Accounts from two women who visited crisis pregnancy centers , with differing views of the experience:
Lauren Gray became pregnant when she was in college in western North Carolina. Estranged from her mother, somewhat ashamed and very confused, “I did not know where to turn,” she said.
With the nearest Planned Parenthood clinic a three-hour round-trip away, Gray did a Google search for local help with pregnancy and was pleased that the first place that came up was located just off campus in Cullowee, North Carolina.
When she showed up for her appointment, Gray said the center seemed like a typical medical office.
But after she took a pregnancy test, she told the woman helping her she was nervous and scared. “I said I would like to have an abortion but I don’t know exactly what that looks like,” Gray recalled recently in a telephone call from Bridgeport, Connecticut, where she now lives.
“She clearly stated that we are a pro-life center. We will talk about options for keeping the baby or giving it up for adoption. I said I was very confused and that I wanted to talk about all the options,” Gray said.
She grew upset and soon left. She had an abortion.
Gray said she felt misled because “I thought I was going to a medical facility that would give me honest and accurate information that I, as a woman, felt I needed and deserved.”
She decided to talk about her experience so that other women might get the help they need. “I don’t want more women deceived by these fake women’s health centers,” Gray said.
Angela Jozwicki was in her early 30s and already had had an abortion when she used a store-bought test to confirm she was pregnant again in October 2015. She made an appointment for another abortion, because she was using drugs. But when the baby’s father didn’t show up to take her to the clinic for her appointment, Jozwicki changed her mind. “I decided I would keep that baby,” she said in a Supreme Court brief filed by The Catholic Association Foundation.
Jozwicki eventually found Soundview Pregnancy Services in Centereach, New York. She saw the baby on an ultrasound and returned weekly to meet with a staff member and watch videos about pregnancy and childcare. When it came time to have the baby, Jozwicki invited the staff member to be with her at the hospital. “I did not think she would come, but she was there,” she said.
The center has continued to work with her since her son, Cameryn, was born. With help, she was able to enroll in the Women, Infant and Children nutrition program and apply for financial aid. Counselors at the center also have helped bridge the divide that had opened between Jozwicki and her mother. Jozwicki and Cameryn are now living with her mother. Jozwicki said the center also provides support “so that I don’t turn back to drugs.”
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