By Bud Shaver
Albuquerque, New Mexico– The day before Albuquerque’s annual Balloon Fiesta began, Abortion Free New Mexico was blessed with the opportunity to help a pregnant mom choose life for her baby. It all began with an email from the pregnant mom’s mother, living in Texas, who was trying to find out if there would be any sidewalk counselors at the UNM abortion center to intercept her daughter.
She searched online for, “sidewalk counselors in Albuquerque” and our contact information came up. Her daughter had made the decision to travel over 600 miles from Texas to New Mexico to have an abortion procedure that could put her physical life at risk as well as her future fertility, emotional wellbeing and a potential lifetime of other consequences.
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Over the course of that day Tara corresponded with her mom to try and assess the situation. The prospect of one family member planning to get an abortion was enough to disrupt the whole family unit. There was so much concern for the pregnant mom from within the family which ended up being a blessing due to the fact that it ultimately allowed us a chance to speak with her before she arrived at the abortion center.
On the night before her scheduled appointment, Tara was able to go and meet with the pregnant mom and her father who had driven her here. It was evident by body language and her lack of emotion that she was not feeling like an empowered woman. She looked sad and she said that she was sad multiple times. What she needed was someone to listen to her and to really hear how she was feeling about the situation and for someone to help her work through her fears.
During the conversation Tara was able to share with her what the abortion industry never wants a pregnant mom to hear, the truth that when you are pregnant you are a mother. Also, that having an abortion comes with a wide range of consequences. Some women who abort their first child are never able to get pregnant again, some women suffer guilt, shame and regret that leads to unhealthy and dangerous behaviors like drug addiction and suicide.
Tara shared with her that she is worth more than an abortion that can’t solve any of the problems or concerns she is facing, but that we are here to support her and to let her know all of the other options available to her. Tara also explained and showed her the actual abortion procedure, let her hold a fetal model the approximate size of her own baby and assured her that she has time to figure out what is best for her and the baby.
Pregnant moms in a panic rarely stop to consider that their pregnancy is temporary, it will end naturally in nine months and until that time they can plan and consider what they really want to do whether it be to parent or place the child in an open or closed adoption situation. Oftentimes there are even family members willing to care for and adopt the baby. Every life affirming option was given as well as assurances that what the future holds is unknown but that this baby could help her find purpose in her life.
After parting ways Tara reached out to her to schedule an ultrasound for the next day, at that point the pregnant mom told Tara that she wanted to cancel her abortion appointment and pursue placing the baby for adoption.
Instead of having an abortion she and her father spent the day together taking in the culture and sights of New Mexico. One night before they returned to Texas, one of our volunteers offered to take us all out to dinner. If was a great opportunity connect on a more personal level and her transformation from the previous night was amazing to see. She was smiling and it was as if the weight of the world was lifted off of her. She had been carrying such a heavy burden so determined to have the abortion, but her decision to choose life had set her and her unborn child free!
Her father texted Tara shortly after arriving back in Texas stating how thankful he was that we met with them and shared so much information with his daughter in crisis.
Tara asked him an important question as we seek to understand how to help women in urgent crisis situations surrounding their decision to have an abortion or not,
What was it that had helped her change her mind and choose life?”
He responded that it was a combination of everyones support, seeing the abortion procedure, holding the fetal model and simply being listened to.
Tara Shaver, spokeswoman for Abortion Free New Mexico issued the following statement:
“We are completely humbled by the opportunity to help a mom choose life for her unborn child.
Sometimes life throws curveballs and sometimes women just don’t feel ready to be a mother but that never means that the child in the womb should be eliminated. The pro-life community is armed with resources, tangible help as well as overwhelming love and support. The abortion industry lacks all of these things because what they are offering is a bandaid for real life situations that deserve our time and attention. We are grateful that this new mom has such a supportive family that will be there for her throughout this whole process.
Women are truly empowered by choosing life even in difficult circumstances and we witnessed this firsthand.
We greatly appreciate the prayers of our volunteers which we know played a vital part in softening this this mom’s heart.
Every life is a beautiful gift.”