Hope Women’s Centers provide accurate information and compassionate care to women and men facing pregnancy decisions. Their free and confidential services include pregnancy testing, options counseling, limited ultrasounds, a 24-hour hotline, medical referrals, limited STI testing and treatment, support for family members, referrals for social services and post abortion support. Last year more than 6,800 patients visited Hope Women’s Centers. Here are just a few of their stories.
As a single woman, I felt scared and totally unprepared to be a mother. When I realized I might be pregnant, I was overwhelmed by the pressures I was facing: money, relationships, and a fear about the future. I didn’t want to face being a single parent. I went online searching for help and found Hope Women’s Centers. It looked like they knew how to deal with unplanned pregnancies – and it said that all of their services were free, so I called.
The counselor seemed to understand my situation and helped me deal with some of the issues that were causing my fear. After she shared her personal story, there was no longer any question about whether or not to carry my baby. I was 7 weeks and 5 days pregnant when I had my ultrasound, but I was overcome by the love I already felt for my unborn baby. Seeing her tiny form and hearing her heartbeat was the most amazing thing I had ever experienced! Suddenly, I had the courage to face the future unafraid.
I panicked when I thought I might be pregnant. I didn’t have a job or a place to live. I was getting out of a difficult relationship and depending on friends for temporary food and shelter. I had to find a place to get an abortion.
I had grown up in the church, and in my desperation, I cried out to God to rescue me from the mistakes. Now I know He heard my prayers and directed me to Hope Women’s Centers instead of an abortion clinic. When I met with the counselor, I was scared and felt so alone. She listened and talked about God’s plan for my life and for the life of the baby. Even though I was trying to run away from God and solve my problem myself, I knew she was speaking the truth. She reminded me that God never makes mistakes, and though this baby was a surprise to me, it was not a surprise to God! Through that wise counseling, I found the courage to choose life for my baby.
My life didn’t magically change overnight, and I am still dealing with consequences of choices I made while I was far from God, but the relationships I have with my new friends at Hope Women’s Centers have been a great source of encouragement and support.
When the nurse told me my pregnancy test was positive, I was scared and depressed. I was only sixteen years old, had no job and no money. I was still in high school and I didn’t have any real support from my friends or my family. I felt alone in the situation and hopeless. I began to think badly of myself because everyone around me was constantly telling me how foolish I was to have gotten pregnant. Abortion sounded like the best choice.
When I spoke with the women at Hope, they told me the only person who could decide what I was going to do about my pregnancy was me. They told me about resources that were available to help teen mothers, how I could continue my education and about programs that helped with medical care. I will always remember that my counselor told me, “Worrying about what you can’t give your baby is not important; you need to focus on the fact that you can give your child the greatest gift there is: LIFE!”
Hope gave me the truth about my pregnancy, and they encouraged me to ask the two most important people in my life – my boyfriend and my mom – to support my decision to have my baby. Both stepped up and said they would support my decision. Those are the things that gave me the courage to choose life.
Raised in Church
In high school my classmates called me “church girl”. I grew up in a great Christian family. If you had told me that I would go off to college in September and be pregnant before Spring Break, I would have said you were crazy, but that is exactly what happened. I had neglected my faith and started making bad decisions.
Sitting in the counseling room at Hope, I felt like I was in a bad dream when the nurse said, “Your test is positive.” I knew I could have a secret abortion and avoid disappointing my family, but when I looked at the sonogram, I knew I could not disappoint myself – or my God – by ending the life of my child.
Over the next weeks, I thought about my options and decided to place my baby for adoption. I went to an adoption agency that Hope referred and met with several prospective parents. They were wonderful. But at night when I felt those little kicks, I was confused. I prayed that God would give me the courage to do what He wanted me to do. Delivery day came and I gave birth to a beautiful little girl. I had time to hold her and tell her all the secrets that would have to last us a lifetime. The adoptive parents came the next day and I placed their new daughter in their arms. I knew God had given them a special gift through me. I still feel a sense of loss, but I remind myself that my daughter has a mom and a dad and a safe home with a secure future – all things that I couldn’t give her at this stage of my life. When we walk outside of God’s plan for our lives, we take away all of the easy choices. I thank Hope for helping me make a choice for life.
~ birthmother, name withheld
had a 6-month old baby, lived with the baby’s father and we were struggling to make ends meet when I started to feel like I might be pregnant again. That scared me a lot. We could hardly take care of one baby; how in the world could we deal with another one so soon? I hoped I was wrong, but put it out of my mind without saying anything to my friends, my family, or my boyfriend because I was so scared about what he would say when he found out. Finally, I started to show, and our relationship was in constant turmoil He was angry that I had waited so long to “deal with the situation.” I knew I could not depend on him to be there for me or for the baby.
I didn’t know what to do, so I went to Hope Women’s Centers to talk to a counselor about my situation. I really didn’t think I could go through with an abortion, but I didn’t see any way that I could have another baby, either. My counselor talked to me about making an adoption plan for my baby. She encouraged me to give him the gift of life and talked to me about giving this new baby the gift of a stable family who could love and care for a child. She told me adoption was a very difficult choice, but it would be a much better than having an abortion.
Hope referred me to an adoption agency that helped me find a wonderful family for my baby. I chose a semi-open adoption, which means I get pictures of him and letters from the family, telling me how he is doing. This really helps me deal with the emotions I have regarding the adoption. When I am calm and thinking straight, I know adoption was my best choice.
Have a Heart to Help Women?
Consider attending a Volunteer Orientation Seminar offered by Hope Women’s Centers. Randy Jo Pitcairn and Ivette McCoy took that step years ago and it has made all the difference. Now Pitcairn volunteers twice a week at Hope Women’s Centers. She is compelled by Proverbs 31:8: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” She said, “I think of the unborn children who could easily be led away to death if their young mothers don’t see any hope or alternative to abortion, and I know the work I do behind the scenes helps.”
When Ivette McCoy retired she wanted to serve the community. She was intrigued by Hope’s ministry and went through the orientations and 12-week Bible study. “It was a long process,” said McCoy, “but each week I prayed and the Lord confirmed he was calling me to help the young ladies. I thank God for the opportunity to serve and for the love, kindness, patience and training I’ve received.” To learn more call 954-372-7089 or visit www.FriendsOfHope.com.
One of the cornerstones of Hope is the message of God’s redeeming love, healing and forgiveness. Abortion is not the “unforgiveable sin.” God desires for each man and woman who has experienced abortion to experience complete forgiveness and freedom from the choice he or she made.
Hope Restored shares this truth through small group Bible studies led by trained facilitators who have experienced abortion themselves and been restored to fellowship with God. “Healing a Father’s Heart” is the study led by men for men and “Forgiven and Set Free” is for women and led by women.
If you or someone you know needs to be healed from an abortion experience, place a confidential call to Hope Restored at 954-372-7089 and talk to someone who understands. For more information, visit www.HopeAfterChoice.com.