*Names of mother and baby in this story have been changed for privacy.
When Maria scheduled an appointment at the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) of Crawfordsville, Indiana, her goal was simple – to find out if she was expecting. New to the United States, the possibility of being pregnant and alone was daunting. It brought forth a multitude of emotions and uncertainties for Maria about her future. When Maria stepped foot into the Mobile Medical Clinic, she met Karen, a compassionate advocate ready to help.
Facing Unplanned Pregnancy in a New Country…
Pregnant and alone in a new country, without a job or English language proficiency, Maria found herself torn between the excitement of motherhood and the challenges she would face. “I was both thrilled and sad at the same time,” said Maria. The father of Maria’s baby accompanied her, but her family was back in her home country.
After using Google Translate to communicate with Maria, Karen learned that she was facing the possibility of being alone and pregnant and was unsure what to do. Karen immediately called Mar, a translator on staff, to bridge the communication gap. Through the phone, Maria told Mar that she was confused about what to do. She told Mar she didn’t want an abortion but might keep the baby if she could find a way. Mar was not scheduled to work that day, but she came to translate for Karen while she did the ultrasound.
Language Barriers in Reproductive Healthcare
Maria’s story sheds light on the challenges faced by non-English speaking women in accessing reproductive healthcare. Language barriers make it difficult for individuals like Maria to navigate unplanned pregnancies and access the support they need.
According to a study by the Journal of Women’s Health, for the last ten years, nearly one in five individuals obtaining abortions was an immigrant. Kristyn Brandi, an abortion provider in New Jersey who serves as Board Chair of Physicians for Reproductive Health, admits that it’s “still extremely rare to find abortion providers fluent in the languages spoken in their communities.”
Fortunately, we partner with organizations like WRC that have staff on board who can translate in critical moments like Maria’s, so women don’t have to be pregnant and alone.
The Power of an Ultrasound and Compassionate Care
Maria’s ultrasound experience at WRC played a pivotal role in her decision-making process.
Maria and the baby’s father sat down with Karen and Mar to see the first ultrasound of their baby. The two watched in amazement as they saw the movement and heard the heartbeat of the tiny life within Maria. This is nurse Karen’s favorite part of serving WRC, “I love how [the] ultrasound, by playing the heartbeat and seeing the baby move, is a powerful way to speak for the smallest one in the room without judgment and confrontation,” she added. Seeing the excitement on this new mom’s face did not require a translator. As the ultrasound revealed the miracle she was carrying, Maria knew she had the strength to choose life. She told Karen and Mar that she wanted to keep the baby.
Women’s Resource Center’s Support
Together, Mar and Karen offered Maria the necessary facts and information, scheduling visits with doctors, and ensuring she received the care and resources she needed to carry her baby to term. Maria’s journey was not just about pregnancy; it was about finding hope and support in the face of adversity.
When Karen assists with an ultrasound exam, she knows it’s more than just healthcare. “I am just taking measurements for a medical exam, but I am also allowing something bigger to happen between the couple, the baby, and God. Allowing my hand to be the instrument to be used to broadcast this precious life is awe-inspiring,” said Karen.
Introducing Baby Natalie!
Maria kept in contact with Karen and Mar throughout her pregnancy up until birth. When her baby finally arrived, she texted photos of her new baby girl, Natalie, to WRC staff. When Maria returned for an appointment with the baby’s father, Karen was excited to be in the room. The baby’s father was holding precious Natalie in his arms. Karen was honored and touched when he held the baby out for her to hold.
“As I was holding her, gazing at her precious face, I could not help but think of what a small but necessary part in her life I was…God used Mar and I to help speak life and encouragement to her parents. His divine appointment all led to her being here in my arms… It brought a little tear to my eyes!”
Maria shows her gratitude to both Mar and Karen for being there for her in a life-changing moment. “Thanks to the help Women’s Resource Center gave me, I was able to make it through with my baby,” Maria said.
More Stories of Hope are Possible…
Maria’s story is a testament to the transformative impact our partners, like the Women’s Resource Center of Crawfordsville, can have on the lives of abortion-vulnerable mothers facing unplanned pregnancies. By addressing language barriers, providing compassionate support, and utilizing powerful tools like ultrasound, WRC played a crucial role in empowering Maria to choose life for her daughter.
Do you want to help create more stories of hope and empowerment for women facing unplanned pregnancies? Become a monthly donor and join our Life Society to get exclusive access to more stories of hope like Maria’s.