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Being Pro Life for October: The full-service work of Pregnancy Care Centers

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By Bob Wurzelbacher

“In the waiting room, there were so many other women in my same situation. They were crying. I asked the lady, ‘What do you do with the baby after the procedure?’ and she told me they just throw them away. And even though I wasn’t ready to have a baby, I know that my baby didn’t deserve to go in the trash can.”

This describes a young woman’s experience at an abortion clinic seven years ago. Today, Magalia is a fun and lively young woman, engaged, raising a beautiful 6-year old girl, and just a year away from completing her college degree. But things could have been very different if she had taken the advice of the abortion center. However, she also visited a local pregnancy care center, and now works for the center that made all the difference in her decision to keep her baby.

Magalia willingly shared her thinking upon discovering she was pregnant. “I wasn’t ready. I was going to school and living with my mother. What are our parents going to think? What is our church going to think?”

Magalia did an internet search for pregnancy care and abortion centers, and, thankfully, made an appointment at the Women’s Center in Dayton. Her smile brightens as she describes that initial visit:

“Once we heard the ultrasound and her heartbeat,” she said, “I was overwhelmed with joy.” They told her of many resources they had to offer, including parenting classes and baby items throughout the first years of the baby’s life. But Magalia still left a little uncertain. That’s when she called the abortion facility.

Over the phone, she was told to pay $250, just for a consultation. That sum wasn’t easy to come by, but she got the money and visited the abortion clinic. They also did an ultrasound, but the nurse turned the screen away so she couldn’t see her unborn child. Then she was told she needed to give them an additional $250 and come back later for the abortion. That is $500, compared to all the services available at the Women’s Center, completely free.

Magalia recounted the story of what happened after returning home from the abortion clinic. “I cried myself to sleep. This was a person. This was someone who had a heartbeat. This was someone who had fingers and toes and a brain.” She called the center and cancelled her appointment, but she didn’t get her money back.

The Women’s Center continued to be there for both Magalia and her baby, even after the birth. “They were concerned about my well-being,” she recalled, with tears streaming down her face.

Magalia enjoys her daughter: “She just has this light that I never knew someone could have — she believes in me. It’s the best feeling knowing me and her are together and tackling the world.”

If you want to help, pregnancy centers need volunteers who can counsel, babysit, sort clothes, do administrative
work — everyone has a skill that can be used. They also accept new and gently used baby items, and monetary donations. To find the local pregnancy center closest to you, see: Catholiccincinnati.org/ministries-offices/respect-life-2/pregnancy-coalition-resource-page/. The annual Respect Life fund collection at your parish is set for Oct. 7. For more information on this fund, click here

To other women in similar situations Magalia says, “You can do it. Just be open to the pregnancy resources that are available. I didn’t necessarily have the support I needed, but I found that support with the (Women’s Center in Dayton.)”

Check out the shortened video below, or check out the full video and podcast on our Being Pro Life page

 

This will be a 12-month series, focusing on a different aspect of Respect Life work each month. Next months’ column will be on assisted suicide.

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