The moment it strikes the heart of a pregnant woman that she just did something that could kill her baby is likely the darkest moment of her life.
What pregnancy center (PC) would not want to be there for her in that moment? A caring Christ-centered PC can offer her what she needs most – a connection to the saving power of Jesus, and hope that her baby can be rescued from death.
Renata* had no hope that she could raise a third child since she and her husband were already separated.
So, she took mifepristone, the first pill in the abortion pill regimen. When she let her then-husband know, he found a way to protect her and their baby from the devastation of abortion, no matter what happened to their marriage. He found a PC that offered abortion pill reversal (APR) and went with her to what is now called Wellspring Life Ministry in the Annapolis, Md., area. Wellspring is part of the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network (APRN).
Managed by Heartbeat International, the APRN consists of some 1,100 providers worldwide that administer the APR protocol. APR entails prescribing progesterone, the natural hormone in a woman’s body needed to sustain pregnancy, to counter the effects of the first abortion pill. A new application of a decades-old treatment used to prevent miscarriage, APR is safe and if the mom acts quickly enough after taking the first abortion pill it may be possible to save her unborn child. The APRN reports that to date more than 3,000 lives have been saved thanks to APR.
Renata told Pregnancy Help News she thought an abortion would be the easy way out but knew in her heart it was wrong since her circumstances weren’t the baby’s fault.
Joy Hall, APR Counseling Team Lead for Wellspring and a sonographer, met Renata and her husband at the office.
APR intake process
Hall explained the process of consulting with a client for APR in a recent interview.
“We always speak with a woman privately, so she has the opportunity to be as open as she needs,” Hall said. “We feel strongly that a woman who just started an abortion has just been through an office experience [with an abortionist] with people not as kind and caring as we’d be. We hear reports of women getting pressured [to start the abortion process]. We slow it down and give her a chance to tell her story.”
Renata opted for a sonogram, and when she saw the heartbeat, she decided she wanted to reverse the abortion, if possible. She started with the safe and effective protocol of taking progesterone to reverse mifepristone’s destructive effects on pregnancy.
Hall has seen first-hand the effects of mifepristone on women and their babies.
“Mifepristone is a powerful drug, and women experience a long list of physical symptoms from it,” she said. “The body can have a reaction to the drug even if the baby is safe [safe because of APR protocol].”
Lasting connections made through APR
Because of that, Hall said, “We kept in close touch and continued sonograms,” to reassure Renata that the baby was still living.
For many women who have started the abortion process and then reversed it, the problems that caused them to previously choose abortion don’t go away.
In addition to that, “she’s got guilt and regret,” Hall said.
“She’s not sure the reversal will work. It seems too good to be true,” said Hall. “She has a fear of birth defects. [Note: Studies have shown that neither mifepristone, nor progesterone cause birth defects.] It’s an emotional roller coaster in the first few days.”
Wellspring makes a point of keeping frequent contact with APR moms. They continue follow-up contact even after the client chooses her own OB/GYN for prenatal care and delivery.
“We stay in really close touch,” said Hall. “We keep up emotional and spiritual support.”
When asked what it’s like to be a part the APRN, Pamela Palumbo, CEO of Wellspring, told Pregnancy Help News, “It’s wonderful.”
“Moms we help are immensely grateful,” she said. “They feel the investment of the pregnancy care center. We think all medical pregnancy centers should to this. It’s a safe procedure and the gold standard of care.”
Tweet This: “Moms we help are immensely grateful. APR is a safe procedure and the gold standard of care.”
Rich ministry opportunity
“We’re trying to spread the word,” she said. “We want other pregnancy centers to know what a rich ministry this is.”
“A lot of women come in traumatized by their abortion experience,” Hall said. “We give them time to ask questions. We present the truth in love and give them an opportunity to think. We want to share the Gospel with them. We offer Christ, not just medication.”
Because of what APR moms have been through, Hall has noticed that “this is a good time for them to reconnect with God.”
“It can be a crisis moment that leads to repentance,” she added. “We want them to know that God is there and wants to help. We’re not there to manipulate them.”
If women don’t want to talk about their faith, Hall says they “drop it and move on, but let them know if they want to talk later, we’re here.”
APR is an excellent ministry to add to pregnancy care services since it offers hope to a woman in her darkest moments and gives her a chance to save her baby. Hall says that because of APR her PC has experienced the “joy and blessing to point women back to Christ, help them save a pregnancy and get their lives back on track.”
Jump in and do it!
Her advice to medical PCs who don’t yet offer APR is, “Jump in and do it!”
Palumbo has similar advice to PCs.
“Medical Directors of medical clinics need to rely on the Lord for strength and not be afraid, not allow irrational fears to keep them from offering APR,” she said. “Our physician has offered to talk to other doctors. And Heartbeat International is a wonderful, terrific resource. When PCs have questions, they know they’re not alone” because of Heartbeat’s help, training and support.
When a woman calls APRN, Palumbo added, “you have a woman losing a baby she doesn’t want to lose.”
“We love this part of the ministry!” Hall said. “It’s like snatching a child from the jaws of death –and we minister to that mom who’s wracked with guilt.”
Hall noted that for a PC to offer APR they need to train staff, have a competent medical advisor, prescribing physician, sonogram machine, a nurse manager, and good counseling staff.
“This client is more complex,” said Hall. “She is not just thinking about abortion, but has already done it,” which increases her guilt and the possibility that the baby might not survive.
Hall advises PCs to contact Heartbeat International’s Abortion Pill Rescue Network with any questions about becoming involved.
Nothing like it
“Get involved, because there’s nothing like it,” Hall said. “It’s wonderful and amazing to minister to women in a dark place in their lives.”
Renata’s daughter is now learning to read, and her mom reports via text that she “thanks God that she is a healthy, happy, friendly girl that we all love.”
Even though Renata and her husband did not reconcile, she and her daughter’s father have a beautiful child. And that child’s siblings have a little sister to love because a PC stepped up, invested its time and resources, and made APRN a part of their ministry.
Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network (APRN) and Pregnancy Help News. *Renata is a pseudonym. For more information on becoming an APRN provider click HERE.