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Unwanted pregnancies call for compassion

December 2, 2011

Working as a Doctor’s receptionist means that you never know what someone’s going to say when you pick up the phone. Once when I answered the phone the young girl on the other end asked “How do I get an abortion?” – it really got me thinking.

It got me thinking about how much courage it must’ve taken her to phone and it got me thinking about how many decisions to have an abortion must be born out of fear. The fear that must come from finding out that you’re pregnant if it wasn’t planned, the fear of what your parents might think, the fear that the father might not stick around, the fear of your life being completely changed, the fear of not being ready to be a Mum…

And it makes me wish that there was more out there to educate people and support people so that this situation isn’t experienced by so many people. Obviously as a Christian I would love for more people to think of a foetus as a precious life created by God, whether planned or unplanned. However, that doesn’t mean that we should moralise, or make women feel guilty, when they are facing such incredibly difficult decisions and emotions brought about by an unwanted pregnancy. I think that more time needs to be given to the presentation of other options, including the possibility of adoption, however hard that may be, in order to minimise the likelihood of regret and pain in the future.

There is such a need for more help for women who find that they are unexpectedly pregnant, so that decisions aren’t taken lightly and that decisions aren’t born out of fear, loneliness and a lack of support. Offering counseling and support for women (and the men!) before a decision is made is vital, because once an abortion has been committed to, it is often too late to explore the options and there can be a life-long regret and pain, which isn’t necessarily explored or considered if a situation feels desperate and hopeless. Admittedly there are services and organisations out there who offer such things, for example; www.careconfidential.com but I don’t think that they are as widely advertised.

I can’t imagine the pain, turmoil and fear that many women must feel when they find out that they’re going to have an unplanned (and unwanted) baby, but I think that compassion, counseling, discussion and support are vital in that situation and it saddens me to think of the number of women who don’t have any and feel that they have to make a decision on their own. Just some of my thoughts, I’d love to know what you think?

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2011 8:10 pm

    Probably one of the most compassionate and truly Christian posts I’ve ever read on this subject. Finally, someone who wants to save the vessel as well as the water. I’m proud of you and this post, sister. You get a hardy amen from me ❤

    • Natalie permalink
      December 3, 2011 11:22 am

      Thank you so much for your comment Lisa – really appreciate your support 🙂

  2. December 2, 2011 8:32 pm

    I don’t think they are widely advertised. From what I understand nowadays doctors and health workers are more geared up to ask the right questions and help provide that support but it’s like everything it comes down to the individuals that you happen to have your appointment with or the person who happens to pick up the phone, not all are that compassionate. One person may be wonderful to point you in the right direction for support and advice but another may not care. I wish schools would cover these topics in more detail than they do. It’s all very well to educate children about safe sex but what about everything else, it seems that my son’s sex education classes didn’t really go into the type of support or advice available, if anything it gave him all the information that I would rather he had not received at 11 years old.

    • Natalie permalink
      December 3, 2011 11:26 am

      Thank you for your comment – you’ve raised good points! I think it’s so true that it depends on which individual or Doctor’s surgery you happen to go to as to the quality of advice and support, which is such a shame when considering such major issues and decisions. As for schools and sex education – I think you’re right that more should be made of support and advice there, rather than just ‘how to practice safe sex’.

  3. December 2, 2011 9:23 pm

    Very compassionate post. I agree.

    • Natalie permalink
      December 3, 2011 11:27 am

      Thank you for your comment Jan 🙂

  4. December 2, 2011 9:49 pm

    Natalie, this has to be the most compassionately written essay on the subject of abortion I’ve ever read…very difficult subject! I agree its going to take compassion, options and open-mindedness, communication, understanding and making the information available!

    • Natalie permalink
      December 3, 2011 11:31 am

      Thank you so much for your kind comment and support

  5. Anne permalink
    December 2, 2011 11:10 pm

    I used to feel that there was virtually no decision to make and that people were being incredibly selfish and cruel aborting unplanned and unwanted foetuses when there were couples who would love to adopt a baby. Having had two children I have realised that the decision to continue the pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption is a huge one – the physical and emotional upheaval of having a baby that you have prayed for and desparately want is great, and at times intrusive and overwhelming. Add to that the feeling that you don’t want the baby and aren’t going to keep it, and I feel it takes a brave person to go through with the pregnancy. I am stunned at how far my opinion has changed but I think experience has taught me compassion.

    • Natalie permalink
      December 3, 2011 11:32 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience Anne – totally agree that it can take more courage to continue the pregnancy and give your child up. Thank you for highlighting that point.

  6. December 3, 2011 12:27 am

    This is a difficult topic upon which to write, but you have done an excellent, compassionate job here.
    There is such a void out there to minister to the young woman who makes a “mistake”, is afraid of her parents’ judgment, and feels so all alone. Not sure if she can risk having the child and so, so afraid. A child having a child . . .
    I know some young ladies that have been brave enough to have these babies, but all have had the undying support of family. Maybe, it’s the parents who need the most counseling in this area.
    Blessings to you, Natalie. Proud of you for having the courage to write about this potentially incendiary topic.

    • Natalie permalink
      December 3, 2011 11:35 am

      Thank you Martha – I really appreciate your comment. Definitely agree that having a support network must make all the difference and thank you for showing that it’s not just the Mum’s and Dad’s to be who need counseling and support. Good point!

  7. December 3, 2011 2:12 am

    It took courage to bring this subject up. God bless you for being a loving Christian woman, who sees a problem and desires to find a solution. When we step up with the love of Christ in our hearts a lot gets done, but when we keep silent nothing gets done.

    • Natalie permalink
      December 3, 2011 11:36 am

      Thank you Susan 🙂

  8. Savira permalink
    December 3, 2011 10:29 am

    I was quite taken a back with this post… I was reluctant to read it but I was wrong for doing it. I am glad to have read it and will say that it was a breath of fresh air… as I have read so many from the same faith that condone this…
    You have chosen not to judge but help and understand the intricacies of this issue.

    • Natalie permalink
      December 3, 2011 11:39 am

      Thank you so much for reading my post Savira (and posting on it!) – I’m so glad that you didn’t regret reading it and that you found it refreshing.

  9. Larry Crosby, Sr. permalink
    December 3, 2011 5:36 pm

    Having been an evangelist and counselor for several decades from my experience there is only one winning decision of three choices, 1. Have the abortion, 2. Give the baby up for adoption, or 3. have the baby and be a parent. With choices 1. & 2. years later there is still guilt and regret. Yes, having the baby and being a parent as a 14 year old girl is incredibly difficult in our culture. It is a fact of life in many other cultures in our world. I agree with the post that the mom is a primary concern, but that does not change the fact that a human life begins at conception and matures beginning at that point in time. Very difficult real life discussion faced daily by our young sisters in Christ.

  10. December 3, 2011 11:55 pm

    Just as many women keep a baby out of fear as those who abort out of fear. Many times the right choice cannot be made because of the pressure that society places upon women/girls today. How can we expect our young people to come to us in their time of need when we act as if it is not our problem? Many women/girls who get pregnant unexpectedly have the same thing in common…the want/need for unconditional love. In today’s media we glamorize teen pregnancy, 16 and pregnant anyone?! If we expect our children to make smart choices we must offer them better examples. If we want others to not judge us we must not judge others. And last but, not least; if we want to help the world we must help without pushing our beliefs (including religious ones) onto anyone who is already struggling with life. I hope that the young lady was given enough information to not only help her with her initial query but, also directed to someone who can help her heal once and for all.

  11. December 5, 2011 5:24 am

    Hello.
    This is a very delicate topic upon which there are so many differing opinions.
    I agree wholeheartedly that compassion, counselling, support & more readily available information are key components for those involved.
    I commend your courage in raising this topic.

    For ref:
    Our Candlelight Of Love

  12. December 5, 2011 2:16 pm

    Wonderful post Natalie. I agree with a lot of your comments here. I do believe that sometimes a person’s opinion can alter a way a phone call or visit is handled. This is a very difficult topic for one to handle the situation objectively. I believe that options should be shared with women so that they know about alternatives, but also know that they have support for no matter what decision they make.

  13. December 6, 2011 12:06 am

    i commend you for writing about a touchy, sensitive subject. you are right, education, awareness and support will go a long way in helping women who find themselves in this quandary.

  14. December 10, 2011 3:13 am

    Thank you for your well thought out, compassionate post!

  15. March 7, 2012 1:35 am

    Definitely not an easy topic to write about but an important one for sure. You handled the topic with grace and compassion. I think if more people who condemn women who find themselves in these situations, instead extended their hands outwards to help, a lot more lives would be saved.

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