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.

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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.

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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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