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!
Leticia* came to PDHC with her mother for a pregnancy test. Leticia’s mother didn’t even know she was sexually active since she was young and still in school; when the pregnancy test came back positive, they both were disappointed. Both Leticia and her mother requested abortion information because a baby was not part of the plan right now. The nurse sat and talked with them about abortion procedures, risks and side effects, and the importance of an ultrasound to determine viability. They declined an ultrasound and any other information about additional options.
The PDHC nurse's heart was heavy after they left, but the nurse knew she didn't need to carry the weight of this situation alone. She added Leticia, her mom and the baby to PDHC's prayer requests, so the PDHC community would lift them up in prayer and ask God to be at work.
A few days later, the nurse checked on Leticia, and her mother said they had an abortion scheduled later that week but was feeling unsure about it. The nurse offered to meet with them again to discuss resources and other options and they agreed. When the nurse called the day before to confirm this appointment Leticia’s mother said they had canceled the abortion and wondered if it was still possible to get an ultrasound at PDHC.
Leticia brought her mother and another family member to her ultrasound appointment. They could see the baby moving on the screen and saw a strong heartbeat. They all smiled and commented on how amazing it was to see this baby live on the screen. By this point the family was beginning to get excited and hopeful. It was in that moment Leticia’s mother gave her blessing and Leticia made the decision to keep her baby.
Since her ultrasound, Leticia has been able to schedule prenatal care and get connected to additional support specifically for teen moms in the community. Leticia will be able to continue her education and have the support of her family, as well as PDHC, as she navigates through pregnancy and being a young mother. PDHC remains involved with Leticia and her family to offer support during this time. We thank God for this family and this life decision!
*Misty visited PDHC.org and scheduled a consultation appointment online; She came to PDHC with a friend that evening. Misty told the nurse that she had already decided to have an abortion and wanted to get more information about abortion procedures. In fact, she had already been to an abortion provider that day, but there was a problem. Misty had made a silent vow to herself that if there was a heartbeat, she wouldn’t go through with the abortion. Misty hadn’t shared that with the abortion provider and the abortion provider said that the ultrasound showed a baby with a heartbeat. The PDHC nurse thought this was odd because abortion providers don’t usually share that information.
The PDHC nurse offered to do a confirming ultrasound and Misty accepted. The nurse found that Misty’s pregnancy was very early. Knowing the vow Misty had made, the nurse was still honest with Misty and told her she was too early to see the baby – much less a heartbeat. Had the abortion worker been mistaken or stretched the truth to increase the cost of the procedure? Had God been at work knowing what would save this baby’s life? Misty was confused by the misinformation from the abortion provider and said she needed to think things through.
The PDHC nurse then spent time with Misty going through her options. They talked about making an adoption plan, and also about abortion procedures. Then they talked through the option of having the baby. Misty shared her fears and reasons for considering an abortion in the first place, and the nurse listened to these concerns and walked through them with Misty one-by-one. They talked about resources and practical support. They talked about what her life might look like during the pregnancy and after the baby was born if she chose to parent. By the end of the conversation it was evident that one thing had emerged which was not present at the beginning – HOPE.
The PDHC staff, particularly on the hotline, was diligent about following up with Misty and encouraging her. Misty agreed to schedule another ultrasound a week later at PDHC.
During that second ultrasound a six-week baby with a strong heartbeat was seen, and Misty stated her confidence was growing. The time that had passed gave Misty an opportunity to envision two outcomes of her situation – an abortion or the life of a growing child inside of her. By the time the ultrasound was over, Misty was ready to share her decision with the nurse.
Misty chose life for her baby. Truth was revealed at PDHC by the power of ultrasound, and Misty kept her vow not to end the life of her child.
Recently Misty delivered a healthy baby and is grateful to PDHC for meeting her at the point of her need in those critical moments. Misty is happy that she took the time to consider ALL her options, and to not make a decision out of fear.
The PDHC nurse continues to communicate with Misty now that she is a new mother and continues to provide encouragement; Misty is grateful for the help, baby items and diapers from PDHC and is invited back for continued support.