At the beginning of the COVID-19, women of childbearing years experienced a whole new crisis. Executive orders from several state governors diverted women who decided to have an abortion. Women who made appointments were told they had to wait days or even weeks. Some went to neighboring states, others just waited, and others chose to continue their pregnancies. The abortion industry was up in arms over these orders. After all, abortion is how they make their money. No access equals no money.
But is access to abortion really the crisis? Is pregnancy a crisis? Oftentimes both sides of the abortion debate refer to a woman who finds out she’s pregnant and does not want to deal with it, a crisis pregnancy. It can certainly seem like a crisis. And a lack of access to abortion, to choosing a way out of that crisis, could seem like an immediate need that must be met. I think women facing these kinds of pregnancies do need immediate help, but access to abortion isn’t the right kind of help, and access to abortion is also not the answer.
I run a ministry called Loveline that helps women with rent, utilities, transportation, food, and baby items. Calls to Loveline increased significantly when abortion was restricted. And we met those women where they were, helping them with their immediate needs. Suddenly, the crisis was eliminated with just a little help, and they felt empowered to continue their pregnancy. What if all women reached out to us before they chose abortion? Imagine the impact our assistance could have.
Most of the time, women need financial assistance, and we are providing this help with the donations received from our supporters. In addition to this, some of these women feel like they have no emotional support in their life. They are lonely and feel hopeless, and bringing a baby into their situation is overwhelming. The easiest – and the most accessible answer- is abortion.
Yet, in recent years, the abortion industry has proclaimed that access has been hindered. But, for many of these women – over a million a year – access is not an issue for this elective procedure.
For example, in Texas, where Governor Greg Abbott gave an executive order to halt all non-essential services, including abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the abortion clinics sued the state government, got a temporary restraining order, and the court upheld the Governor’s order. The ban on abortions was eventually lifted.
However, when the ban was in effect, I was out on the sidewalk in front of the abortion clinic in Houston, praying, counseling women seeking abortions, and reaching out to abortion workers. I watched as over 40 cars entered the parking lots and filled all the spaces, despite a pandemic. I watched as the first woman exited the clinic, still under the influence of medication and unable to walk without assistance, enter the passenger side of her support person’s vehicle only 40 minutes after the abortion doctor entered the building. I looked on as women continued to exit that back door 10 minutes apart, six in one hour. Some of them were crying as their partner drove them out of the parking lot, and others were covering their face.
It’s heartbreaking watching women in physical and emotional pain leave the abortion clinics. The weight of the burden of an unplanned pregnancy for these women is crushing. But, when the default for women in untimely pregnancies is abortion, access to abortion isn’t the problem.
I’ve seen women change their minds about abortion almost instantaneously after learning there is help out there for them. When they understand someone is on their side, not just with baby clothes and diapers, but someone who gets in their mess with them and walks with them. Someone who shows empathy and compassion, letting them know that they are seen, heard, and listened to ― abortion clinics don’t do any of that. Their main goal is to commit as many abortions as physically possible within a certain time frame. There is no real counseling that happens inside abortion clinics. It’s a complete farce that the abortion industry cares about women.
I’ve been offering real help to women at abortion facilities in Houston for eight years. I’ve seen hundreds of women take this help, choose life for their babies, and turn around and help others.
In fact, a woman that I encountered in October of 2018 at Houston Women’s clinic shared her son’s first birthday pictures with me! He is her sixth child, and she says that her family would be incomplete without him. Incomplete. She wanted to donate the items we had given her back to our organization so that another mom would have what she needs.
For us, the help we offer is relational, not transactional. Access to abortion isn’t a crisis, at least in the way that the abortion industry is trying to paint it as. The crisis is when women think there is no other option besides abortion. That’s the actual crisis; that’s when we know that we have failed these women.
If you’re looking for support after having an abortion, please reach out to us. We are
here to support you!