Rethinking An Abortion Decision

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Is there ever a good reason to have an abortion?

Options client, Nancy * thought she had more than a few.

She believed her pregnancy was a mistake that shouldn’t have happened, the result of a bad choice during a very vulnerable time in her life. She believed that having an abortion would be best for everyone including her family.

It was the wrong time.
It was the wrong father.
It was the wrong relationship.
It was the wrong baby.

Nancy lived under constant stress due to her complicated situation. She couldn’t sleep, she couldn’t eat, she dropped a lot of weight. Family and friends were worried for her health. Someone suggested she visit Options.

People really care about you there, she was told. They will help you to figure things out.

By the time Nancy came to Options she felt worthless and beyond help. She wanted to talk.

I need to tell my whole awful story. I feel like such a horrible person.

She told us things about her relationship that I can’t share here because of privacy issues. We let her unload her guilt as she told her story. She cried and cried, and thanked us for listening and for not judging her.

Nancy’s reasoning compelled her to schedule an abortion after she had an ultrasound. She arrived at the clinic with a picture held tightly in her hand, an ultrasound image of her baby at 9 ½ weeks. Nancy wanted to hold on to the picture so she could say goodbye to her baby when it became her turn.

When her name was called, Nancy couldn’t move. Even though she thought she had all the right reasons for wanting an abortion, the picture in her hand told her she was wrong.

She couldn’t do it. Nancy turned around and left.

In her heart, Nancy didn’t believe in abortion but she hated herself for entering into a relationship that produced her pregnancy, and for seeking abortion as a solution. She allowed her inner critic to beat herself up and to turn against the baby she was carrying. She needed a way out of a cycle of negativity, and Options helped her to find a window.

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When Nancy opened up to us she found solid support, and by the time she left, she was resolute in her decision to carry.

Like Nancy, many women come to Options to sort out their reasons for wanting an abortion.

The odds are though, that if they come to Options, they will end up choosing life.

Not because we are extraordinary counselors.
Not because we set them straight.
Not because we refute all their reasons
or because we have all the answers.

If I could pinpoint the exact thing that turns a woman around, I would tell you and maybe start a pro life franchise complete with lifetime guarantees, but I can’t.

I can’t because I know that there are many unseen forces that need to converge before a woman changes her mind to continue a pregnancy, countless prayers said on her behalf and groanings of the spirit, a steady stream of generous supporters, hundreds, maybe thousands of silent pauses and tearful confessions, an unlimited supply of patience and compassionate listening, accurate medical guidance and spot on referrals, not to mention all the volunteers behind the scenes that labor to keep a baby’s heart beating and a mother’s hope alive.

Here’s what I do know: An ultrasound image helps women to see the truth; the sound of a beating heart can convict like no other sound, and the act of talking things over with someone who cares enough to listen without judgement can inspire courage to choose life rather to end it.

Reasons are concepts of the mind that can change because of circumstances or with an attitude adjustment. A little tweaking here and there can alter our entire perspective.

An abortion is unchangeable and ends a baby’s life forever. There’s no going back to tweak an abortion, to adjust the loss of life. Options meets women in the twilight zone between life and death when there is still time to tweak a decision.

We are grateful to everyone who joins with us in this life saving work, and for every woman like Nancy who leaves the abortion clinic to rethink her choice.

* Name used to protect client’s privacy.

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