Mother in New York Chooses Life for Her Baby
By Brittany Smith
Eight months ago, Kendra walked into an abortion clinic in Schenectady, NY after escaping an abusive relationship.
A relationship that forced her to flee her home town in the middle of the night to protect her daughters. And left her with another baby on the way, with few resources, and no hope of reconciliation.
The receptionist at the front desk of the abortion clinic told her she needed Medicaid or another form of insurance to get the procedure done.
“I have cash,” Kendra said. “I can’t have this baby and I need to do it fast.”
They booked her appointment for the next day.
“I walked out the clinic with a million thoughts in my head,” she said.
A chance meeting with a sidewalk advocate
Distracted and unsure of whether or not she made the right decision, she was startled when Kelly Mapes approached her outside of the clinic and asked her how she was doing.
Mapes is a sidewalk advocate who works with Alight Care Center, a pregnancy resource center serving the Schenectady and Albany areas. She volunteers with Alight’s Stork Bus, also known as a mobile medical unit. The same unit parked outside of the abortion clinic where Kendra was that day.
“Kendra’s story is a lot,” Mapes said. “She has five children. One of them has sickle-cell anemia. She’s on her own. She had just moved here, and had nowhere permanent to stay.”
Mapes understood immediately why Kendra felt like abortion was her only option.
“It was the toughest story I’d ever heard,” she said.
Mapes asked Kendra if she wanted a free ultrasound on the Stork Bus so they could talk more.
The two women boarded the bus and the center’s licensed nurse practitioner gave her a sonogram. As soon as the heartbeat came through the speakers Kendra broke down and sobbed.
Kelly looked at Kendra at that moment and told her: “You’re not going to go through this alone. You’re not going to ever get rid of me.”
And she meant it.
Help every step of the way
Over the next few months, Kelly and the staff at Alight Care Center were with Kendra throughout every step of her pregnancy.
They got her furniture, clothes, and food for her girls. The center also threw her a baby shower so she would have all the resources she needed for the new baby. In addition, they checked in with her constantly.
“We’re not going to talk you into doing something really hard and then walk away,” Mapes said. “We’re going to hook you up with resources and parenting classes and baby clothes. Our staff is going to be in your life as much as you want us. That’s not just true of me, that’s true of most pro-lifers.”
Kelly and the people at Alight “caught me off guard,” Kendra said. “I’ve never had that kind of kindness before. They genuinely cared…If I could turn back the hands of time I would have never thought about an abortion. He or she really deserved that chance to be great. I have great girls, and I believe my next baby is going to be the same. This life growing inside of me is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.”
Watch more of Kendra’s story.
Update: Kendra gave birth to a healthy baby girl on Tuesday, Nov. 26th. Both mom and baby are doing well.