I don’t know her name. I’ve never met her. But her story captured my heart. With trembling hands, she held the test results hoping against hope there was some mistake. Although too young to drive a car, a pair of blue lines indicated she was old enough to get pregnant.
The reality rocked her world. Now what? Fear overwhelmed her to the point of tears. She was afraid to involve her parents. She didn’t want to be pregnant, yet she was scared of having an abortion. In that moment, all of her options seemed bad – but some felt worse than others. Her greatest fear? That her boyfriend would abandon her if she didn’t make the problem “go away.” I’m not sure who’s idea it was, but her boyfriend called the Hope Women’s Center in Pompano Beach, Florida, and requested an “abortion pill.” He said all his girlfriend wanted to do was to “get it over with.”
While the Hope Women’s Center didn’t offer that service, the counselor did offer a free of charge, lab-quality ultrasound and confidential medical consultation. They agreed to go on the off chance her test was unreliable. I’ll let Nancy McDonald, the Executive Director of this pregnancy resource center (PRC), tell the rest of the story:
“[The boyfriend] was obviously the one in control. He came to the window; she hung back. When the counselor opened the door to the reception room to invite her to come in, he stood to come with her. He wasn’t happy to be told that we needed to see her alone. The counselor assured him that after we did the intake interview, his girlfriend could invite him to join her–if she wanted to.”The pregnancy test was positive . . . She agreed to have an ultrasound, but begged the nurse not to tell the boyfriend what was going on. Meanwhile, he was wearing a path in the carpet, pacing the length of the waiting room. Every ten minutes, he came to the window and asked how much longer it was going to be.
“The ultrasound monitor revealed an extremely active, well-developed baby at 13 weeks gestation. She was speechless. After several moments, she simply said, ‘Get him.’ “He walked into the room and saw the monitor immediately. His first reaction was, ‘Wow!’ Then he turned to the girl, touched her arm, and softly asked, ‘Are you okay?’ The nurse who was in the room with them said it was the most amazing display of God’s faithfulness that she has ever seen. When confronted with the truth on the screen, he immediately began to fulfill his God-given role as a protector and provider.”
In fact, when the nurse politely asked this young man to return to the waiting room, he said, “No, I want to stay here and watch my baby.” Two unmarried teens. One final decision. After seeing the evidence of life within her womb for themselves, they decided to keep the baby. I share that story with you because, with the help of folks around the country, Focus on the Family played a role in saving the life of that preborn baby. How? A number of years ago, we launched the Option Ultrasound Program (OUP). Our goal was to help bring medical excellence to pro-life medical clinics by equipping qualified Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRC) with ultrasound technology and training. You see, we learned precious few – just 350 – of the 2,300 PRCs in the United States offer ultrasound services in addition to their counseling services. But, as we also found, PRCs offering women a combination of counseling and ultrasound indicate that 88% of the clients at-risk for abortion leave PRCs with intentions to carry their babies to term!
Here’s the connection to this unwed, young couple: Hope Women’s Center was one of the PRCs that received their ultrasound equipment and training from Option Ultrasound! In fact, as of this month approximately 69,000 babies have been saved by Option Ultrasound Program clinics. Not only are babies saved, lives are changed by the courageous and loving care these PRCs are providing. Take, for example, this letter I received from a PRC in Dallas:
Nineteen-year-old “Tess” and her boyfriend, “James,” had scheduled an appointment for an abortion. When they called his mother at work to tell her about this, she was devastated by the thought of their having an abortion but felt helpless to stop it. Then, a coworker told her about the Dallas Pregnancy Resource Center, a PRC that has received an Option Ultrasound grant. Tess, James, and his mother talked that evening, then came together to the PRC the next morning. The sonogram showed a beautiful 14-week-old baby. Tess and James immediately changed their minds about an abortion. When Lauren, the nurse, prayed with them, Tess began crying and explained, “I’ve never had anyone pray for me before.” Tess and James plan to marry before their son is born.
Learn more how you can be a lifesaver or read other life-changing stories. And, while I’m on the topic of choosing life, earlier this week we featured a dramatic, two-day broadcast with special guest Gianna Jessen. Unlike the unwed teens mentioned above who decided to keep their baby, Gianna was aborted – and lived. Her doctors predicted she had no chance of crawling, or walking. Today, she runs marathons and travels the world sharing her moving story.