This Christmas season as I scanned my Instagram feed, I came across a photo of my friend Abby’s son in front of a big tree in her workplace. It warmed my heart to think of how her life has been changed for the better by a pregnancy decision more than five years ago.
When I first met Abby, she was attending a college in Massachusetts, and had come home to make a decision about an unexpected pregnancy. It was a difficult decision. Continuing with her pregnancy meant she might be the only pregnant student at her school. It might mean lost opportunities.
To abort or not to abort; that is the question on the minds of many women, men and teens we serve at Lighthouse. New Jersey has the second highest teen abortion rate in the country, and abortion is often the first option that comes to mind for young adults facing an unintended pregnancy – especially if they are headed to college or on their way to earning a degree.
It would be simpler under these circumstances if you could take a pill and become “unpregnant” (a time- travel pill perhaps that rolls back the clock to a pre-pregnancy time?). But even a chemical (non-surgical) abortion is not a magic pill free of complications or consequences. Ending a pregnancy this way can be a more intense experience because the woman is usually home alone when the pill takes effect.
Giving birth to a child is also an intense experience – especially if you’re alone and unsupported. But being alone is a temporary experience. Abortion is a permanent, irreversible decision. At Lighthouse, we frequently see women and men who wish they could turn back the clock to a time before their abortion experience. Sometimes their regret sets in as soon as the pill is swallowed – sometimes it is several days or years later.
Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center wants to offer you services before you make a decision, so that you understand the consequences and possibilities of all your choices. Don’t look back with regret on what might have been. If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, come see what Lighthouse offers to help you move forward with confidence and caring support.