“How much does an abortion cost without insurance?” was the message “Annie” left on a Vitae online form. As quickly as Annie submitted the form, an alert “ding” notified the scheduler at Willowbrook 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. 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, 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 captivated! 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 would look like at this point in his development. Annie also received an ultrasound picture of her baby to take with her. Any questions about abortion costs were quickly beginning to disappear.
At the close of the first appointment, the medical staff concluded with one more piece of critical medical information: the abortion procedure and risks for a mother and a 15-week-old baby. (As with any medical procedure, a woman needs to know what she can expect if she has an abortion, and in many cases, this is information that is missing if a woman doesn’t go to a pregnancy resource center first.) After listening to the information, there wasn’t even a sliver of doubt about this little guy being born. Annie emphatically announced, “I could NEVER do that!”