12 weeks ago, Maria found herself pregnant at 19 years old, in her junior year in college, and very far away from any relatives or family. When Maria found the courage to tell her parents, who live in Peru, she found herself being pressured to have an abortion or be disowned from the family. Scared, confused and alone, Maria was starting to feel like abortion was going to be the answer to her troubles.
That is where the University of Washington Respect Life group came in. While they were busy organizing their Respect for Life Spring Social, Maria was contemplating an abortion. Seeing a poster for the social and then getting an invitation from a friend who did not know she was pregnant; Maria decided that this would be the place to go for answers about abortion.
Here is what the University of Washington Respect Life group member Helen Nguyen shared with Students for Life:
It was amazing how brave she was – she came right up to me and told me she was pregnant and was contemplating having an abortion. I took her aside and gave her a big hug. Got her some food and asked why she was thinking of doing this? She told me her boyfriend is African American and that her parents don’t want a black grandchild. Her parents were also afraid that she wouldn’t finish school, and that this baby would ruin her life. She was afraid that if she kept the baby she would be cut off from her family, the financial support they were providing her during school, and that she would not be able to care for herself and a baby. At the end of the event, I reassured her that she needed to listen to her gut and pray a lot about it. That if she decided to keep the baby, there would be a family of people ready to help her in any way. I gave her my number and e-mail and told her to contact me anytime.
A week later, Maria messaged me on FB. I asked to meet up with her for coffee and she agreed. Little did I know, Maria wanted to tell me in person that she had decided to keep her baby. That regardless of what her parents wanted her to do, she was going ahead with the pregnancy. I couldn’t hide my relief and utter excitment from her. For the rest of the meet up, we talked about all the resources we’ll be able to connect her with. How she was not alone and that if she needed anything we were there for her.
During this same week, Jags for Life at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis reported a baby saved through their efforts praying at the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic near the university. Gaby, the group president, reported that during the group’s weekly sidewalk counseling a young woman went into the Planned Parenthood and then came back out. She told Gaby that she was 14 weeks pregnant and couldn’t go through with the abortion because, through the group’s witness in front of the Planned Parenthood, she knew that her baby had a heartbeat.
This is two babies whose lives were spared and two young women who have been saved from the guilt, shame, and loss of abortion because of the faithful witness of UW Respect Life and Jags for Life! Congratulations!