For women and girls facing an unwanted pregnancy, abortion may seem like the only solution. I can’t afford to raise a child. I’m too young. I’ll have to drop out of school. My family and friends will judge me.
Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, over 57 million babies have been denied the right to life, their mothers choosing what seemed like an easy and logical solution. But, thanks in part to a growing number of pro-life ministries and resources, more and more women are seeing other options. They are recognizing that their unborn child is, in fact, a precious person who deserves to live.
Read the stories of three young women who faced what was, for them, unthinkable—and made the courageous decision to choose life for their babies.
As Eva Jurado and her sisters entered their teen years, their father delivered a solemn warning: “If any of you girls gets pregnant, we’re done—you’re gone.” That was Eva’s consuming thought when she found out she was pregnant at age 16.
“My initial instinct was to hide it from my family,” she says. She remembered a small building she often passed while walking through her Glendale, Arizona, neighborhood: Crisis Pregnancy Center. Maybe the people there could help.
Walking into the center, she was greeted by a warm and welcoming advocate. The woman was sympathetic to her situation, asking questions, “making me feel like I was more than just a kid that made a dumb mistake.” But Eva left with no intention of returning, and a gnawing question remained: should she have the baby, or not?
The advocate didn’t give up. She called the next evening, inviting Eva to return for a free ultrasound. Eva agreed … and that’s when everything changed.
“I just remember seeing a baby on the screen, and his arms were moving, his legs were kicking,” she says. “In that moment, I knew that it was another person. It wasn’t just about me anymore.”
She knew then that she would keep her child. But it took her a week to work up the courage to tell her parents. “One morning I called my mother into my room. I simply handed her the ultrasound pictures. She cried and left to get my dad.” Eva hurried out of the house, certain she was about to be kicked out.
That night she called her boyfriend, Frank, told him where she was, and asked him to pick her up. “Instead, my parents ended up driving up,” she says. “I stared in disbelief as I watched my dad come out of the car. He simply put his arms around me and told me he loved me.”
Frankie Jr. was born that summer. “This little boy brought so much joy to everyone’s life,” Eva says. “It’s just unbelievable to me now that I would ever consider anything other than life for him.”
Frank and Eva married a year later. Frank joined the Coast Guard, and Eva earned a degree in radiologic technology, following a longtime goal to pursue a career in medicine. The couple had two more children.
Today, 20 years later, Frankie Jr. is a college student and a pro-life advocate. “He loves to speak out against abortion,” Eva says. She is an advocate herself, volunteering at the ministry (now named Choices Pregnancy Center) that offered her much-needed support as a teen. One day a week, she counsels women and performs ultrasounds—sometimes for young girls who are “the spitting image of my story,” she says.
“That’s the heartbeat,” she tells one teen girl, pointing to movement on the screen. She sees the girl’s face change, and remembers how powerful an image like this was when she faced her own unplanned pregnancy.
“That’s where I felt my eyes and heart were opened,” she says. “It’s really cool.”
“Uh oh ... I’m so sorry. One second.”
Ruth Asmarzadeh barely has a chance to start telling her story when the call of duty interrupts.
Eli has just fallen out of his chair. “You’re OK, Buddy,” comes the consolation—somehow firm, calm, direct, and nurturing, all at the same time. The 4-year-old's cries subside, and life resumes.
These may not sound like magic words, but Ruth has learned there is little they can’t accomplish.
She had no plans to be a mother at this stage of her life. What she did plan was earning a psychology degree and dedicating her professional life to helping others. When she enrolled at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado in 2016, she had friends, extracurricular activities, a job—and a reputation.
“I was an angel in my parents’ eyes,” she says. “I wanted to uphold that.”
So, when Ruth found out she was pregnant at 18, she saw no other option. She booked the earliest possible appointment at Planned Parenthood, intent on doing whatever it took to avoid tarnishing her image.
But she could not avoid her closest friend at the time. In need of a ride, Ruth had no choice but to reveal her intentions. The urgency was not lost on either of them.
“She told me I was rushing into this because I didn’t want to think about it,” Ruth says. “She was absolutely right.”
Ruth skipped her appointment and talked with an older friend who’d had two abortions in her younger days after being pressured by the father. She listened to her friend sob while explaining that, since then, she had miscarried one planned pregnancy and hemorrhaged during another. Twenty years later, she was still broken.
“She said she still looked forward to seeing them in heaven,” Ruth recalls.
The right decision was suddenly clear. This was not a problem. It was a child. Her child. “’All of a sudden, I got protective. That’s when I knew.”
She weathered sideways glances from people at school when she started showing. Eli was worth every one.
She endured long days juggling school, work, and diaper changes. Eli was worth every minute.
Her college’s Students for Life group threw her a baby shower, and Students for Life of America surprised her with $6,000 to help finish her degree as part of its “Pregnant on Campus” initiative.
“Raising Eli while finishing school was difficult,” she admits, “but it was easier with practice and with the support of good friends who stuck with me and believed in me and Eli.”
Now 23, Ruth works for a psychiatric hospital and is mulling the decision about whether to pursue counseling or psychopharmaceutical therapy at the next level. But for now, she pins the phone to one ear with her shoulder, as duty calls once again.
“Sorry, I promise I’m listening. I’m just trying to get the car seat in.”
Rebekah Hagan was determined not to become a stereotypical teenage mother when she became pregnant with her first child as a 17-year-old high school student. She managed to graduate early, get accepted into college, and marry the father of her child.
But halfway through her freshman year, Rebekah realized she was in an unhealthy and potentially dangerous relationship.
“My relationship was physically and verbally abusive, and my young son was seeing it unfold,” she says. “I knew I needed to leave. But, right as I did, I found out I was pregnant again.”
This news was the culmination of her fears. “I was living with my parents,” she says. “My dad had said, ‘We`ve done a lot for you with your first pregnancy, so don`t ever let there be a second under my roof. Otherwise, I will kick you out.’”
For the sake of her son, Eli, Rebekah began to consider her options. In her mind, there was only one—abortion. “I believed that having another baby would hurt my son’s life. I’d be losing my family’s support,” Rebekah says. “I grew up in a Christian home, but I justified my decision by thinking God would forgive me.”
She was eight weeks pregnant when she went to Planned Parenthood for a chemical abortion. She instantly regretted the decision. “I got into my car and thought, ‘Oh Lord, what did I just do?’ I started crying and praying.”
While still sitting in the parking lot, she Googled options for reversing the effects of the abortion pill and stumbled across AbortionPillReversal.com, a program of Heartbeat International. On the site was a phone number for women having second thoughts about taking the abortion pill. After summoning the courage to dial the number, a nurse told her about a new reversal protocol that called for a series of progesterone injections.
“She told me I still had a chance of saving the baby,” Rebekah says. She was referred to a doctor who was willing to give the injections a try. Only after the process had begun did she realize that her second child would have been aborted on Eli’s birthday.
“It would have been horrific if I’d done it,” she says. “Every year would have been a birthday and memorial.”
Meanwhile, her family rallied to her in a way she’d never dared to hope. Her parents stood with her in the decision to keep her child.
Seven months later, Rebekah gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Zechariah. Now, seven years later, she works for Heartbeat International as a development officer. She is also a pro-life speaker and advocate.
“Having a baby doesn’t ruin your life; it just changes it,” Rebekah says.
“I’ve met so many women who regretted having abortions,” she says. “But I never met a woman who regretted having her child.”
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