When “Lisa,” a 25-year-old woman, called Crossroads Care Center in Auburn Hills, Mich., in the fall of 2015, she felt like she was out of time, out of options, and destined to endure the remaining stages of an abortion she already regretted.
A week earlier at a nearby abortion business, Lisa had ingested mifepristone—the first of two pills in the chemical “abortion pill” regimen, meant to end the life of her preborn child. She had even taken the second pill in the regimen (misoprostol) to induce labor, but the contractions never came.
Lisa felt something was going drastically wrong.
In a follow-up appointment at the abortion business, Lisa told the clinic staff about her symptoms, and they confirmed via ultrasound that the chemical abortion had failed and her baby was still alive.
From there, abortion workers gave Lisa two “options”: they could finish the abortion via surgery or make another attempt at a chemical abortion.
“She chose neither of those,” Tracey Fish, a physician assistant who works with Crossroads Care Center, said. “She wanted to keep her child, but they didn’t offer her that option. So, she called us wondering if we could help her.”
Calling during off-hours, Lisa—who’d been to Crossroads while she was still trying to decide whether or not to keep her baby—reached Tim Stickel, the center’s executive director, who happened to be in the office.
Crossroads then connected Lisa with a high-risk ob-gyn for emergency treatment, and for care the rest of her pregnancy. In the meantime, Stickel, Fish and others spent precious hours in prayer, mentorship and biblical counseling with Lisa and the father of her baby—both during and after pregnancy.
In the spring of 2016, Lisa gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
“It was God who preserved her,” Stickel said. “We’ve never cried more and prayed more for somebody. It was an emotional roller coaster. There was a huge time investment, but it was only after God had done His work of preserving this child.”
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As Stickel and his team at Crossroads—which serves over 200 clients each month—watched Lisa change her mind and successfully rescue her baby from an in-progress abortion, they began exploring new ways to help women like her.
Starting this March, Crossroads is joining the Abortion Pill Reversal Network—over 350 medical providers that are equipped to rescue babies from abortion with the Abortion Pill Reversal protocol.
Well over 400 mothers have successfully rescued their babies through Abortion Pill Reversal since 2007, when two doctors pioneered the life-saving treatment—an emergency injection and follow-up schedule of progesterone treatments that have been used to prevent miscarriage since the 1950s.
For Stickel, as well as Fish, the decision to join the network has been an easy one, especially after watching Lisa rescue her child.
“We want to open up opportunities for women to have options if they change their mind,” Fish said.
Putting Clients First
Determining to help women, meet their needs and offer options has been Crossroads’ focus since it opened its doors in 1984 in nearby Rochester. At the end of 2017, its local Chamber of Commerce honored the center—which relocated to its Auburn Hills location 17 years ago—as exemplifying the Golden Rule.
Stickel knew Crossroads was nominated for the award, but he didn’t expect too much.
“I was totally surprised,” Stickel said. “In most cities, pro-life organizations are not very welcomed. We are blessed with a great Chamber of Commerce.”
In fact, the Chamber of Commerce was on hand when Crossroads held an open house and ribbon-cutting for its newly rebranded facility in early 2017. There was a significant reason for the rebrand—from Crossroads Pregnancy Center to Crossroads Care Center—better identifying the center’s concern for its community.
“We started doing STD testing in March 2016 and we thought it advantageous,” Stickel said. “It’s changing the face of who we are. Our clientele is changing, [seeking] more medical services: more ultrasounds, more pregnancy tests, more STI/STD testing.”
Services Beyond the Center
Stepping outside the center’s walls, Crossroads brings a sexual risk avoidance program to about 10,000 students in 52 schools in nine districts—another way the center positively affects Auburn Hills.
Those opportunities, which are often criticized by abortion advocates, often bring about better long-term results than Stickel and his team could expect to find. Recently, one high school senior who had mocked a Crossroads teacher as a freshman stood up to tell his classmates the real change their sexual risk avoidance program had made in his life, Stickel said.
“I took to heart what she said four years ago,” the young man had said. “I’ve been celibate the whole time, and I have no intention of having any sexual relations until I get married, and I just want to say thank you.’”
Stickel, who has guided Crossroads for 13 years, is quick to credit the God for any success the center has seen as it seeks to bring about a cultural shift in its community.
“It’s nothing we do—it’s all God,” he said. “God knows what He’s doing, and He’s been very gracious to us.”