Birthright - a light in the darkness
As a newlywed, I felt strongly about working for life. The year before, in January of 1978, a group of women in Marshall had established a chapter of Birthright. There I found a group of great lifelong and life-giving friends. I was trained to do pregnancy tests, and while doing that I discovered to my great joy that I was pregnant with my first daughter! I learned to be there for girls and women who faced an unexpected pregnancy to be their friend, and together we would look at all the problems they faced. With each problem, we would see how we could find a way of solving it, so that having that baby would be the happy outcome for both mother and baby!
I have always staffed the office on Monday nights once a month and depending on the time of year - it is quite often dark in the building hallway, or on the street while I am working. It truly is symbolic of the light that we offer to those that are fearful and feel that they are alone.
One Monday night in late winter, I was in the office, and a very scared young girl came in. Her pregnancy test was positive! She was terrified of telling her parents! She felt that it would be impossible to disappoint her mother in this way. I tried to help her see that after getting over the shock, they would more than likely be more loving than she expects and support her. After we parted, I felt so much for her situation that I sat down and wrote a letter as if I were her writing her mother. When we met again a week later - I shared this with her, but she left with the feeling that the only answer would be to abort her baby. I was crushed and prayerful for those months. In October, I received a call from her telling me that she was to have the baby - Amanda Hope was born!!! Throughout the years I have received cards at Christmas, and thanks in each one for helping them to see (she married the father the year Amanda was born) that Amanda needed to be given life! One day a package was in the mailbox, and it was a beautiful frame with the graduation picture of Amanda! She shared that she was going into nursing, and wanted to work with children. How I wept to know that this light had not been extinguished, as so many have. What a difference this world could be with all those millions of lives/lights here.
A few other stories from our Marshall Birthrightthe names have been changed.
Jane expressed her gratitude to the volunteer for helping her to see that abortion was not the answer. Jane gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. A few years later, this client, Jane, began a crisis pregnancy center in another city.
Martha had helped Sara to see that it was possible for her to carry her baby girl to term. When she turned 18, the mother invited Martha to her graduation. Later Martha was invited to her wedding!
Mary had spent time lots of time meeting with Jean about her pregnancy after discussion, tears and sadness, it seemed that Jean would seek an abortion for her baby. Two years later, in the grocery store, Jean saw Mary and asked if she remembered her. "This is the baby you helped me save from abortion." She said, as she put her 2-year-old son in her arms.
A check came in the mail with a note attached: "Dear Birthright. Thank you for all you do. About 30 years ago, I called your organization and you helped me make a correct and informed decision. Please continue." Yes! We are now open Monday 6-8 p.m., Thursday 3-5 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m.-noon being a friend at a difficult time where that warm light of acceptance is always on for those in their time of need. Our office is now at 348 W. Main St. - downtown Marshall. Life is a gift, and the world needs lights. You may call Birthright at 507-532-3660.