These words are taken from unsolicited letters to Birthright from clients we have served. Some changes have been made to protect the anonymity of the writers. We are grateful to them for the courage it took to share their journey.
I’m sending you this letter in the hope that it will help other girls who are in the same position I was in. Most girls have a first love and he was mine. He was twenty-three and I never dreamed that I could feel the way I did about him or ever love a person so much. He was “just right” in my eyes and I believed nothing could go wrong between us – that is, until I got pregnant.
He brought up abortion first. I knew something had to be done, but I wanted to have the baby, even if we had to run away. But he kept worrying about what people would think. He spent a week convincing me to have an abortion but, at the same time, I was wondering why he didn’t call me as much or tell me that he loved me.
I remember calling places that offered help to pregnant teenagers and crying to a stranger over the phone. She begged me to come in and talk. I wish to God I had done just that. Instead, through tears, I made the appointment at the abortion clinic. I didn’t want to lose him. I clung to a stranger as I felt my baby sucked away from me. He was in the waiting room, and I expected him to walk through the door, stop the abortion, and tell me we would be married, that he didn’t want to kill our baby . . . He broke up with me two weeks after the abortion.
I see no way out of this depression. Feelings of guilt, shame, fear, love, anger, resentment, and remorse are inside of me. My precious little baby would have been born in July.
Don’t do what I did. It’s not worth it. A day does not go by that I don’t think about the terrible thing I did, and cry . . . I keep remembering Dr. Seuss’ words, “I just have to save him, because after all, a person’s a person, no matter how small.”
Never put more faith, trust, and belief in another person that you have in yourself. You are your only best friend and your only consoler is you.
View the video below to hear clients tell their story
I wish I could convey to every girl who walks through your door the importance of her decision about her pregnancy and how it will be with her the rest of her life. When I discovered I was pregnant, I was very confused and I didn’t want to embarrass my parents. The father of the baby was pressuring me to get an abortion. When I look back now, yes, I think there would have been a good deal of shouting, but I know now that my parents could have handled it. Not my boyfriend, though. He went his own way and abandoned me three weeks after the abortion.
The following year, I married and again became pregnant, even though we had faithfully practiced birth control. Again, an “unwanted” pregnancy. We were both selfish and “on the move”. A baby didn’t fit in our lifestyle, so I again aborted. That was over four years ago, but I will never forget.
Now, after six years of marriage, we are trying to have a family, but we cannot conceive. This has forced us to look at the past but it is too late to change those two decisions. When I see children that would have been the same age as the babies I aborted, it is painful.
Every situation and every woman is different, but I believe, after talking with friends who have also terminated pregnancies, that the constant regret is a common factor. I am afraid it will never go away.
I was terrified when I found out I was pregnant…
The father of the baby, my boyfriend at the time, told me we would get through this together. It ended up not working out because I found out later that I didn’t really know the real him. He either wanted me to get an abortion or parent. I felt that I wouldn’t be able to be the best parent for this baby at this time in my life. I wanted everything to just go back to normal, to when I wasn’t pregnant and still a virgin, but I had to live in the present and somehow be okay with everything whether I liked it or not. I wanted to get an abortion because it seemed like everything would go away afterwards and that I wouldn’t have to tell anyone. By talking to my mom constantly about everything and researching all my options, I soon came to realize that getting an abortion would be the hardest [choice] of them all.
My husband and I always knew we wanted to have two children one day…
My husband and I always knew we wanted to have two children one day, but our journey was hard and the road was long. In March of 2019, I felt “off”. I remembered seeing a billboard sign for “Birthright” and “Pregnancy”. I went in, found out I was pregnant, and I had the biggest smile on my face! I couldn’t wait to tell my husband. While at Birthright I saw a licensed clinical social worker. She asked if it would be ok if she could check in with me periodically and reassured me that me and my husband could come in for counseling for anything.
Four weeks later, I miscarried and needed surgery. The Birthright team asked if I wanted to come in and talk. I said yes. At that appointment I learned invaluable coping skills. I felt no judgment. I felt safe to cry and I felt validated. I experienced this unexpected, painful loss two more times within six months. Each time Birthright was there for me and reassured me that I am welcome to come as long as I felt I needed them. One time my husband came with me for counseling and when we left the first thing he said was, “Wow, that was really informative and amazing.”
On April 1st, 2020 my husband and I found out we were pregnant with a viable pregnancy, but I developed severe anxiety due to having miscarriages and chemical pregnancies. I texted Birthright and asked if I could come in for counseling. The counselor saw me as often as I needed. She reassured me that what I was feeling is normal and it is ok to feel how I am feeling. Birthright texted me each month to make sure that me and my husband were doing OK and reminded us to come in whenever we needed to and that they were thinking of us. My anxiety lessened and I felt more confident and more comfortable with being pregnant.
In December of 2020 our daughter was born. But after she was born, I developed severe postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. Again, I reached out to Birthright. Again, I felt validated, safe to cry and felt no judgment. At that time the pandemic was in full swing. Finding a counselor or a therapist wasn’t possible. My counselor offered to help me find a therapist and encouraged me to make as many phone appointments as I needed if I wanted to talk. And let me say I now know I needed Birthright more than I realized. A couple months later my husband and I became pregnant with our second daughter. I have a new baby at home, I am still suffering from postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety, and now I am pregnant again. I cannot thank Birthright enough for opening their arms to us and helping us through the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Birthright’s resources and team members are absolutely wonderful and very much needed. I thought last week where I would be right now if I did not look at that Billboard and then drive straight there for a pregnancy test back in 2019. I recently looked at my three-year text message history of appointment reminders, words of encouragement, positive affirmations, check ins, and sent pictures from me to Birthright of my gorgeous daughters. Just imagine the power of positive, reassuring, prayerful, thoughtful, and reminding text messages. I cried happy tears just looking through the past text messages.
I could not tell you enough about the love and care I received from wonderful people and volunteers at this wonderful organization. Young women need a place to turn to when they are faced with big decisions. Couples need to know that they can come as they are and counseling is not only for women. The texting platform is essential for the girl who is scared or shy but can make an appointment despite being scared. I needed Birthright, my family needed Birthright, and many others will need Birthright, too.
While at Birthright, they actively listened to me each and every time, and provided me with the tools or skills I needed to move forward and overcome my struggles. I can honestly say, I am not sure what we would have done without Birthright’s support, love, and resources.
Every woman and couple deserve the same non-judgmental, loving, and amazing experience as we did.
Birthright saved my life!! You want to know how? Here’s my story…
That first day I walked into Birthright, I was afraid, ashamed, and alone. I didn’t know who or where to turn. How would I take care of another baby when I already had a 5yr old,4yr old, and 2yr old twins? I just kept thinking, “this is impossible.” Abortion was a thought in my mind, but I knew my mom had had an abortion before she gave birth to me, so what would have happened if she decided to not keep me? Did I want that for my unborn child?
As I sat in that Birthright office across from my counselor, I instantly felt safe. I felt safe enough to be vulnerable and let all my emotions, feelings, doubts, and worries spill out. In return, I received nothing but non-stop support and encouragement from Birthright. I was given resources to help with living expenses and also given help with baby items that were needed.
I was constantly reminded of how strong of a woman and mother I was. How whatever decision I made about my pregnancy, that Birthright would be there to support me. And I must say that that is exactly what they did! They were there for me through not one but two pregnancies that I decided to go through with. I will forever be grateful for all the help and guidance I received from Birthright.
Here is why I say that Birthright saved my life. In 2020 I went through one of the hardest times of my life. I lost my mother, grandmother, fiancee, and one of my child’s fathers, all within a 3-month span. I felt so lost and in so much pain that I no longer wanted to be present on this earth without them. I thought about turning to drugs or even alcohol to suppress the pain.
One day I realized that I have 6 little ones that depend on me and need me here at my best. So I decided to keep living for my children. The children that I almost gave up on before that day I walked into that birthright office. The children I had doubts about keeping but was reminded that I am strong enough and that I can make it with Birthright’s support and resources.
I sincerely thank Birthright from the bottom of my heart for their support and for being there when I had nowhere else to turn. I thank you for giving me a second chance at life!
Birthright saved our lives!
You are not alone.
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