The following story comes from Several Sources Shelter in Englewood, NJ.
Last April, I found out I was pregnant with my fifth child. When I told my husband Jose, he responded by saying, “So, what are you going to do? You know we can’t afford another baby now.” I made an appointment to get an abortion at the local clinic the following Saturday so that I could have the weekend to rest.
The car ride from Jersey City to the clinic in Englewood was hauntingly silent. As Jose and I approached the clinic, we noticed a royal blue van, decorated with fun photos and encouraging words.
With sadness, Jose and I looked at each other and knew we had to go through with the abortion—he barely makes enough money to care for our four children and I don’t have a job. We kept asking ourselves, “Where would we get the money for another baby?” This question was fueling our resolve to get an abortion.
As we walked down the large hill from our car to the clinic, neither of us could stop looking at that van. The brightly colored images stood out noticeably against the grey concrete of the abortion clinic. As we were crossing the street, a smiling woman asked us if we wanted a free ultrasound.
I explained to the woman that we were headed in to get an abortion—we already had four children at home and we couldn’t take care of a fifth. I know that abortion is wrong but our situation is unique… at least that’s what I had been telling myself. The woman kept smiling and I decided that I wanted to see my baby before we had to say goodbye to it.
I stepped into the van and couldn’t believe what I was seeing—it looked like a castle on wheels. My husband and I sat on the soft leather chairs and kept joking that we wouldn’t mind living in the van. There were mahogany wood finish floors, wood paneling around the exam table, and several flat screen TV’s hanging on the walls. The nurse pulled out a hidden table where she had me fill out a consent form for an ultrasound.
I felt like I needed to rush out of the bus in fear that if I stayed too long, I might choose to keep the baby. We had already decided on what needed to be done. We had a plan.
I laid down on the bed, my head propped up by a pillow so that I could see the image of my baby on the TV screen. The technician gently placed the sonogram wand on my stomach. My husband and I watched as our nine week old baby moved around. Seeing the heartbeat brought me to tears. It was painful to think of aborting this baby, saying goodbye to its heartbeat, its eyes, its future.
We left with a sense of hope and a new perspective on the life of our child. We would have never imagined that stepping into that blue bus would save our child and restore our view of life as a whole.
Each day women are being convinced that abortion is the only option. But what if you learned that you could truly support women and actually empower them?
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