The following story comes from Gift of Hope Pregnancy Center in Englewood, NJ.
My name is Agnes. Last Saturday, I woke up with morning sickness a reminder for my appointment for an abortion at the Metropolitan Women’s Clinic in Englewood, NJ. My husband and I married young and he has been abusive towards me throughout our marriage. I have a three year old daughter who is my source of joy and purpose.
Several weeks ago, I took a positive pregnancy test. For days I considered keeping the baby. I even researched places that provided free ultrasounds. I found a mobile healthcare unit nearby—a beautiful, blue bus with a photo of a smiling woman printed on the sides.
However, my husband didn’t even know I was pregnant at this point and I knew he wouldn’t be excited about the idea of another kid. I decided it would be much easier to go through with an abortion than to tell my husband that I’m pregnant again.
Dejected and hopeless, I hurried to the abortion clinic, knowing I needed to get home before my husband found out where I had been.
As I turned into the parking lot of the clinic, I saw a blue bus, covered in the same smiling face I had seen online. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was as if the bus knew I was coming and came to find me.
I sat in my car for a while, debating with myself, saying, “I don’t want an abortion, but I know that this is what I have to do. It’s for the best. He is so mean to me and he wouldn’t want another kid anyway.” My oppression and fear won and I got out of my car and walked toward the clinic.
I glanced over at the van again and read the words that were printed on the other side of the bus: “There’s Always Hope.” As I started to cry, a woman from the bus asked me if I wanted a free ultrasound of my baby. I almost jumped at the chance to follow her into the bus. Just then, a woman came out of the clinic. Holding the door open, she asked if I was coming in for an appointment and, clinging to my fears and anxiety, I followed her through the doors.
I sat, waiting for my appointment, but I couldn’t get the blue bus out of my head. I told the lady at the front desk that I needed to put money in the parking meter and would be back in time for my appointment.
When I walked outside, I was so relieved to see that the bus was still there. I approached the woman who talked to me earlier and asked her if I could still see my baby. She excitedly walked me toward the bus. I stepped up the stairs to see a beautiful space filled with tan leather seats and relaxing music. It felt much more comfortable and a lot safer than the clinic I was just sitting in. I filled out my paperwork and lay down on the exam bed to start the ultrasound.
The nurse showed me my healthy baby, moving around inside of me. I began to cry. I was so relieved that my baby was healthy and alive and realized that I could never choose to bring any harm to my child.
Because of that ultrasound—the chance to see that first image of my child—I will never walk through those clinic doors again. The choice that I made in the blue bus empowered me to face myself, my husband, and most of all, to be a wonderful mother to my children.
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