Nadine’s Little Strawberry
One morning at the pregnancy help center, a young woman named Nadine called requesting an immediate ultrasound. She was audibly distraught and told the volunteer that she didn’t know where else to go. The volunteer instructed her to come into the clinic for an appointment, and when she arrived, she appeared panicked and flustered. Nadine shared with the staff that she had just come from the office of her local abortion provider, because she couldn’t go through with her scheduled abortion. (She had searched on Google and saw an ad facilitated by Vitae which connected her with the pregnancy help center).
Nadine said that initially, she felt like abortion was the right choice. She had been struggling with her mental health, but while she was waiting for the abortion, she felt something telling her that she needed to leave. She had an ultrasound at the abortion facility, but they didn’t allow her to see the screen. Nadine was told that, “There is really nothing to see” and that “. . . [the baby] basically looked like a small strawberry.” This unsettled Nadine, because they weren’t giving her a choice. They only offered her the option of abortion.
Nadine decided that, if after actually seeing an ultrasound, “it did not look like a baby,” she would reschedule her abortion appointment. Nadine wanted to be completely sure about her decision. After all, she already had an abortion about two years prior and hadn’t emotionally been the same since. The suffering Nadine had endured was immense and she hadn’t realized that post-abortion grief was a “real thing.” The abortion industry and the culture had led her to believe getting an abortion was a “normal” thing, but it hadn’t felt normal at all. The volunteer then offered a referral for the clinic’s post-abortive counseling and informed Nadine of the healing options she could take.
Nadine was then ready for her ultrasound and when she was shown the image of the baby, the first thing she said was, “That is NOT a strawberry!” The sonographer was able to point out all twenty fingers and toes, as well as other anatomical structures and signs of personhood. Nadine was beaming and looked much more reassured in her decision. She decided to carry the pregnancy to term. She was glad she followed her gut feeling in that abortion facility because it led her to where she needed to be. She is excited to become a mother and fill the void that she has been feeling for all those years.
(Story provided by Maria Webb at LifeSpring, Charlottesville & Culpeper, VA, one of Vitae Foundation’s Alpha Centers.)
*Named changed to protect client confidentiality