Praise Report submitted by Emily, PDHC Center Staff
Sophia came to PDHC seeking a pregnancy test. She shared that she had a lot going on in her life right now and needed time to think. During her consultation, it became evident Sophia was holding on to unresolved emotions from a past abortion. PDHC’s Abortion Recovery program was offered to her and she accepted.
A member of the Abortion Recovery team reached out to Sophia the next day. It was during this conversation Sophia shared a recent physical assault, that happened before she realized she was pregnant. She was greatly concerned about the health of her unborn baby.
On her next visit to PDHC, Sophia talked about the mistakes she had made in her past, and improvements she was making to take better care of herself and doing what was best for her baby. She was provided counseling resources to help her deal with her recent traumatic events. When the nurse followed up with her the following week, Sophia shared how happy her and the father of the baby were, and that they had decided to parent.
A few months later, Sophia gave birth to a beautiful baby boy! She joined PDHC's Family Empowerment Program and began taking classes to learn as much as she could about being a new mom. She expressed how appreciative she was of the pregnancy services, the abortion recovery programs, the parenting education, and the material services offered by PDHC. Sophia attributes her son's life and her personal healing and growth to the loving care she was given by the nurses, volunteers, and other staff at PDHC.
Camila* was brought to PDHC by a trusted friend; she just learned that morning she was pregnant and did not want to keep this baby. Camila sat down with a volunteer who was able to speak with her in her native language. Camila explained to the volunteer that she already was content with her family the way it was and did not want the hassle of having to start over again with another baby. Camila also shared that her boyfriend was thrilled with the pregnancy and wanted her to have the baby, but she could not get excited about it and saw the pregnancy as a burden.
The volunteer was able to share community resources and materials with Camila in her language, as well as talk through all her options one by one. The volunteer answered many questions Camila had about abortion procedures, adoption, and the possibility of having this baby. Camila said she had a lot to think through and agreed to an ultrasound to find out just how far along she was.
The nurse discovered that Camila was very early in the pregnancy – so early in fact, that a baby could not yet be seen. Camila said she was relieved to have a little time to consider her options and to talk through things with her boyfriend. She agreed to come back for another ultrasound a few days later.
Camila returned the following week, and a very small baby was seen on the ultrasound screen. Camila asked for a picture of her baby, but still was very undecided on whether to move forward with the pregnancy, or to end it. The nurse stayed in touch with Camila over the next few days and offered her another free ultrasound – Camila happily accepted.
When Camila returned for her third ultrasound the baby was much bigger than before and was starting to wiggle just a little bit. The baby was measuring right on track and the heartbeat was strong. By this time Camila had told a couple of family members about the pregnancy, and she brought her sister with her to this appointment. They both smiled and talked about the baby during the ultrasound, and at the end Camila said she had chosen to keep this baby and complete her family.
Camila was so appreciative of the services PDHC was able to offer her; she did not have health insurance or a doctor, but PDHC connected her to free care for herself and her baby. Camila also joined the PDHC Parenting Program and will be able to learn lots of helpful things and collect free diapers and other baby items along her journey.
Theresa* came to PDHC and said she was here for an abortion. "I want to do this before I am too far along," was one of her first statements. The nurse sat down with Theresa to hear her story and understand why she felt abortion was her only option. Theresa shared a difficult life filled with trauma and loss, leading to her own struggle with alcoholism. Theresa had suffered several miscarriages and did not know if she could even carry this pregnancy to term, and this time she didn’t want to try. Theresa had come a long way though; she was several months sober and had a supportive and loving mother to help her navigate through life. Theresa also shared that she was not in a relationship with the father of the baby and had no plans to tell him about this pregnancy, as she did not feel he would be a good support in her life. Theresa felt the abortion pill was the best way to go.
The nurse shared with Theresa that the women in PDHC’s abortion recovery program so often tell us that they wish someone had told them to "slow down" so they could learn about their options and resources available to them, and they possibly would not have made a decision that they later had come to deeply regret. “If only someone would have taken the time to listen and care,“ many say. This made sense to Theresa and so she agreed to listen. To learn. To take her time.
The nurse offered Theresa an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy; Theresa agreed. As the nurse was looking at the screen, she saw twins!! For Theresa, the emotions were many - panic, fear, excitement, and she was immediately overwhelmed. If she did not want to go through with a single pregnancy, how could she possibly fathom having twins? And with her history of miscarriage, what would this mean? Since the pregnancy was still very early Theresa agreed to come back in one week to recheck the babies. She also agreed to prayer.
During the next week Theresa had a chance to “slow down” and think through her options and review all the information the nurse shared with her. Theresa returned with her mom one week later, and when the nurse brought them into the ultrasound room, they both shared, "We have decided we can do this - we are going to keep them!" Tears were shed as emotions flooded the room. The ultrasound showed growth and 2 healthy babies. Theresa is in prenatal care and is excited about the pregnancy. The nurse informed Theresa about PDHC’s Parenting Classes/Family Empowerment Program, as well as the many community resources available for families. Theresa and her mom thanked the nurse for encouraging them to slow down - to make a decision that was right for them - a decision for not one, but 2 lives!
*Emma came to PDHC after learning she was newly pregnant. She was discouraged, feeling lots of guilt and shame about this unplanned pregnancy, and was wishing she could just rewind her life for the past six months. Emma was in a relationship with someone she knew she didn’t want to marry, but with feelings of loneliness and little self-worth, she had been pressured into going further in this relationship than she originally anticipated.
When Emma told her boyfriend about the positive pregnancy test, he was angry and told Emma to “get rid of it.” Emma didn’t want to have a baby right now, and she didn’t want to have an abortion either, but she was fearful of what her boyfriend would say or do if she didn’t. When searching for “abortion information” on the internet, Emma found the number for PDHC and sent a text asking for help.
Emma was scheduled for a confirming pregnancy test and an ultrasound to check and see how far along she was, and if the pregnancy was viable. During the ultrasound Emma was able to see her baby and knew it was a life that she didn’t want to take, but she could not bring herself to face the fact that she was going to be a mother either. She felt ill-equipped and not ready for such a big responsibility. Emma said, “How can I take care of an innocent baby when I cannot even take care of myself?”
But the kind nurse that helped Emma that day brought up another option – an option that she never even considered – adoption. Emma expressed her concerns to the nurse saying, “Am I a bad person for giving away my baby to strangers?” The nurse explained that adoption is very different than how many people perceive adoption to be, and there is something called Open Adoption. Emma learned she could choose a family to raise her child, a family that has been thoroughly screened, and have an open relationship with them if she would choose to in the future.
Emma left that day happy that she came to PDHC, happy that she was given REAL options, and happy that she didn’t feel pressured into making any decision she didn’t want to. She couldn’t rewind time, but she could make good choices going forward – for herself, and her baby.
Emma returned to PDHC mid-pregnancy saying she wanted to go forward with an adoption plan for her baby. The nurse explained the process to Emma and gave her resources to get connected to an adoption agency. Emma is always welcome at PDHC for support as she goes through the adoption process and chooses LIFE for her baby.
*Tisha, a previous PDHC client, was pregnant – again. She thought about calling PDHC, but she knew she would be offered help with her baby and she didn't want to hear that right now. She and the father of the baby were in agreement that they were, without a doubt, having an abortion. After all, this pregnancy was an accident. Another child was not in their plans. Tisha went to a local abortion provider fully intending on terminating her pregnancy, but something happened during the ultrasound; there was not one, but two babies! Tisha immediately got up and walked out of that abortion facility stunned, confused and in disbelief. In that moment, she needed someone to talk to. Someone to help her think through this. She picked up her phone and called PDHC.
She wanted honest, practical advice and she knew, based on her previous experience, that she would find that at PDHC. When Tisha arrived for her appointment at PDHC, she explained what had taken place, her thoughts and her struggle in making a decision. Tisha said that her family believed that twins were a sign from God, and, despite the fact that neither Tisha nor her boyfriend had twins in their families, somehow this was happening to them.
Tisha requested an ultrasound to confirm she was having twins before making her final decision. She said if it was just one baby, abortion would be the decision she would make, but if it were really twins, she would consider that a sign and keep the babies.
The ultrasound revealed 2 babies with strong heartbeats! During that ultrasound, Tisha had time to bond with her babies as she saw their little arms, legs and beating hearts. Even though she was still early in her pregnancy she was amazed to see how these tiny babies looked like – babies! Tisha was happy to receive pictures to show her family; the nurse talked to Tisha about next steps and scheduling prenatal care.
During a recent follow-up call, Tisha reported that she scheduled a pre-natal care appointment and is excited as she gets used to the idea of having twins. She has lots of family support and is invited to take part in the PDHC Parenting Program during and after her pregnancy to help with practical education and resources.
We praise God for the gift of ultrasound, His divine intervention and HIs good plans for Tisha and her family.
*Sophie called the PDHC hotline seeking abortion information. Sophie is married, has children, and was shocked to find out she was unexpectedly pregnant again. With her hands full, and her family seemingly complete, Sophie was not interested in having another child. The hotline worker explained that PDHC does not offer abortions, but rather information on her options as well as a free ultrasound. Sophie agreed to make an appointment with a nurse.
When Sophie arrived for her ultrasound appointment, the nurse spent time with Sophie to see how she could help. Sophie saw abortion as the only option and the nurse went through abortion options at this stage in the pregnancy, as well as shared adoption information, and what keeping this baby might look like for Sophie. The ultrasound revealed that the pregnancy was very early, and Sophie agreed to come back for a second ultrasound the following week to determine viability before making her decision.
The next week came and went and Sophie was a no-show for her ultrasound appointment. The nurse reached out and was able to reschedule her, but again she did not come. After not showing up a third time the nurse wondered if Sophie had gone ahead and terminated the pregnancy. The nurse reached out to Sophie one last time to check on her, and potentially offer Sophie information on PDHC’s post-abortion support program. By this time six weeks had passed from the first ultrasound appointment; to the nurse’s surprise, Sophie responded to her text and asked to come back in for another ultrasound. Sophie was still pregnant!
During these six weeks Sophie’s family had surrounded her with support, offers to help and encouraged her to have this baby. Many people prayed that Sophie would change her mind and want to keep her baby. Sophie had time to think about her decision. Sophie’s husband brought her in for this last ultrasound appointment at PDHC; he had already made a doctor’s appointment for his wife for prenatal care. Sophie was now able to see her 12-week active baby moving around with arms waving and legs kicking during the ultrasound. Sophie told the nurse she did not want to end her pregnancy now, and accepted ultrasound pictures and baby booties.
PDHC continues to support Sophie through her pregnancy as she is now a part of the Parenting Program, learning about how to better herself and her family, and getting free baby items along the way. We are so grateful for all the supporters who prayed for Sophie during her initial decision-making process, and for those who continue to hold Sophie in their hearts and minds.
*Ally came to PDHC for help. She was pregnant and had already seen a doctor for her pregnancy. She was in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend and he was insisting she have an abortion, despite the fact that she was already in her second trimester and didn’t want to. When Ally was searching for abortion information and options, she came across PDHC and made an appointment with a nurse to talk through her options.
When Ally and the nurse were alone, Ally broke down and said she did not want to have this abortion, but she was afraid of her boyfriend. The nurse talked with Ally about what emotional abuse looks like in a relationship and went over some literature with her. Ally was surprised, and said her boyfriend possessed many of the characteristics listed, including controlling her decisions. Ally took this information and decided she was going to make a safety plan. The nurse referred Ally to a local domestic violence shelter to help her leave the relationship and keep her safe.
Then Ally had an ultrasound. As the nurse did the ultrasound, they were able to see a large baby wiggling around. The heartbeat was evident, and in that moment, Ally bonded with her baby. Ally said she was already a mother and there was no way she could have an abortion now that she has seen her child, but she was afraid.
Ally wanted to empower herself to tell her boyfriend she was not going to terminate this pregnancy. She learned about the procedures, risks, and side-effects of a surgical abortion. The nurse provided her with all this information and talked with her about adoption, parenting and all the resources available to her. That day Ally made her choice to save the life of her baby.
Ally still faces difficulties as she plans her future and the future of her baby. The nurse at PDHC has stayed in touch and will walk along side her in this journey. We continue to hold Ally close to our hearts during this time, and ask that you lift her up in prayer. We are thankful for the strength and courage she found to choose life for her baby!
*Katrina called PDHC asking about pregnancy options. Katrina just took a home pregnancy test and to her surprise, it was positive. Katrina had some health concerns and her only other child just graduated high school. A pregnancy was not in Katrina's plans.
Katrina choose to schedule a socially distanced televisit with PDHC. She and her consultant had a heart-felt conversation and Katrina confided in her consultant that she thought abortion was probably the best decision. At the end of their conversation, Katrina decided to scheduled a time to come to PDHC for an ultrasound to check on the gestational age of the baby and to see if there was a heartbeat. Katrina had no idea how far along she might be.
A couple of days later Katrina came to PDHC and was able to see a very tiny baby on the ultrasound screen. Since she was so early in the pregnancy, the heart rate was detectable, but was in the early stages and still climbing. A follow-up ultrasound was scheduled to verify a healthy heart rate, and Katrina said in the meantime she would think about her decision. Unfortunately, Katrina never showed up for her next ultrasound appointment and the nurse was unable to reach her.
A month went by and Katrina's consultant reached out to Katrina again by text. She asked Katrina if she had made a decision and offered help with pregnancy resources, or if she would be interested in support if she had an abortion. Katrina responded and said all is well. After the ultrasound, she had decided to continue the pregnancy and parent her baby! She had scheduled prenatal care, and was going forward with the pregnancy!
Despite uncertain times and changes in her life, Katrina made the decision to have faith and press on. We continue to support Katrina during her pregnancy!
Audrey *took a home pregnancy test – it was positive. Her heart sank, and she panicked. “I must have an abortion,” she thought. Audrey told her mother, Janeen*, she was pregnant, but told her not to worry because she was planning to have an abortion. Audrey had just finished high school, but still lived at home, and didn’t want a baby to be an extra burden on her family.
With her daughter pregnant and planning to have an abortion, Janeen wondered why Audrey thought having an abortion would make her feel better. Did her daughter think she wouldn't love her? Did she think she wouldn't accept her since she was pregnant? With so many confusing thoughts running through her head, Janeen knew PDHC would be the best place to bring Audrey to sort things out.
Janeen brought Audrey to PDHC for an ultrasound appointment. Though Audrey was early in her pregnancy, they could see a baby with a heartbeat. The nurse spent time explaining things as the ultrasound went on, pointing out the heartbeat and explaining the measurements. The baby was measuring almost 7 weeks.
Janeen was happy on the inside, but was afraid to show her emotion. Audrey saw her tiny baby on the screen, and secretly got excited, but didn’t want her mother to think she wanted to keep this baby she had already decided to abort. After all, how could Audrey expect her mother to take on an extra burden?
After the ultrasound, the nurse took time to answer the questions Audrey had and explained abortion procedures, risks and potential side-effects. The nurse also planted a seed by telling Audrey that if she changed her mind, it was okay and that PDHC would support her and provide her with resources to care for her baby should she choose to parent.
Audrey and Janeen left that day and went home – both secretly excited about this baby, but both afraid to tell each other. A few days later, the nurse called to check on Audrey and give her the results of her ultrasound. Between the time they had left PDHC and when the nurse called, Audrey and her mom had a heart-to-heart. They were both in agreement that they wanted this baby!
We thank the Lord for working in this relationship and in the hearts of this new mom and grandma. We praise God for this beautiful life decision! Audrey is currently connected to care with her doctor, and is receiving support from PDHC throughout her pregnancy.
*Names were changed to protect privacy.
Late one night a PDHC hotline volunteer received a frantic phone call from Stacy* who was looking for help. Two days prior, Stacy visited an abortion provider and began a dilation and evacuation abortion procedure by having laminaria placed – this is a procedure where rods are placed with the intention of dilating or opening up the cervix in a second-trimester or later term abortion. Stacy had an appointment in just a few hours to go back to the abortion clinic to complete the abortion and have the baby removed from her uterus. However, in the past 36 hours Stacy realized she had made a grave mistake and was desperate to save her baby.
Stacy had called the abortion provider back once she realized she did not want to go through with this abortion, but the abortionist told her even if the laminaria was removed she would likely miscarry anyway. Stacy wanted a second opinion, so she called her own doctor and got right in. Stacy’s doctor was sympathetic and removed the laminaria, but told Stacy that this may not save the baby and told her to pray. From that moment on, Stacy began to pray.
A few hours later Stacy began to have some pain, so she visited the Emergency Department at her local hospital. At the hospital, a heartbeat was found through a handheld Fetal Doppler machine, but an ultrasound was not done. A kind nurse at the hospital told Stacy about PDHC and encouraged her to call for additional help. When Stacy left the Emergency Department it was almost 2am, but she called PDHC’s 24-hour hotline. Stacy spoke to a PDHC volunteer who reassured Stacy and scheduled her for an ultrasound and consultation with a nurse. Stacy went home to get some sleep before her appointment with PDHC a few short hours later.
When Stacy arrived at PDHC it had been nearly 48 hours since her nightmare began at the abortion center. She did not know what to expect at her ultrasound, and though she had been praying, she braced herself for the worst. She wondered if she would lose the baby despite all her efforts. Stacy confided in the PDHC nurse that she had been confused about God and her spiritual life, but she had been desperately praying that her baby would survive this mistake she had begun. The nurse consoled Stacy and they talked about the importance of prayer, and accepting God’s forgiveness, love, and hope. The nurse told Stacy that, regardless of the outcome, God loved her. As the ultrasound began, the nurse also said a silent prayer, not sure what she would find . . .
Stacy’s ultrasound revealed a baby with a strong heartbeat. The baby was moving around and was still exactly where it was supposed to be, despite the fact that the abortion procedure was started. Stacy and the nurse breathed a huge sigh of relief and rejoiced together! Stacy took ultrasound pictures, booties and lots of resources home with her, but most importantly, she also went home that day with renewed faith and hope!
Stacy continued to stay involved with PDHC and was able to receive baby items and other resources to help her along her journey as a mom. Stacy recently gave birth to a healthy baby girl! We praise God for this life and for this mother!