When a woman comes to our clinic for a pregnancy test, we ask her to check a box indicating her initial intentions.

Abort. Parent. Adoption.

These are the three choices facing every pregnant woman—and one is definitely not like the others.

So when our nurse saw that Deidra* had checked two very different options, you can imagine her concern. Before entering the room, our nurse did something nurses at any other clinic might find odd: She prayed. She asked for guidance and wisdom and “ears to hear” what her patient’s heart was saying and feeling.

Inside a counseling room, our advocates have one goal in mind: to offer their client care and compassion. We know that an unintended pregnancy can be scary and overwhelming. The woman’s friends or family may be telling her what to do. And the father might be too. She may not have anyone who is listening to her and how’s she’s feeling. So we pray to become that listening ear.

We listen for fear and reasons that might cause a woman to consider ending her pregnancy with an abortion. And then we offer something she might not find elsewhere: help to calm her fears and help to work through her options. We let her know that we care, and she isn’t going to face this alone.

Our medical services help a young woman get the facts she needs to make an informed decision. A pregnancy test and, when appropriate, an ultrasound to help confirm the pregnancy and let the woman know how far along she is. Our nurses provide evidence-based facts about abortion and fetal development—because without real facts, how can she make a truly informed decision?

In Deidra’s case, she was surprised to learn her unborn child already had so many of the same things she had. A heartbeat. Brain cells. Kidneys. It sounded like a miniature person, not a “product “of conception. And that information, coupled with the support of our staff, helped Deidra know which box she really wanted to check.

“I couldn’t go through with an abortion after what I learned today,” she told our nurse.

Deidra’s life is not going to be the same. It changed the minute she became pregnant. But she doesn’t have to navigate this road alone. We’ll be here as long as she needs us.

Are you called to speak love and compassion to women and men facing a pregnancy decision? Consider volunteering as a patient advocate and help equip women like Deidra to make a life-affirming choice.

*name changed