For a mother, there’s nothing quite as emotional as watching your child open his first present ever on Christmas morning, when just days prior you thought you wouldn’t be able to provide one.
I owe it all to my local pregnancy resource center.
I shouldn’t have been surprised; Boston Center for Pregnancy Choices in Massachusetts had been at my side for years, starting with my pregnancy three years prior. Homeless and jobless at 20 years old, I feared I would never be able to afford the necessary items for my unborn child and was left thinking abortion was my only option.
As an employee of Boston Center for Pregnancy Choices, my cousin urged me to apply for their pregnancy program. Knowing my deepest desire was to keep my son, he promised they would help provide and give me the head start I desperately needed to get back on my feet.
After my initial skepticism, I ultimately sent in an application and soon received the phone call that welcomed me to the center. It changed my life — and my two sons’ lives — forever.
Despite my young age, there was no judgment among the staff at the center. I was empowered within my situation and experienced love and kindness I had never known before. They never pushed me to make one decision over another but, rather, discussed all my options with me — and pledged their unending support, no matter what I would choose.
Regrets About my Abortion
This experience pulled me out of a very dark state I had been trapped in. Four years prior, at just 16 years old, I had discovered I was pregnant for the first time and went to Planned Parenthood to talk about my options. I knew I was meant to be a mom and wanted so badly to keep my child, but upon telling the workers my situation, they immediately said I “absolutely had” to get an abortion.
“That’s it?” I thought at the time. “Are there really no other options for me?”
Looking back now, if someone had shown me another path, I never would have gone through with it. It is something I regret to this very day.
The weight of my lost child dragged me into a pit of depression and despair; yet the contrasting experience at Boston Center for Pregnancy Choices left me refreshed and confident, cheery, and certain I could do this.
And with their help, I did. As I embraced my role as a mother, the staff became my family. They saved my life and my son’s life, and I thrived through all the courses and resources they offered — including classes on parenting, car safety, breastfeeding, nutrition, and even a “father and me” class that my son’s father attended.
Then, two years later, I became unexpectedly pregnant again while I was still working to get back on my feet. The day I found out, Rebecca at the center just happened to text me, checking in.
This time, I knew where I would go. Abortion never crossed my mind, despite my initial embarrassment and shame.
The center knew I was struggling with payments and to feed my 2-year-old son while pregnant, so, again attending to my unique needs, they pooled enough resources to cover my rent and utilities, while helping me to find work that would sustain my family.
Now, with the goal of attaining my nursing degree, I work at a mental health company, where I counsel individuals with special needs.
Two Years Later, Center Staff Still Show They Care for Us
Yet for me, the most touching support of all from Boston Center for Pregnancy Choices was when they called me to ask what my two sons would want for Christmas, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to provide gifts for them on my own. I was moved to tears and, wanting my children to be good readers, requested a book.
It’s one I still read to them today.
I will never forget what those women did for me, and how they continue to be present in my life even now, over a year after my second son’s birth. Today, being the pro-woman advocate that I am, it breaks my heart to know that some in the state have called for the closure of centers like Boston Center for Pregnancy Choices.
If it hadn’t been for the women there, I know my two sons wouldn’t be here today. I wouldn’t be so healed from my abortion at 16 years old. I am willing to bet I wouldn’t even be here at all.
Without pregnancy resource centers, women would be left with no options but abortion. Take it from someone who has been there.
This Christmas, my two sons and I are immensely blessed. As we cozy up together to read the book from Boston Center for Pregnancy Choices, given to us a year ago, with their wrapped gifts under the tree, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the women who showed me what I was capable of. They empowered me to be the mother I am today, with the two loves of my life here in my arms.