Janie, a young woman in her early twenties, recently called our clinic to make an appointment. On the phone she expressed that she was “overwhelmed” and reported that her pregnancy was discovered during a visit to the emergency room.
As is the case with many young women, the father of her baby is not interested in being involved and Janie is supporting herself independently. Before this pregnancy, she said that she had never considered an abortion but because of life circumstances it seemed her only option now. Janie admitted that she was fearful she may have to quit her job because of the pregnancy.
Our advocate met with Janie and discussed options for pregnancy. Before the intake, Janie confessed that she didn’t know a lot about abortion and she did not know anyone who had previously had an abortion. She had heard a little about adoption, but felt it would be very hard to “give away” her baby. During the sonogram Janie cried when she saw her 10 week 4 day old baby. As she left the clinic she stated “I’m not sure what I’m going to do” and that “it was not as easy of a decision as I thought it would be.”
When a follow up call was made to her, Janie revealed that she had an abortion scheduled for the next day but that she may “back out”. When asked what would influence the decision to back out she said “guilt.” Janie then asked the phone advocate “why don’t I feel maternal instincts towards my baby? Why can I not look at my body in the mirror anymore?” The phone advocate then discussed with her bonding and emotional connection in light of her abortion plans. Janie then disclosed that when she went to her first visit at the abortion clinic the abortion provider had advised her “if you are not 100% sure that this is what you want to do, you do not need to do it. Even if you are 99.9% sure that you want this abortion, you do not need to do it. You must be 100% sure.” Before ending the call Janie told the phone advocate she still did not know what to do about the abortion appointment. The phone advocate offered to let her visit the clinic again in case she felt like talking some more would help but she declined.
The following Monday the clinic received a call from Janie, she reported that she had decided not to have an abortion and with great joy exclaimed she intended to carry and parent! Janie also planned to attend classes at Woman to Woman. When she was asked what had helped her finalized her decision, she said “y’all answered the hard questions that no one else would answer for me. Those were the answers that I needed to be able to make a decision.”