A mother, Leona and her 15 old daughter, Yasmin, 16 weeks pregnant with her own daughter, came to our centre last week. Yasmin was adamant: she wanted an abortion. Leona firmly but tacitly supported her daughter in this deadly course of action. During the sonogram, neither mother wanted to look at the image if the baby.
In the counselling session that followed, Yasmin remained as abortion-minded as when she'd arrived. Towards the end, a fellow counsellor came in briefly, stepped out again before coming back once again: "You're going home", she told Yasmin. I was surprised that our session had just been brought to an end. My co-counsellor had gone to speak with Leona, informing her that not only was Yasmin 16 weeks pregnant, but that she was expecting a baby girl & that her due date was Christmas Eve!!! Leona hadn't hesitated: "Well, she's going to have to keep her", she'd exclaimed. I was stunned by the sudden turn-around, but jubilant nonetheless.
On reflecting later, I realised that it wasn't just that Leona didn't want to look at the sonogram, she couldn't bring herself to: to face the reality that her daughter was pregnant & to face the soon-to-be victim of this unanticipated pregnancy.
Secondly, the vast majority of women seeking abortions (and sometimes the family members who accompany them), are very conflicted. Deep-down, they don't want to go through with it & are looking for a reason not too. In this case, it was the fortuitous sharing of information about the baby with her grandmother her Leona, that was decisive.
Life is precarious as it is. The arbitrary nature of "choice", of being legally allowed to choose to have one's own baby killed compounds it's precariousness. We can instantaneously choose to have another person killed, for example, a tiny fellow New Yorker, & have this decision executed within a few hours.
This baby's life was however, thankfully saved, in a split-second decision - in a heartbeat. It literally took the length of time of a heartbeat to save her life. To quote a song I like, "In a New York minute, everything can change". 😀