The following post was written by *Abby, an intern at Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers. She is sharing her experience and knowledge so that others can realize there is hope in the midst of a difficult situation.
The stories that are shared here come from the real-life experiences that our clients, staff and volunteers had as they dealt with unplanned pregnancy. *All names have been changed.
I began interning at Advice and Aid in the summer of 2014. As a junior from Pittsburg State University pursuing degrees in exercise physiology and psychology, a crisis pregnancy center seemed like a perfect way to get my internship hours while still being able to learn about psych and physio both. I came back to the center for the summer of 2015 as a senior and completed my training to be a fully certified client advocate in addition to serving as the intern.
Coming from a college environment, I’d certainly heard a lot of everyone’s views on abortion, adoption, and unplanned pregnancy. However it was something that never really affected me, so I didn’t have a definite opinion one way or the other. I came into the internship simply ready to learn what I could about the pregnant woman from a health care perspective and about counseling.
Nothing could have prepared me for the experience I was about to have.
My training days were filled with information on fetal development, health care options, dealing with clients in a loving way, and the abortion procedure itself. My mind was blown by the sheer volume of information I was never exposed to about my own body, pregnancy, and various medical complications with pregnancy and abortions.
I wondered how many women were “flying blind” and scared because they, like I, had never learned what was involved in pregnancy and about health care in the different options moving forward.
As friends began to learn where I was interning, they naturally asked delicate questions about the political and religious affiliation of Advice & Aid. It did not take long for me to meet such questions with eager answers so I could share what I was learning. I found myself passionate about the topic of abortion and the rights of women to know what was truly happening to their bodies. The knowledge that my friends could be going into a procedure after being coerced by friends or family, deceived by the media, and blind to simple facts about the procedures and their body as well as the horrifying physical and mental complications was outrageous. The knowledge that women often were alone and scared in conditions that would never meet standard medical health and safety regulations broke my heart.
And after much reading, listening, and searching, I came to the conclusion that abortion is the most violating experience a woman can have.
Day after day I watched women in countless situations come through the Advice & Aid doors and into the arms of a loving team of staff and volunteers. I saw lives transformed from the relentless love of these women at Advice & Aid, fueled by a mission and by fiercely loving hearts. I learned so much about caring for people and was even empowered in my own life. No matter which volunteer spoke with a client, I was at peace that that woman would be taken care of and that she was in a truly safe place.