In the book “Unplanned Grace: A Compassionate Conversation on Life & Choice,” pro-life authors Brittany and Natasha Smith tell the stories of women and families helped by pregnancy resource centers.
Isabella was only 17 when she became pregnant. She and her boyfriend Luis were in a close, loving relationship, but neither felt ready for parenthood. They had only been dating for three months. Now Isabella was facing an unplanned pregnancy her junior year of high school.
Motivated by fear, they went to an abortion facility to get the abortion pill. Isabella swallowed the first pill “as quickly as possible,” wanting to get it over with. But immediately after taking the abortion pill, she regretted it. She began to cry, realizing how much she loved children and wanted to be a good mother to her baby.
Luis also wanted the baby to live. Consumed with regret, the couple ran out of the abortion facility and pulled out their phones. They googled, “Is it possible to stop a chemical abortion?”
The first links they saw were ads for abortion facilities. Luis scrolled past them until he found an ad for Abortion Pill Rescue. They called the number. The person who answered the call directed them to Centro Tepeyac Women’s Center, a center that makes abortion pill reversal available to people seeking it.
Abortion pill complications
As well as being fatal to the baby, the abortion pill can also kill or cause severe complications for the mother. While abortion facilities say on their websites that the abortion pill is safe, in one study, 6% of women taking it ended up in the emergency room or urgent care. This is more than one in 20 women.
Exactly how many women suffer from abortion pill complications is unknown because only about half of all states are required to report abortion complications. The website Abortion Pill Risks was set up by the father of Holly Patterson, a teenager who died of a massive infection after taking the abortion pill. It documents abortion pill dangers and side effects.
A race against time
Isabella and Luis drove out of the abortion facility’s parking lot “with tires screeching.” Centro Tepeyac Women’s Center was an hour away and they knew they were in a race against time.
They met with a woman named Kathleen, who was the center’s sonographer. She promised them that the staff would do everything they could to save their baby.
Kathleen performed a pregnancy test, and it was still positive. Then she did an ultrasound. According to the authors:
A nine-week-old baby’s small form appeared on the screen. The room was silent as their eyes searched for the little pulses of heartbeat. There they were! The tiny but very clear flashes in the middle of the baby’s form drew their attention; the heart was still beating! The tension in the room turned to joy and relief. The baby was alive, wiggling around, safe for now from the devastating effects of the abortion pill.
Another waterfall of tears flowed down Isabella’s face – but this time they were tinged with joy. “Our little one is alive!” She smiled and pointed. “Look at that little body!” She and Luis were in awe.1
Kathleen warned them that their child was still in danger. The pregnancy center’s medical director immediately sent a prescription for progesterone to Isabella’s pharmacy, and Isabella hurried to get the potentially life-saving drug.
Kathleen gave Isabella instructions about the way to take the progesterone. She would need to take the progesterone every day for the next week and possibly throughout her entire first trimester. Kathleen said, “This is 68% successful, so we cannot guarantee that it will work, but we are here for you and will be here for you no matter what happens.”2
‘Our baby’s alive!’
Kathleen scheduled another ultrasound a week later. Isabella and Luis went home, hoping and praying the reversal would work. The authors described each day as “pure torture” for the couple and staff.
Fortunately, there was good news. The baby was shown to be alive in the second sonogram:
This time a 10-week-old baby’s body appeared! The rhythmic flashes of the tiny heartbeat punctuated the screen, like music notes of a unique song. The child was alive and growing normally! Erupting with laughter, they shared their joy together.
“Our baby’s alive!” They embraced each other with sincere relief and cried, “It worked! The pills you gave us worked!”2
On February 23, 2018, Isabella gave birth to her son.
Isabella and Luis took a family photo, added the words “Life is a gift from God” to the image, and sent it to the pregnancy center staff. The pregnancy center now has a framed picture of the couple and their child hanging on the wall in the staff room. It is “a daily reminder of how fragile, beautiful, and wonderful life is.”4
A baby’s life was saved and his parents were saved from heartbreak and emotional trauma, thanks to the pregnancy resource center and its staff.
1. Brittany Smith and Natasha Smith Unplanned Grace: A Compassionate Conversation on Life & Choice (Colorado Springs, Colorado: David C Cook, 2021) 176
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