I rarely received phone calls from outside the Hospital; they were usually from other departments or Doctors asking questions that I sometimes knew the answers to. Therefore, it was out of the ordinary when I received the call that day. I answered, “Hello, Medical Staff”.
The voice of a young woman, sobbing and breathless asked, “Do you have the names of any doctors who do abortions?” My blood ran cold.
“Nooo? I don’t.” I answered.
Desperately she continued,” I just found out I’m pregnant and I can’t have a baby!”
Feeling her fear I joined her in her despair as she went on explaining her situation.
Mournfully she cried, “My boyfriend doesn’t know and I can’t tell my parents - I’m only sixteen!”
A voice in me wanted to cry out, “No, don’t do it, you don’t know the cost!” However, holding the voice silent, I asked her name as I scrambled for a paper and pen.
“Susan”, she replied.
With heart racing, I jotted it down and tried to sound calm. “Susan, I don’t know anyone on staff who performs abortions, but I think you REALLY need to talk to someone before you do ANYTHING, Ok? There must be a place you can go to talk to someone.”
“Yeah? Ok.” I sensed her storm begin to subside.
“Susan, let me try to find a place you can call, and then I’ll call you right back, Ok?”
“OK” she answered.
“What’s your number?” I carefully jotted it down as if all life depended on it then repeated it back to her.
“Yeah that’s right. You’ll call me right back?”
“Yes, as soon as I find out.”
“I’ll call you right back, bye”. I hung up.
Mind racing, I thought, “Who can help this girl? She needs options… Oh, the Chaplain might have some information.”
I called Charlie. His cheerful voice answered, “Hello”.
Panicky I blurted, “Hey Charlie, I just spoke to a girl looking for a doctor who performs abortions; she’s desperate. She can’t do this! Is there anyone in town she can call to get counseling?”
“Well yeah, I think so.” He paused. “Yeah, I think there is a place that just opened up that does that sort of thing, mmm let me see… Let me look real quick for their number.”
After a brief moment, he was back on the line. “Yeah, here it is!” he proudly announced. “Their name is, Our Town Pregnancy Center, and their number is ###-####”.
I carefully jotted down the information, “Thanks Charlie!” hit the receiver button, then quickly punched in Susan’s number.
She answered after the first ring, “Hello”. The crying had stopped.
“Susan, it’s me, the gal you just spoke to.”
She meekly responded, “Yeah?” sounding somewhat relieved.
“I have the place you need to call. Are you ready to write this down?”
”Yeah, I’m ready”, she answered tentatively.
“Ok, write this down.” Slowly I annunciated every word and number. “You got that?”
“OK, now read it back to me.”
She repeated the information. “Good, that’s right. Now you need to call them before you do ANYTHING, OK?”
In a soothing tone I said, “Susan, It’s going to be OK”.
She sighed and with shaky breath said, “Yeah”.
“Now, you’re going to call them right?”
“Yeah, I’ll do that right now.”
“Good, I hope everything goes well for you. Make sure you call them ok?”
“Ok, I will. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” I lingered for a moment then said, “Good luck” and hung up.
I hoped the Lord had used me to help save a baby’s life, and a mother’s conscience.
Through the years, the memory of that encounter has revisited my thoughts from time to time. I have wondered, “What did she finally decide?” hoping that despite the fear and extreme challenges she faced, she had chosen life.
I have also been curious about the place she had called. “How did they receive her and what did they do to help her?”
Now I know they are a Christian based organization that ministers to pregnant women of all ages, providing information, education, and moral support for one of the biggest responsibilities anyone could ever face… being a parent.
Ten years have passed since I received the call from a fearful heart. I now realize it was also a calling from God and am involved in that ministry, a privileged volunteer on staff, helping to preserve the precious gift of life.
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