Guest Column

I was on my way to get an abortion, but I chose life when I saw my baby’s heartbeat

(Save the StorksThe following story comes from the Human Coalition – Pittsburgh Women’s Clinic in Pittsburgh, PA.

“There’s no way I’m sticking around if you keep this baby.” That’s what my boyfriend said to me when I found out I was pregnant last month. So, I had to pick between my boyfriend, who I’ve been with for five years, or this baby, who I had never even met.

My boyfriend had left me for other reasons before, but I knew he meant it this time. He would never come back and I would be alone with a child.

I made an appointment for an abortion the next day. Despite not wanting to be alone, my boyfriend didn’t go with me. The car ride over was emotional and lonely. I really did not want to go through with the abortion. I wanted to be a mom, I just wished my boyfriend wanted to be a father.

Why did it have to be so complicated?

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When I arrived at the clinic, I realized I had been there years before. I was sixteen when my older sister asked me to drive her to get an abortion. I sat in this same parking lot, holding her as she cried. That was almost ten years ago. She recently told me that she still thinks about the baby she never met.

I hadn’t even told my sister about my pregnancy, but I could almost hear her tell me to turn around and go home. I put my head on my steering wheel and cried. What was I going to do?

I looked up and noticed a bus that was parked outside of the clinic—it was purple and blue and said, “Free ultrasounds.” This was enough to get me out of my car.

I decided I wanted to see my baby—to know what I was choosing.

The nurse greeted me as I stepped onto the bus. It was warm and inviting inside, and my loneliness quickly subsided. I immediately felt comfortable and safe. The nurse had me lay down on a comfortable leather chair, where she gave me the ultrasound.

The baby was tiny, but she showed me the heartbeat. I touched my stomach in disbelief! That was my baby!

I realized then that I had a really difficult choice to make. I had, in a sense, met my child, and I couldn’t ignore the heartbeat I was seeing on the screen. But I remembered what my boyfriend said. He would leave me. I would be alone.

The nurse handed me several pamphlets, and explained all of the resources that would be available to me and my child. She said, “You will not be alone in this.” It was like she read my mind. Looking up at the kind nurse, and then at the baby on the screen, I realized I wasn’t alone. There were people who would support me and this child—my friends, my family, and the people at the pregnancy resource center.

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As I left the parking lot, I felt a sense of relief I had never felt before. I am so thankful that I made that decision to enter the bus. Who knew such a small decision would have such a huge impact on my life? Since that day, I’ve ended an unhealthy relationship and started preparing for motherhood. I could not be any happier!

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared at Save the Storks, and is reprinted here with permission.

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