When 27-year-old mom Lashenae found out she was pregnant just months after giving birth to her third child, she panicked. She already felt overwhelmed with her newborn and couldn’t imagine having another baby so close in age. She searched for a women’s clinic online, initially considering abortion her only option. This internet search led her to book an appointment at Parkville Women’s Clinic.
“WHEN I SAW THE SONOGRAM… THAT WAS THE MOMENT I KNEW”
When Lashenae entered the Parkville Women’s Clinic, she met her client advocate, Maria. A client advocate’s job is to inform and support women facing unplanned pregnancies. After hearing about Lashenae’s situation, Maria took Lashenae to her first sonogram. There, she found out she was about 15 weeks pregnant and saw her baby for the first time. The sonogram was what changed everything for Lashanae.
“When I saw the sonogram, I saw the little round head; that was the moment I knew. I can do this,” Lashenae recounted. After her sonogram, Maria sat Lashenae down to discuss her thoughts and feelings further. They looked at the Ottawa Decision Guide and discussed each option. Lashenae said, “When I heard about the options, I thought, ‘Okay, you can do this.'”
MEETING WOMEN WHERE THEY’RE AT
The client advocate’s job is to meet women where they’re at.
“We don’t want to preach to them or shove our opinions down their throat. Instead, we want to love them and help them make a decision not based on fear. We give them facts so they can know what they are navigating,” said Carrie Matthews.
Websites like Planned Parenthood warn against women’s clinics, claiming “their goal is to shame, scare or pressure you out of an abortion.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. The goal of the women’s clinic is to show the woman love and to help her own her decisions by providing all of the information. The clinic makes space for her to talk, and provides her with prenatal vitamins. No one should have to decide out of fear. The pregnancy clinic gives women a moment to articulate their feelings and consider every choice.
“Sometimes a woman just needs to be heard,” Carrie Matthews added.
It wasn’t words or ‘pressure’ from the counselors at the that affected Lashenae’s decision for life. It was the picture of the life growing inside her and the continued support she felt after leaving the center.
“I thought about my other children; seeing the life being created and what is happening inside of you is a different feeling. Seeing that it’s a baby made me choose life,” Lashenae added.
If the women’s clinic’s goal were solely to pressure women into choosing life, this story would have ended when Lashenae walked out that day. Although she seemed calmer, even asking for more information about adoption before leaving, the center received no indication whether she had decided on life or abortion for her child.
THE POWER OF SUPPORTING WOMEN
The client services director and advocate didn’t hear from Lashenae after this moment, but they continued to contact her to let her know she had support if she needed it, no matter her choice. Even in Lashenae’s decision for life, the road ahead of her was not easy. Lashenae was adjusting to life with her infant and pregnant with a new baby. She was in a dark and depressed place.
The women’s clinic contacted her frequently to support her with diapers and supplies for her three children. It wasn’t until the Client Services Director, Carrie Matthews, reached out to her to let her know that a local church wanted to adopt a family to provide for them for Christmas that they found out the good news. When the church reached out to Carrie Matthews, she thought of Lashenae immediately. Matthews reached out to her and asked if she would be interested in being supported for Christmas. “I didn’t ask her if she had chosen abortion; I just let her know that we wanted to support her and asked if she was interested. I told her to put together a list with her children’s names, ages, genders, and what they want or need for Christmas,” said Matthews. When Lashenae made her list, her last request stated:
Baby is coming in June; I don’t know the gender yet!
Before entering the Parkville Women’s Clinic, Lashenae was in a dark place. She was depressed and stressed. She had just had a baby a few months prior and had found herself pregnant again with no hope for the future. When she booked her appointment, she had decided on an abortion. The truth she saw in the sonogram brought her to a new decision, and the continued support of the women’s clinic kept her going.
“Knowing you had people who would help you, that you don’t have to do it alone, made a difference too. I have felt supported,” Lashenae said.
Although pro-abortionists want you to believe that women’s clinics want to pressure women into choosing life, this isn’t the truth. Parkville Women’s Clinic showed Lashenae a love that persevered and wouldn’t give up on her no matter her decision.
Now Lashenae gets to move forward with hope and a future she didn’t have when she first learned of her pregnancy. Lashanae’s face beamed as she expressed the joy of her new baby on the way. “I’m excited that she’s going to be the baby and will have a sister so close in age. I’m excited overall for another gift,” she said.
THE CHOICE WOMEN NEED
With bills being introduced to limit online advertising for women’s clinics, LaShenae’s story could’ve ended very differently. why is an internet search so important? Lashenae’s search for support began online, leading her to the women’s clinic close to her. Without the continued support or access to the free sonogram at the Parkville Women’s Clinic, she might not have chosen life for her new baby girl. Recent bills like Senate Bill 190, the “Deceptive Trade Practice Pregnancy-related Service” in Colorado, want to limit the advertising of women’s clinics under claims that they are deceptive for women seeking abortions. The truth is a women’s clinic’s ability to advertise can save lives. Pro-life advocate Cherilyn Holloway’s story is a prime example of this fact. Limiting one side’s availability to women removes every option and is anti-choice.
Keep an eye out for our feature video about Lashenae’s story, which will come out this year. Don’t forget that by supporting our National Partner Program, we can continue to help women’s clinic’s reach vulnerable women in their communities with truth, love, and support.