A Life-Changing Resource

“How much does an abortion cost without insurance??” was the message Annie* left on an online form. As quickly as Annie submitted the form, an alert “ding” notified the scheduler at our clinic that a woman needed help. Immediately, a phone call was placed to Annie to schedule an appointment so she could receive necessary, critical information before any decisions were made to abort the baby. Annie understood that there would be no abortions performed and no abortion referrals given during any appointments at our St. Joseph clinic. She also understood, though, that she lacked information. When Annie arrived for her appointment, she was greeted by a volunteer who explained what she could expect from this first visit: a pregnancy test, an ultrasound, STD testing, information on all pregnancy options, and community resources. Early in the appointment, Annie confessed, “I’m not sure how I feel about being pregnant, and I don’t know what I’m going to do.” After gathering some basic information and sharing the importance of faith and the love of Christ, the volunteer advocate turned the appointment over to the medical staff, and Annie would soon see her baby for the first time on ultrasound. What a life-changing ultrasound—for Annie and for her baby! The ultrasound revealed a 15-week-old baby, content to be in a safe place for him to grow and develop. His little heart beat strong and steady. Annie was hooked! A small smile spread across her face as she began to ask the medical staff questions about her baby. She looked curiously at the “baby model,” a life-size, true-weight replica of what her baby...