By Donna Gilmore, A FirstLook Staff Nurse
Early in the COVID-19 crisis, a number of women came to FirstLook because many abortion clinics could not perform surgical abortions. Jenni found herself in a desperate situation and began searching the internet for an abortion clinic. We had recently increased our Google Ad spending, and FirstLook’s ad came up first on her search. She called and made an appointment. When she arrived, she was planning to have an abortion. Her demeanor was weary and resigned.
Jenni was in her 30’s, unwed, living with her parents, on disability, and had a son at home. She told me that her parents were very religious, and she was afraid to tell her father in particular that she was pregnant. Both of her parents had expressed disappointment when she decided to raise her son as a single woman; but nonetheless, they loved their grandson well. Jenni dreaded the judgement that would come from her father if she told him she was pregnant again and feared he would not allow her and her son to continue living with them. She could not financially make it on her own.
During her appointment at FirstLook, Jenni was given her parenting options counseling and offered connections to community resources. I performed her pregnancy test, STI test, and ultrasound on her first visit. The ultrasound pictures were beautiful. She watched her baby moving and said she couldn’t abort. We talked at length, and I told her of the support FirstLook offers as she walks through her pregnancy.
When Jenni returned a week later for her STI results, she looked like a different person. Her posture and her smile spoke of a woman with hope, which is exactly what she said! “I have hope now. If your clinic hadn’t popped up first when I was looking for an abortion clinic online, things would have gone very differently.” She told me that during the past week, a man that pursued her 10 years ago came to her and said he was willing to be a father to her children and wanted to be her husband. She said, “I feel like he is my Boaz!”