Thirty-one-year-old Tosha contacted True Care Women’s Resource Center in Casper, Wyo., stating her intention to abort. Meeting with a patient advocate, she explained her reasons.
“My second pregnancy was difficult, and my baby ended up with a heart defect and other abnormalities,” Tosha said. “He’s had four heart surgeries. I can’t go through that agony again. I had to quit my job to be with him, and all the medical bills have been difficult to pay.”
Tosha was too early for an ultrasound and refused the opportunity to have one the following week. The nurse suggested she speak to a doctor regarding the chances of her current unborn child having the same medical issues—or any at all.
She left still planning to abort. During a medical follow-up call a week later, True Care’s nurse learned that Tosha had not terminated her pregnancy. She had followed the nurse’s advice and talked with a physician.
“May I still have an ultrasound?” Tosha inquired.
Her boyfriend was with her when she came to her appointment. Excited to see their 7-week-old on the screen, the couple left planning to parent.
Pregnancy centers matter. True Care made all the difference for Tosha.
The same goes for Heidi, a 45-year-old who discovered the center online. Although she said she was undecided, she was leaning toward abortion because of her age and the fact she was single.
Heidi told the advocate she had recently moved to the community and felt alone. Her boyfriend had left her, and she didn’t have enough money to return to her hometown. She admitted she was scared.
“I have kids in their 20s,” she said. “I don’t know if I could just start over.”
Heidi and her advocate discussed adoption.
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“That’s a good choice for some women,” she said. “But I don’t think I could carry a baby and then give it to someone else.”
With a positive pregnancy test result, Heidi was given an ultrasound. The image of her 10-week-old unborn appeared on the screen. Her eyes widened at the development of her baby. She asked True Care’s nurse several questions, concerned about deformities due to her age and the fact she had a minor surgery earlier in the year.
The nurse assured her that she would receive physician referrals and encouraged her to talk with a doctor about those concerns. Following the appointment with her doctor, Heidi met up with her advocate, who asked her how she was feeling.
“It’s so amazing,” Heidi told her. “I just want to cry!”
The advocate asked if she was still undecided about her pregnancy outcome. “No,” Heidi replied. “I’m going to keep this baby! I really want to.”
These stories are just two examples of the difference pregnancy centers make every day. This is why our work matters. Had True Care not been here for Tosha and Heidi, they would not have been encouraged to talk with physicians regarding their medical concerns, would not have had opportunity to see their unborn on an ultrasound, and would not have received the encouragement and referrals they needed.
Both babies could easily have been lost to abortion.
With the closure of Planned Parenthood in Casper and various communities around the country, True Care and other pregnancy centers are experiencing an increase in abortion-minded and abortion-determined patients. Who would serve these women and their unborn if pregnancy centers didn’t exist?
This year, True Care welcomed more than 350 women through our doors. Nearly half of those with positive pregnancy tests were assessed as abortion-minded or abortion-determined—a significant increase over last year. More than three-quarters were open to hearing the Gospel, and some confessed a newfound Christian faith during their appointments.
The work we do matters. We are here for women like Tosha and Heidi. With over 1,100 centers in the U.S. offering medical services, these women learn the truth about their pregnancies through medical consultations, ultrasound, STD testing and pregnancy options education.
Through pregnancy centers, women and families learn of valuable community resources they often didn’t know existed. They learn about parenting and adoption through long-term education programs like Earn While You Learn and True Care’s Baby & Me classes. They find encouragement through meeting with advocates, nurses and program coordinators.
And, they are introduced to God’s love and grace found in the Gospel.
Pregnancy centers are important, not only in saving the lives of unborn children, but also because we offer women hope, inspiration and confidence—all of which they aren’t likely to receive anywhere else. Even when a woman doesn’t choose life, we are here for her, too, with abortion recovery programs, helping once again bring hope and confidence to those women.
Pregnancy centers matter, now and into the future. We who work in this particular mission field know that the stakes are high. As 2018 dawns, may we continue fighting the battle for life, knowing that the work we do is important… and life-saving.