“Ava”, feeling overwhelmed with the difficulties her family was facing, was planning to abort her pregnancy. She came to the Center to confirm her pregnancy and get information on abortion procedures. She and her husband of seven years, have a blended family and the oldest teen daughter was just diagnosed with cancer. They found this out right about the time she learned of her pregnancy. With her husband traveling often for work, she is the main care giver for the children and the only parent available to take her daughter to her medical appointments. “Ava” was very emotional and tearful as she shared about the cancer diagnosis of their teen daughter and the unexpected burden of this pregnancy, feeling she couldn’t go through with a pregnancy right now and needed to have an abortion. She said her husband was okay with whatever she decided. Her advocate encouraged her to not rush into a decision and prayed with her.
Days later “Ava” returned for her ultrasound and said she was still pursuing an abortion. She was quiet during the ultrasound and tried to avoid looking at the screen. She began to cry and covered her face when she heard the baby’s heartbeat. She was 7 weeks into her pregnancy. Her advocate sat down with her and asked how she was doing. She said “not good” and shared her and her husband were now separated and started crying. Her advocate told her that even though she feels alone, God is with her through this storm and then prayed for “Ava” to have strength, wisdom and peace. Another ultrasound appointment was offered and encouraged, as she was still making a decision about her pregnancy.
“Ava” returned 12 days later for another ultrasound and told us she decided to go through with this pregnancy. This time she watched the screen and smiled when she saw her baby wiggling and gladly accepted sonogram pictures of her baby. Her advocate then met with her to go over her parenting plan and resources. She asked her what changed her mind and “Ava” said, “that she prayed for me” referring to her first ultrasound appointment. She said she was in a bad place then because her husband had left her and she had an abortion scheduled for that Saturday.
She was crying tears of joy as she explained that her husband came home the very next day and he was now happy about the pregnancy. “Ava” said she had been praying and decided she couldn’t go through with the abortion. Now they are both happy about the pregnancy and getting ready to tell the kids. She said they also received good news about their daughter’s cancer in that it had not spread and was treatable with radiation and surgery, and the doctors were optimistic.
“Ava’s” story is not unique. Fifty-nine percent of abortions in 2014 were obtained by women who had had at least one child. The reasons women gave for having an abortion underscored their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life.* We are grateful “Ava” found support and strength through prayer and our free services to choose LIFE and continue her pregnancy.
* Jerman J, Jones RK and Onda T, Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients in 2014 and Changes Since 2008, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2016.