandria.”

“Saving babies is the most important reason we exist, and we anticipate what God will do when this new center opens its doors,” says Lemoine. According to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, 30 women in Avoyelles Parish had an abortion in 2018. By opening a pregnancy in Marksville, ministry leaders hope to better serve those women in need of resources and support in the Avoyelles area, ridding them of the need to look outside of their own community for assistance

“We noticed that 90% of our clients were from Rapides Parish, and we saw that 30 mothers in Marksville and in Avoyelles Parish had an abortion last year,” says Brian Gunter, Cenla Pregnancy Center’s Board President.

“We weren’t serving them at our Alexandria office. So we’re opening Avoyelles Pregnancy Center as a way to reach those women and to help them. We want this service to be here in their community so that they don’t have to drive all the way to Alexandria, right here in Marksville, Avoyelles Pregnancy Center can help them.

Heidi Peavy can currently be reached at or by calling 318-314-3061. One-time or recurring financial gifts can be donated through