By Sarah Terzo
Summer was unmarried when she found herself pregnant. She recalls:
“The next day, I broke the news to my best friend, who was no stranger to unplanned pregnancies, and I asked her what I should do. She came over immediately and talked to me for a few minutes. She told me I didn’t have to have this baby if I didn’t want to and that it was my right and my choice to end the pregnancy. I had heard that before — seen it on billboards even: “It’s your body, it’s your right!” It sounded like it was supporting women’s rights, and I was in support of women’s rights. So why did it seem so unfathomable to me that it might actually be okay if I ended this pregnancy?
I remember growing up thinking abortion was wrong, but I never fully grasped the concept until I had to face an unplanned pregnancy head on. For a split second, it seemed so clear why women would have an abortion. They could make this all go away without anyone else finding out. But I knew in my heart it was the wrong choice. As a Christian, I knew what God said about the sanctity of life. I fast-forwarded my life in my head, pondering the idea of how killing my own child would haunt me forever…..
Still, the looming problem of not having insurance was something I would have to deal with. So off to Planned Parenthood my friend drove me. The entire time, she babbled on about how they help women who don’t have insurance — even if they want to keep their baby — and that they had all these great programs, and they could help me, too.
I quickly ducked into the Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood office in Colorado Springs behind my friend, hoping no one I knew would see me entering. I hung my head, as tears streamed down my face from feeling so overwhelmed and even ashamed that I was pregnant without a plan. My friend had been “helped” by Planned Parenthood several times and did the talking for me.
She let the lady at the front desk know that I was pregnant and that I was going to keep it. The lady sighed and just said nonchalantly, “Our ultrasound machine is broken, and we don’t know when it’s going to be fixed. We can’t help you if you want to keep the kid.” I just stood there staring at her, wishing she would say something reassuring or nice like how it was great that I was keeping my baby. But all she did next was toss a card across the counter saying I should call the number on it. I grabbed the card, and I ran out of there as fast as I could and hopped in the car.
My fingers fumbled over my phone as I tried to dial the number on the card, but it turned out the number of this other clinic was disconnected. So much for all the help Planned Parenthood was going to give me.
She kept her child, got married, and has no regrets.
Summer Burton, “When I was pregnant and scared, Planned Parenthood refused to help me” January 24, 2017.