By Jennifer Minor
Entering 2018 just a few thousand contacts shy of 3 million since answering its first call in 2003, Heartbeat International’s 24-7, 365 pregnancy helpline Option Line responded to well over 350,000 women facing an unexpected or difficult pregnancy in 2017. Here’s the story of just one call.
“Sandra” wanted to know everything she could discover about the so-called “abortion pill,” a two-step chemical abortion that first takes the life of a child and then—days later—induces preterm labor.
Among many questions, Sandra wanted to know how the process works, as well as if she would need to take time off work to get the abortion. Even while she was asking the questions, however, Sandra broke down into sobbing.
Suddenly, she was no longer able to hold in or ignore her feelings, and the tears came pouring out. The consultant allowed Sandra to cry and regain her composure before gently asking a question that offered unexpected relief. “Do you want to talk to someone at a pregnancy center about your concerns before you make a decision you may regret?”
Through her tears, Sandra said yes, and the consultant connected her with a pregnancy center in her town where she could have a face-to-face conversation with the best alternative to abortion—another person.
One Woman at a Time
Women in Sandra’s situation reach out to Option Line 1,000 times every day via call, text, email and live chat. In 2017 alone, Option Line answered 353,367 cries for help—a 49 percent increase from 2016.
The growth in contacts corresponds to a similar increase in visits to Option Line’s website (www.OptionLine.org) in 2017.
Option Line’s goal is to connect each woman with one of the 2,752 pro-life pregnancy help centers and ultrasound-equipped medical clinics across the U.S.—plus hundreds more in Canada. As the only fully-staffed 24-7 pregnancy helpline in the nation, Option Line answers the call—in English and Spanish—for dozens of helplines and national outreaches, including the National Safe Haven Alliance, Bethany Christian Services, Heroic Media and more.
“I am so thankful for what God has done through Heartbeat’s Option Line this year,” Option Line director Nafisa Shamsher said. “I’m also incredibly proud of our consultants for all they have accomplished in 2017, and for their dedication and perseverance to continue to change lives—and families—one woman at a time.”
Editor’s note. This appeared at Pregnancy Help News and is reposted with permission.