By Heidi McDonald, Client Services Associate
“Zoe” came to Assurance a few years ago as a teenager. Since then, she had her son and completed her GED. Zoe had hopes and plans for career paths, but that was before she found out she was pregnant again after a recent abortion. Zoe expressed frustration and anger saying, “Why did I have an abortion only to be in this situation again?” She said she thought abortion was acceptable if you were in a bad place, but looking back she thought she wasn’t in that bad of a place and felt “really sad and guilty” about the abortion. Her mother and boyfriend were encouraging her to abort again. Zoe told me she had also been pregnant last year but had miscarried. Zoe said although she didn’t want to abort again, she was considering parenting or abortion.
As I sat across from Zoe, I could see her weighing her options. She wasn’t just considering this pregnancy. She was processing the actions that led up to the current pregnancy and the previous ones. She was looking at what had been and what will be, no matter her final decision with this pregnancy. Zoe shared that she thought that if she chose what her boyfriend wanted, then they would continue a relationship, but if she chose to parent, their relationship would likely end. She was facing a difficult choice, like many of our clients face; from her perspective, she was choosing between parenting alone or aborting and staying with her boyfriend.
As we talked about the relationship with her boyfriend and how life had been for her since they had been together, her eyes widened, and she looked down, saying quietly, “I’m realizing I’m not happy with him, and I’ve been miserable with his response when I told him I was pregnant again”. Zoe said she wants to feel happy and be genuinely loved but she doesn’t feel like she is receiving genuine love from him. She stated that though “He treats me kindly with gifts and time, he doesn’t love me unconditionally or care for me like I deserve”. A change came over Zoe as we talked. I watched her furrowed brow soften; her tense voice turned calmer. She had come into Assurance at a loss, determined to find out how she felt and what she wanted to do. The pressure from her mom and boyfriend to abort was strong and yet Zoe didn’t want to choose that again. She knew that what she did with this pregnancy wasn’t about deciding for just her present circumstances, but it would impact her future as well. As we continued talking, Zoe’s voice strengthened as she leaned forward, smiled, and confidently said, “At this point, I’m going with the parenting route. I know I can do this.”
I left the client room that day smiling. At the start of our conversation, it seemed Zoe was leaning more heavily toward abortion than parenting. She was guarded and angry over being faced with the decision of what to do with another unplanned pregnancy. But she was given a safe place to process out loud all that was in her heart and mind and, in the end, she concluded that for her, parenting was the option for this pregnancy.
We care deeply about the women and men we serve. We join Zoe in high hopes for her family and career and we offered our help and support for her towards those goals. We share her goal for herself that she would experience unconditional love. We know the only true source of that, and we pray for seeds that were planted in our spiritual conversations with her and in the Bible we gave her to grow to life-transforming faith. Join us in that prayer!