Denise’s Story

The following story comes from Gulf Coast Storks in Southwest Florida.

When I found out I was pregnant, I felt an immediate connection with my baby. Because I was raised without a mother, I always wanted to be there for a child in the ways that my mother was never there for me. However, my boyfriend wasn’t ready for that kind of commitment and responsibility. He told me that he would leave me if I didn’t get an abortion. 

The youth pastor from the church I used to go to heard I was pregnant and that I was considering an abortion. He called our house and told me a guest speaker was coming that Sunday and he thought it would be good for my father and me to come. The speaker was the director of a mobile pregnancy center that provided free healthcare to women.

That Sunday, my father and I pulled up to the church and I saw a big blue bus parked right out front. We walked inside and found seats. We hadn’t been to church in a long time, but it felt welcoming and warm.

The service began and the senior pastor shared the church’s view on abortion—that life is precious and it is to be protected. The Executive Director of Gulf Coast Storks came up on stage. She shared about the ministry and how they provided women with free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. She told stories about men and women she had counseled who were in my exact same situation.

After the service, she was at the display table and a long line of people were waiting to speak with her. I held off to the side with my father until the crowd thinned out and we could introduce ourselves to her. She asked if I wanted to go and sit for a while to talk privately and I said yes.

We walked to a nearby coffee shop and, for nearly an hour, we talked about why I was feeling the need to abort. I explained everything to her—how I felt pressured and that I didn’t have another option. She told me that the decision to abort was one I could never take back and that many women live in regret following abortions. She also helped me see that my boyfriend was not loving and caring for me me by pressuring me into doing something I really did not want to do.

Through talking to her, I began to realize that through my family and friends, I had all the support I needed to raise this child.  At the end of our conversation, she reminded me to stay true to myself and my own heart and beliefs. I knew that my heart was telling me to choose life for my baby. 

We have stayed in touch ever since that Sunday. She even came with me to my first appointment at the local pregnancy center and continues to be someone I can come to with my questions and fears. 

My boyfriend was upset when I told him I was keeping the baby, but I quickly realized he was coming from a place of fear. However, since coming to parenting and birth classes at the pregnancy center with me, he has traded an attitude of fear and bitterness in for one of excitement and love. This whole experience has helped us both see the inherent value of life in all circumstances.

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