Olivia came to the clinic, sure that our nurse would confirm her worst fear. And sure enough, she did. Olivia was pregnant.

Suddenly, her brain felt like it would explode. I can’t possibly have a baby. I’m in a bad relationship. I have no money. I’m alone, I have no good role models, and I don’t want my child to end up in foster care like I was.

The answer came to her: Abortion. I’ll get an abortion, and this nightmare will be over.  Olivia left, thinking this was the best option for her difficult situation.

When she returned for a follow-up visit, something had changed, and she needed someone to talk with. “I’m just not sure what to do,” she said, “You see, I saw this billboard. It said, “This is your sign. Don’t have the abortion.”   

Olivia asked, “Do you think that could have been my sign? Should I continue the pregnancy? Could I really be a good parent?” 

We shared resources that would help Olivia feel empowered to choose life, such as parenting classes, our support network, and other resources she could access. We told her if she needed more help, there was a maternity home, The Elizabeth House, where she could live and be surrounded by people who would help her become the kind of mother she dreamed of being.

Olivia could hardly believe it was true. “I never thought something like that could exist or could help me.” The conversation continued, and Olivia shared some of her past hurts.  It was clear to our patient advocate that Olivia needed a listening ear that wouldn’t judge or condemn her and instead would give help and compassionate care.

“I’ve made my decision,” Olivia declared at the end of her appointment. “I’m going to have this baby.”

Olivia saw the sign and responded by reaching out for help.  Now it’s our turn to see the sign and come alongside courageous women like Olivia who are making a choice for life. 

Find out how you can get more involved.  Contact Sue Cotten, Director of Partnerships at suec@carenetdane.org