Sara had just returned to work from maternity leave and was struggling to make ends meet. She was trying the best she could to be there for her two young daughters, but was feeling exhausted. Suspecting she may be pregnant, Sara took a home pregnancy test and it came back positive.
Looking for help, Sara searched online and found a professional-looking agency that advertised free, non-judgmental pregnancy options counselling. When she arrived at the office for her appointment, she was relieved to find the staff were friendly and welcoming. However, Sara was taken aback when the counsellor began the session by saying, “Congratulations on your pregnancy, what a blessing!” Sara explained the difficulty she was having making a decision about her pregnancy and wanted more information about abortion and the potential risks.
The counsellor told Sara if she chose to end her pregnancy she would likely suffer from a serious condition known as Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome and would need intensive counselling in order to cope. The counsellor told Sara that abortion is a highly traumatic procedure that most women cannot live with themselves afterwards and many contemplate suicide.
After leaving the session Sara was torn. She knew in her heart she could not handle another child right now, but she didn’t know how she could handle living with Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome and still be a good mother.
Every day, women like Sara visit one of the three crisis pregnancy centres here in Waterloo Region. These centres are backed by anti-choice groups whose mission it is to stand between women and their legal right to abortion.
A few days later, Sara found the SHORE Centre website and sent an email asking for help. We emailed back and forth and arranged for Sara to come in to meet with me. Sara had lots of questions, but was mainly concerned about how she would cope after the abortion. I was able to explain to Sara that Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome is not recognized by the American Psychological Association and abortion has not been found to cause any mental health issues.
The most common feelings reported after abortion are those of relief. In fact, a recent study found that 95% of women who choose abortion do not regret their decision. I met with Sara two more times to help her process her feelings about her decision and answer any questions she had. Armed with information and support, Sara was able to make the decision that was right for her. I got an email from Sara a few weeks ago to tell me she was doing well and thanking me for supporting her and her choice.
We believe every woman has the right to accurate, non-judgmental information and support. But we must do better. Crisis pregnancy centres in our region are reaching women like Sara through advertising campaigns on buses, billboards, and online. Their pockets are deep, but our message is stronger – women deserve better!
This fall we need your help to raise $40,000 so we can reach women like Sara before they even hear about these crisis pregnancy centres. Please join me in a making a gift to support choice in Waterloo Region.
Your gift of $35, $125 or $250 will ensure that when women like Sara are looking for help they will find accurate information and support at SHORE Centre. You can also spread out your gift throughout the year by joining our monthly giving program.
Please make your donation today by visiting www.shorecentre.ca/donate or calling 519-743-9360. Thank you for your support.
Yours in choice,
Client Support Coordinator
PS. Thank you for standing up for choice. Together we are making a difference. Check out www.shorecentre.ca/impact to hear from our clients how your gift has supported them in making an informed choice.