In God’s eyes, there are no surprises. We humans, with our limited perspective, are sometimes stunned by the events He allows into our lives. But God always has both a plan and a provision. When an unintended pregnancy interrupts the “script” a young woman (and her family) has sketched out for her life, many conflicting emotions compete simultaneously for center stage: panic, fear, anger, guilt and more.
The exciting news, which she needs to hear, is that God’s forgiveness will meet her at her point of need, and His sufficiency will abundantly supply. One way He often does that – in fact, the most common way – is through His people.
Pro-life pregnancy centers and medical clinics are on the front lines in many communities. They offer essential services to women facing an unexpected pregnancy, as well as an opportunity to discuss vital alternatives to abortion. Medical clinics offer pregnancy confirmation through ultrasound, which gives the young mother an opportunity to view the amazing development of her preborn baby.
A woman’s family members and the father of the baby often struggle during this time, and pro-life centers present a safe place to deal with their own feelings and responsibilities regarding her pregnancy.
These vital community organizations play a valuable role in helping to protect women’s health and allowing them to discuss all their options. That’s because, unlike abortion clinics, these ministries have no financial interest in which choice the woman makes.
Pro-life pregnancy centers typically offer three types of services:
Most centers and clinics provide such services as pregnancy tests, abortion alternatives, childbirth and parenting classes, adoption education, information about insurance programs for which a woman can apply, maternity and baby clothing and supplies – all of them confidential and typically free of charge. The young mother is encouraged to include others in her life who may also need to be present, such as the father of the baby or her parents.
Pro-life medical clinics operate under the direction of a local physician. An on-site nurse manager and offer women the advantage of their first obstetrical ultrasound. In addition to confirming that a woman is truly pregnant, the ultrasound gives a young mother the opportunity to see her preborn child. Many babies have been seen to suck their thumbs, have hiccups and even jump while on the screen.
These services ensure that women have accurate information about the help available before they make the irreversible decision of an abortion. Clinics report that when abortion-minded women receive the combination of compassionate counseling and ultrasound services, the majority state their intention to carry their baby to term. Surely, a woman has a right to this kind of information before making critical decisions about her pregnancy.
Many pro-life centers and clinics provide abstinence education in public and private schools, churches and community organizations to help teens avoid behaviors that lead to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. These programs are extremely effective in helping teens make healthy sexual choices.
For a woman (or a man) who has lost a child through abortion, the devastation can be real and ongoing if she (or he) doesn’t receive help. Bible studies designed to help these individuals receive God’s forgiveness and healing are offered in many clinics/centers, as well as online. These programs help people understand they are not alone in their feelings, as well as the freedom that comes from knowing that abortion is not the “unforgivable sin.” If a woman (or man) isn’t comfortable in a group setting, many programs offer an opportunity for one-on-one support.
Where to Find Help in Your Community
To find help during an unexpected pregnancy from a local pregnancy center, it’s as easy as visiting Optionline.org and entering your ZIP code! Visitors can also engage in a live chat with a caring peer-counselor who can answer questions and give suggestions of helpful resources.
Another option is Embrace Grace, an outreach that encourages, educates and empowers young, single moms. An unplanned pregnancy doesn’t mean that their life dreams are over. By joining an Embrace Grace group, a woman can learn how to dream big while also receiving help with the practical and spiritual aspects of life. (Find an Embrace Grace group near you at EmbraceGrace.com.)
To find help and support after an abortion, there are many excellent online resources available at AbortionChangesYou.com and SurrenderingTheSecret.com. In addition, your local pregnancy center probably offers small group and individual post-abortion assistance for both men and women.
If you have further questions or would like to talk to someone about what you’re going through, Focus on the Family offers a free one-time counseling consultation from a Christian perspective, as well as referrals for licensed Christian counselors in your area.
To reach Focus on the Family’s counseling department by phone, call 855-771-HELP (4357) weekdays 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Mountain time). Please be prepared to leave your contact information for a counselor or chaplain to return a call to you as soon as possible. The consultation is available at no cost to you.
You may also reach our counselors online by filling out our Counseling Request Form.