Just 18 years old, Kailee was ashamed at who she had become.
Hooked on drugs and alcohol and living with her drug dealer, she had spent her teen years trying to drown out the pain of her childhood, where she watched her father go in and out of the prison system due to his addiction.
Now, before she even finished high school, Kailee found herself at the crossroads she had dreaded since she plunged herself down a self-destructive path at age 13.
But, as much as she didn’t want to believe it, there’s no arguing the results of a positive pregnancy test.
“The last thing I wanted to do was to bring a baby into this same, broken situation,” Kailee said in a video recorded for Heartbeat International’s Babies Go to Congress Jan. 21 in Washington, D.C. “I was a fatherless mess. After crying, and thinking about it, I decided I was going to have an abortion.”
For Kailee, the motive for an abortion was almost an afterthought. No way could she subject a child to the disastrous situation she found herself sunk into. Wouldn’t it be crueler to bring a baby into that situation than… the alternative?
The means were also readily at hand. Her boyfriend had been through this situation before—twice, to be exact—with a previous girlfriend. He knew the cost of an abortion, and he knew the Planned Parenthood he could send Kailee off to in order to end her child’s life and preserve his lifestyle.
All Kailee needed was an opportunity to go and carry out the only decision she felt she had.
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As it happened, another opportunity presented itself before she darkened the doors of Planned Parenthood. Kailee’s mother had told a group of co-workers about her daughter’s predicament during a meeting, and a man handed her a piece of paper with the information to reach Care Net Pregnancy Center of Central New York.
“When I walked through the doors of Care Net, I literally felt like I was (covered) under a cloud of shame,” Kailee said. “I was embarrassed at who I was, the fact that I was going to have an abortion, and everything that my life had become.”
Sitting across the table from a peer counselor, Kailee was given crucial information about fetal development and the available procedures she could choose to end her child’s life through abortion.
While she was interested in the conversation, Kailee’s mind was still made up. She was going to abort her child.
That’s when the discussion took a turn Kailee wasn’t expecting. As it turned out, it would be her first step toward embracing motherhood and seeking the wholeness she’d found so elusive in her first 18 years.
“She had a hope and she had a joy that I was drawn to,” Kailee said of her peer counselor. “Immediately, my situation was filled with light and hope. I knew from the moment of standing up from that meeting with her, I was going to keep my baby no matter what. I knew that God loved me and had a plan for my life and my baby’s.”
Amazingly, not only did Kailee choose to parent her daughter rather than abort her, both she and her then-boyfriend—a drug dealer at the time—were able to put their past lives behind them, get married and are now the proud parents of three.
More than seven years after her first appointment with the life-affirming center, which is opening its seventh location just outside of Syracuse in the coming months, Kailee had the chance to introduce the baby the center’s staff had empowered her to rescue to four U.S. congressional members a day before the March for Life.
Kailee and her 7-year-old daughter, Preslee, spent Jan. 21 telling their story to U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), along with Reps. Richard Hanna (R-NY) and Elise M. Stefanik (R-NY) as part of Heartbeat International’s 14th Babies Go to Congress.
Kailee was one of six moms to share her story on Capitol Hill during the day, as the women and their children offered living proof that pregnancy centers are good for America.
“I cannot thank the work of pregnancy centers enough for how they have changed my life, my husband’s life, and impacted our whole family,” Kailee said. “The women from Care Net didn’t leave me after I chose life. They have mentored me, they have taught me how to be a good mom, how to be a godly mom, how to be a good wife, and how to make Jesus the center of it all.”