Recently, a friend of a pregnant mom contacted Love Life. The mom was planning to abort. The friend wanted to prevent the abortion, but really didn’t know what to say. She asked us what she should do. Love Life asked me to contact the friend, which I did. This experience is not unusual, and the steps taken to try to save the baby could help others.
Oftentimes, there is a trusted friend or family member in whom the abortive mom has confided. That was the case in the recent story. The friend frequently has no idea how to counsel the mom to choose life but is very convicted that she should do so.
First step: Find out the details. Listen carefully. Keep notes on critical points.
A trained sidewalk counselor should contact the friend and learn what is going on. Ask lots of questions. In the recent story, the mom was not eager to abort but the boyfriend was pushing for abortion. In fact, everyone in the mom’s life, except for the friend who contacted us, was pushing for abortion. The mom didn’t believe in God but did believe in a higher power and that the baby was here for a purpose. She was in her late 30s and had no children. She feared that killing this baby might end any hope of having any child.
Below are excerpts of the actual texts exchanged between me and Mary (names and details changed to protect privacy). The section below outlines the details of the abortive mom’s story, which I discovered after asking a few questions.
The friend (Mary): Hi, Vicky. I got your information from Brian. My name is Mary. I work with a girl named Olivia. She is newly pregnant and really scared and upset about the future. Her boyfriend, who she thought was the one, is pushing her hard to abort the baby. He says it isn’t a living being yet, so she needs to hurry up before it is. She wants to keep it, but everyone in her life is telling her that it will be too hard and it’s selfish for her to want to keep it. She’s scared due to her age that she won’t have another chance. She had an abortion when she was younger and it was a bad experience. I have highly encouraged her that she is right to believe that it is a life inside her. She is scheduled for an ultrasound in a couple weeks, but she is really so unsure of what to do. I want to help her. Is there a crisis pregnancy center that she could go to and be counseled and shown an ultrasound sooner? I’m praying hard that God will help her to stick to her conviction about the baby and not abort it.
Me: Hi Mary. We could have her go to a local PRC, probably tomorrow. Is she here in Charlotte?
And I would love to talk with her. I have counseled so many women in her situation and would love to encourage her!
In what capacity do you work with Olivia?
Mary: (describes work situation) She is a super sweet girl and I hate seeing her so upset. I can imagine it’s horrible having people pushing you like they are. She’s not a believer at all, but she (in her words) believes “there’s something out there” and “this happened for a reason.”
Me: I would love to talk with her, encourage her and set up the appointment for her. Do you know how far along she is?
Mary: I don’t know. I think she’s 6 or 7 weeks.
The key points I discovered and knew I could address to help a choice for life were as follows:
- Boyfriend pushing for an abortion
- Boyfriend claims baby not alive and obviously knows nothing about fetal development
- Baby is at least 6 weeks old, thus some significant development can be mentioned
- Olivia wants kids one day and thinks this child could be her only hope for that
- Olivia knows the horror of abortion firsthand
- While not a believer, Olivia seems to believe in a higher power
- Olivia believes the baby has a purpose
Offer immediate hope and the next step:
At this point, I had enough information to have a handle on the situation. I discerned mostly that she was all alone in her desire to save the child. I felt meeting others who supported a decision for life and cheering her on was critical. I also knew she worried about the future and had never had a child. I assumed the offer of the resources of a baby shower would help with some of those fears. I agreed with Mary that the immediate next step would be to get an ultrasound. She would not see a lot if she really was only six weeks, but she would see the beating heart which would dispel the boyfriend trying to convince her the baby was not alive, and it was no big deal at this age to abort.
Me: Well, let me know if she would be willing to go to the PRC in Monroe. I am pretty sure I can help her feel like she can do this. We will appoint a mentor who will walk alongside her and be a friend. We will give her a lavish baby shower that provides two years of supplies. She can do this, and we will help! You sound like a wonderful friend to her.
You can give her my number and tell her I would love to talk with her.
(I set specific time after conferring with Monroe PRC and offered that to Mary.)
Mary: I don’t think she will be able to come at that time. She just came up and talked to me. She is so torn. I’m worried she is being pulled the other way. It sounds like she looked up a Planned Parenthood or something along those lines.
If specific plans to abort are in place, it is urgent to speak with her.
Unfortunately, I was not able to talk with her that evening, but I knew we would need to talk as soon as possible. When someone has contacted an abortion center, it is clear they are more than just abortion-minded but may be feeling abortion-determined. It is important to speak with that mom as early as possible.
Me: Would she be willing to talk to me in the morning? And we can go from there? We have so much help available
Mary: She is meeting with the boyfriend tonight.
I gave her your number and she thanked me. I told her what you said about helping her, but she said thank you and put the paper in her pocket.
I hope she will call you, but I don’t know.
If the mom is consulting with those urging abortion, ACT immediately to offer hope and help.
When the mom did not commit to calling me and I knew she was exploring abortion options, I knew Mary was the most likely chance of reaching her for a choice for life. I also was concerned that the only voice she was hearing was one for death, from the boyfriend. It was time to give Mary more ammunition to fight for the baby.
I waited as long as I was able for her to call before I had to leave for evening plans. When she did not call, I told Mary I would tell her what to say, and it was important for her to convey the information to Olivia.
Offer specifics on the 3 talking points for the friend to share. Do not neglect discussion of God, especially if mom has mentioned a sense that there IS a purpose for this little life
At this point, I wanted to touch on all the main issues I had discerned from the discussion with Mary.
There is so much we CAN say but I believe if we can target and piggyback over what the mom has said (or in this case said to others), it is more likely to touch a nerve. We always try to keep our counsel centered on the three key talking points: God, resources, humanity of the baby. Since she had mentioned no strong faith, I did not neglect God but talked about resources and humanity of the baby to begin and wove the mention of God into the fabric of what I was conveying.
Me: You can tell her that her baby has a heartbeat if she missed her period, detectible brain waves at 6 weeks. No mother can take the life of her baby without consequence. That child already has all the human DNA she will ever have! She is in the place God designed perfectly to protect that innocent baby. Her instincts to protect her baby are good … and right.
Rephrase and support positive things mother has stated
Me: If she believes that baby is here for a reason, she is RIGHT. That baby is a unique person that no one else can ever replace. The boyfriend who claims to love her but is telling her to kill the child they conceived together is not looking out for her best interests. And statistically, couples with abortion in their relationship end up splitting up 3/4ths of the time!
God has given her the instinct to protect her child. The mother/ child bond is the first and most important human bond that everyone shares. To destroy that bond destroys a vital part of what it means to be human!
Imagine if this is the last child she will ever conceive…and she kills him or her! What unbearable pain that will cause!
(I am prepping you in case she doesn’t call me. She trusts you. So now is the time to speak truth and encourage her!)
Our mentorship program will provide a mentor with the backing of a church committed to helping her. They go over every obstacle and link her with resources to help.
Abortion is the taking of an innocent human life. Does she really want to be a part of that?
Bring God into the equation
Me: God has a special plan and purpose for that child, as He does for her! She is loved, and so is that baby. Maybe God gave her that baby to draw her near to Him!
Mary: Thanks! I appreciate it!
Breathe courage and inspiration for the friend to speak
Me: Absolutely! I have to leave now. But I would love to talk with her tomorrow if she is willing. Tell her for such an important life and death decision, she should really know all her options and the truth Planned Parenthood will not tell her.
I am praying for you!
Pray … and be available for the next step
The next morning, I received the following text:
Mary: She texted me last night that she is keeping the baby! Praise the Lord!
Me: Praise God! Have her call me today and I will set her up with a mentor who will provide a baby shower with two full years of what her baby will need.
Not all these sorts of encounters end well. If Olivia had ended up aborting, it would be very important to let Mary know it was NOT her fault. Just like we tell our sidewalk counselors, we ARE called to show up and to speak. We are NOT called for the results. The results are up to God and the mom; however, when the mom does choose life, rejoice! Give God the glory and offer the support the still vulnerable mom will need.