One of the most common misconceptions about women facing an unexpected pregnancy is that they want to have an abortion.
You hear it from the abortion industry all the time. They argue that abortion is “empowering.” They argue that abortion is all about having “choice” and “control” in your life. And they sell our culture the lie that abortion is really no big deal.
But after 21 years serving women in the pro-life movement, I can say with confidence that in almost every situation, women don’t want to have an abortion.
In reality, women come to Human Coalition and other clinics across the country determined to get an abortion because everything else in their life is falling apart.
They are facing real, tangible challenges. They have no support. They are overwhelmed. And instead of feeling like they have choice and control in their lives, they feel they have no choice other than abortion.
I know these feelings all too well, because I felt the exact same way when I found out I was pregnant during my senior year of high school.
The Voices Were Telling Me to Abort
I grew up in a Christian home, going to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night.
Like many churchgoers, I didn’t know much about abortion. But I knew I was pro-life because the church said that I should be.
However, as I grew up, my family and I began to grow apart from God. And by the summer before my senior year of high school, I had become involved in the party scene and wasn’t making good decisions.
Then, a few weeks into my senior year, I discovered that I was pregnant.
Thinking back on that day, I remember how embarrassed, ashamed, and scared I was. I didn’t want to tell my mom and dad, because I was afraid of how they would respond.
All the voices were telling me to abort. Everything I heard was that I was too young, or that I shouldn’t ruin my life, or that I shouldn’t let this get in the way of going to college. I truly felt like I had no other choice than to get an abortion.
Instead of approaching my parents about it, I called one of my friends and asked her if she would take me to an abortion clinic to get it over with. She told me to come over right away.
When I arrived at her house, instead of taking me to the clinic, she sat me down and told me about her experience with abortion – which had happened six years before.
As she told me about her experience, it was as if it had just happened yesterday. She remembered every detail of how she was treated and spoken to by the abortion clinic staff. She remembered the sounds from the procedure and the guilt she felt when her child’s life was ended.
She then shared what her life was like after the abortion. She shared that she had gone through such a deep depression that she was suicidal. For months after, she struggled with nightmares, guilt, and shame. And many of those feelings still existed – even years after the abortion.
She told me, “If anything good ever comes from what I did, it’s that you don’t make the same mistake I made. So, I will be here to help support you in whatever way I can – but abortion must be off the table.”
Those words resonated with me so much and literally changed the course of my life. I knew immediately that I didn’t want an abortion – and I chose life for my son that day.
While I was confident in my decision to choose life, the next steps were still scary. I had to tell my parents, and then, I had to tell my high school.
I was shamed into quitting high school, but instead of giving up, I stayed focused on providing for my child and overcoming the obstacles in my way.
I moved into a maternity home for teen moms, where I received tutoring to help finish high school as well as learned valuable life skills to be successful as a single mom. Despite how difficult it was to tell my family, they eventually rallied around me and supported my decision to choose life.
Another important change that happened during that time was getting back on track with God. I started following Him again, trusting Him, and putting my full faith in Him to provide for me and my son.
God’s Plan to Use My Story
After giving birth to my son, life wasn’t always easy. But I never regretted my decision to choose life. I also never expected God to use my story to help women facing similar circumstances.
Years after my decision for life, I accepted a part-time job as a bookkeeper at a pregnancy resource center. I admit that I didn’t know much about what the center did – I really just needed a job to help contribute to my family’s budget.
However, as I learned more about what the center did and how I could use my story to help women facing unexpected pregnancies, I realized that this was all coming full circle. It was part of the bigger and better plans God had for my life.
What started out as a part-time job became a full-time mission. I worked my way up at the pregnancy resource center and eventually became the executive director. Then one day, I met two new volunteers at the pregnancy resource center who had the idea to use marketing to reach women online who were looking for abortion information.
When they approached me with the idea and asked if I would answer phone calls from the women they reached, I agreed to help in any way that I could. A few years later, the first child was rescued using this innovative strategy. And Human Coalition’s lifesaving rescue effort began.
Today, I continue to be honored and humbled to serve at Human Coalition and in the pro-life movement. God has given me the opportunity to walk with young women who are facing the same challenges I was and use my story to help them choose life. And to know I have played a small part in helping rescue over 20,000 children and families from abortion is just the most incredible feeling.
Moreover, not only have I had the opportunity to use my story, but it has become my son’s story as well.
My son has shared our story to friends, churches, and high schools. He’s used this story to show why choosing life is so important. And he’s been there to walk with moms and families in their time of greatest need.
Your Support Passes Down a Legacy
In the darkest time of my life when I believed abortion was the only option, the support and love from one person made all the difference. It revealed that I didn’t truly want an abortion – and I just needed someone to walk alongside me.
This is true for many women facing unexpected pregnancies. In fact, of the women who come to Human Coalition seeking an abortion, 76% would “prefer to parent” if their life circumstances were different.
That’s why your partnership is so impactful. The hope you provide passes down a legacy that can impact generations of families.
A few years ago, my daughter (who is a middle school teacher) was at a parent open house for her school. A mom came up to her and asked, “Are you Lori’s daughter?” My daughter answered that she was, and the mom immediately burst into tears.
She shared that years earlier, she was facing an unexpected pregnancy and had been reached by Human Coalition thanks to your support. She was connected to the clinic I worked in, and I had walked with her through the crisis she was facing. She ended up choosing life for her child – who was now in my daughter’s class.
Without your giving to reach that mom, she would have never come to one of Human Coalition’s clinics. But because she did, her child is here today, and abortion won’t be part of that family’s legacy.
That’s just one example of the incredible impact of your partnership. You reach women like me, who don’t really want an abortion; they simply need someone willing to stand in the gap and walk alongside them.
It’s my honor and privilege to serve alongside so many pro-life champions like you in this mission. Thank you for your heart to show women that they have options other than abortion.
Lori Szala serves as the National Director of Training and Education for Human Coalition. She was one of the first volunteers involved with Human Coalition over 11 years ago and has been active in the pro-life movement for over 20 years.