Here is a story from a woman who faced an unplanned pregnancy as a teen. For her, parenting was the right choice. Read her account of how she chose life, and parenting, for her and her son.
Facing an unplanned pregnancy during her senior year in high school started Tara on a journey of faith more amazing than she could imagine at 17.
Tara was raised in a Christian home. Faith-based values were a strong part of her childhood, but when she discovered she was pregnant a guidance counselor at school encouraged her to have an abortion. Tara was confused about what to do. Conflicting messages were all around her. Her mother wanted her to keep the baby, but her father wanted her to have the abortion.
“It was hard, being so young, to make the right choice. At that age, you want to take the easy way out,” Tara said. “But I did ask God what to do. It was a really big thing to find pennies in the hallway at school, and one day I said to God, ‘Lord, if you want me to keep the baby, you need to send some pennies my way.’ Well, you have no idea how many pennies I found that day. I knew that I was supposed to keep the baby, but I still struggled to commit to it.”
Tara’s mother, Doris, encouraged her to talk to someone about her pregnancy. She showed her daughter a Bethany advertisement about a hotline for women with unplanned pregnancies. Tara remembers calling the hotline.
“The conversation influenced me a lot,” she said. “I came away from it asking questions.”
Tara’s mother also offered her daughter educational materials to read, hoping they would help Tara make the right choice.
“I remember asking my mom for a pamphlet she had that would show me each month what developmental stage the baby was in. As time went on, I knew the baby was there and growing,” Tara said. “The pamphlet was vital. It was a Godsend. It made it real.”
Still, Tara moved forward with scheduling an appointment for an abortion.
The night before her abortion, Tara couldn’t sleep. Still unsure what to do, she agreed to speak with a family friend who was a Christian counselor. As an outcome of the conversation, Tara made up her mind to keep her baby.
Miraculously, when Tara called the clinic the next morning to cancel her appointment, they claimed to have no record of it. It was a final, albeit unnecessary, sign from God.
A few months later, Tara gave birth to her son.
“I still have that mental image of the first time I saw Chase,” Tara said. “It was just the two of us in the room with the nurse, and it was awesome. I was impressed with how wonderful he was, and at how I was given the chance to be his mom. I thank God every day for him.”
“Having Chase enriched my life tremendously,” Tara said. “We grew up together in many ways. I am more mature because of this mountain I have climbed.”
Tara and her son lived with her parents for the first five years of Chase’s life. The loving support of her family bolstered Tara’s faith.
“My dad changed and became a huge help,” she said. “He was angry and disappointed at first, but he was forgiving in the end, and as the first grandchild, Chase held a special place in his heart. He got to be a grandpa because of my decision.”
Tara said the experience has only brought blessings.
“It’s amazing how you can see love grow throughout the family when you make the right choices and do what you’re supposed to do,” she said.
Doris agrees. In fact, she believes that without Bethany’s services, her grandson, now 26, would not be alive, her daughter might not be a woman of strong faith, and her husband, whose faith journey was impacted greatly through this experience, may never have become a believer.
Tara shares, “Today, I know the repercussions for women who have had abortions—emotionally and physically—and I’m so glad I didn’t. When you’re faced with something like that, it is important to ask God what to do, to ask for guidance, and to ask for grace. And in the end, to do what you know is right.”
Names have been changed to protect privacy.