By Gayle Irwin
The young college woman walked into the pregnancy center near the Ohio State University campus. Her plan was to abort her baby.
“She was devastated to see the home test she took come out positive,” said Julie Moore, president of Pregnancy Decision Health Centers (PDHC). “She was looking for an abortion. She came to us because she didn’t have to speak to anyone about an appointment; she could schedule her appointment online.”
“I thought abortion was my only option,” Chelsie shared in a video testimony.
Her mother, Kim, attended the appointment with her. She told her daughter she would support whatever decision she made.
One of the nurses at the center, Kathy, took care of Chelsie, providing her not only with a pregnancy test but showing her the love of Christ.
“She was so reassuring and compassionate, and she absolutely showed me the grace of God,” Chelsie said.
Kathy conducted an ultrasound on the young woman. The image of her more than 8-week-old unborn baby impacted Chelsie’s heart and mind, making abortion no longer an option.
“Chelsie said she saw her ‘little bean,’ saw that there was a life inside her,” Moore reflected.
In mid-September, the young woman gave birth to a healthy baby boy. They were the featured guests at PDHC’s September 19 Celebration of Life event in Lancaster and another such event in Columbus on September 26.
“Chelsie gave her testimony and brought baby Rowan to the banquet too,” Moore said. “She said she would not have had her baby without PDHC.”
Impacting & Saving Lives
PDHC makes an impact on young women like Chelsie every day. More than 185 lives are touched daily in some way through the organization. Programs including medical services, such as those given to Chelsie, school visits educating on healthy lifestyles and relationships for youth development, parenting classes for men and women, and abortion recovery sessions, all assist Ohio’s young people and adults in various ways.
The organization is in the middle of a major growth spurt, Moore said. In 2016, PDHC recorded more than 2,900 client visits. The following year, the number of visits increased to more than 4,400, and in 2018, more than 4,900 visits were recorded.
“We’re on track for another record-breaking year in 2019, with nearly 6,000 client visits expected this year,” she said. “We’re in a great time of growth.”
With three locations in Columbus and one in Lancaster, PDHC reaches women who attend Ohio State University and also those who are not students. The off-campus site sees 50 percent of client base who are OSU students, Moore said.
A recently launched social media marketing campaign can be attributed with helping the steady increase in clients, including those assessed as abortion-minded or abortion-determined – women like Chelsie.
“Last year, more than 65-percent of our clients were assessed as ‘at-risk for abortion,’” Moore said.
PDHC has a long history. Established in 1981 by a few Christian couples, including Heartbeat International’s board president Margaret “Peggy” Hartshorn, PDHC has grown significantly since those early days of seeing just over 300 women each year.
“We provide comprehensive care,” Moore said.
That includes STD screening at the off-campus center, pregnancy testing and ultrasound, pregnancy options education, and extended care through the baby’s first year of life. The center’s hotline is available for calling or texting 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Compassionate, non-judgmental care is given to both women and men when they come to the center. Chelsie and others receive that service each time they walk through the door.
“I had hope, that’s something I didn’t have before,” Chelsie said of her experience at PDHC. “If I hadn’t of gone to PDHC, I wouldn’t have had this child. I wouldn’t have known the joy that comes from holding your baby.”
Editor’s note. This appeared at Pregnancy Help News and is reposted with permission.