National Sanctity of Human Life Day

Today is National Sanctity of Human Life Day.

Why?

47 years ago, the Supreme Court made one of the most devastating legal and moral decisions in history.

Roe v. Wade established a death sentence for over 60 million innocent baby boys and girls of every race and socioeconomic background in the US.

Now, this day is recognized by pro-life Presidents to remember the babies lost to abortion and commit to protecting life. 

And with that, there is hope.

2019 was an incredible year for the pro-life movement. We learned that the number of US abortions has fallen to an all-time low since Roe v. Wade. Numerous states passed pro-life legislation. And President Trump removed taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood.

And we’re not done yet. The upcoming generation of students, activists, and professionals are the most pro-life in decades.

But we can’t leave this fight to the activists and lawmakers. Our strategies must be multi-faceted to reach women in need, providing the information, support, and services they need to choose LIFE and provide the best life possible for their child, whether that be through parenting or adoption.

In honor of this mission, we’d like to share the story of a wonderful SAVE we witnessed here at Options United – a woman intent on getting an abortion who experienced a change of heart after calling us.

Glenda* called Options United after taking a home pregnancy test. She was only 16 years old so she decided to get an abortion.

We referred Glenda* to a local, life-affirming clinic for free testing and a consultation to discuss all of her options. She accepted the referral, but when we followed up to check in on her, Glenda* told us she’d decided to go to Planned Parenthood instead.

We checked in with her again days later and Glenda* said she had not gone to Planned Parenthood yet. In fact, she asked us if she could make an appointment with the clinic we recommended before making a final decision!

Glenda* went to the clinic for information on all of her options and made an appointment for an ultrasound – one she later missed. Glenda* said she felt she couldn’t have this baby and didn’t want to consider adoption because of the effect it would have on her knowing she had a child somewhere in the world. We encouraged Glenda* to reschedule the ultrasound, but her mind was set on abortion.

Two days later, Glenda* contacted us with some news! She rescheduled her ultrasound appointment and told her mom about the pregnancy. To Glenda’s* surprise, her mother was encouraging and supportive, leading her to choose LIFE for her baby.

After seeing the ultrasound, Glenda* was happy to report that she already loved her baby. We’re continuing to follow up with Glenda* through her pregnancy to ensure she feels supported, with the help of parenting resources and supplies at the clinic we referred her to! 

National Human Rights Month: Recognizing the Humanity of the Human Fetus

December is National Human Rights Month – a time to recognize and protect the rights of each human being.

The pro-life movement isn’t just pro-baby or pro-birth. It’s about respecting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.

In honor of this month, we’d like to share some of our favorite pro-life facts which really illustrate the beautiful, intricate design of each human child, even in the womb.

  1. Between 16 and 22 days gestation, the preborn baby’s heart starts to beat its own blood.
  2. The preborn baby develops noticeable facial features at 4 weeks.
  3. At 6 weeks, the preborn baby reacts to touch and has detectable brainwaves.
  4. Preborn babies yawn, suck their thumb, and play in the womb starting at around 8 or 9 weeks.
  5. At 9 to 10 weeks, babies develop the unique fingerprints that will stick with them for the rest of their life.

From the moment of fertilization, the new life created at conception has its own unique DNA. Abortion indisputably ends a human life. Modern science proves this.

Every day, we dedicate ourselves to protecting human life – both mother and unborn child. We provide abortion-minded women with a support system of referrals to life-affirming clinics, centers, and organizations. Our partners offer honest information and free services to help these women choose parenting or adoption instead of abortion.

When a woman visits an abortion clinic, they’ll often refuse to give her an ultrasound separate from an abortion appointment. And when they do perform an ultrasound, it’s usually for staff eyes only in order to assess how far along she is for the type of abortion procedure and cost.

Why don’t abortion clinics allow mothers to see their child and hear the heartbeat?

Because this process undoubtedly exhibits the humanity of the preborn child. The ultrasound provides mom a unique chance to see what’s going on inside her womb – to connect with the child she can feel kicking and moving – which oftentimes changes her mind about abortion.

These babies deserve a chance at life. These mothers deserve to know the physical and emotional repercussions of abortion – a decision that could haunt them forever or even lead to their own death.

We have better options available for both mother and child. All we need to do is reach these women with love, compassion, and mercy.

Happy National Adoption Day!

“We look at adoption as a very sacred exchange. It was not done lightly on either side.”

-Jamie Lee Curtis, Actress and Adoptive Mother of 2

This National Adoption Day, I was inspired to look into some facts to better understand adoption. Three statistics stuck out to me the most:

  1. Only 2% of women facing an unplanned pregnancy choose adoption instead of abortion or parenting.
  1. Approximately 90% of adoptive couples say their relationship with their adopted child is “very close.”
  1. Over 90% of adopted children ages 5+ have positive feelings about their adoption.

In light of these statistics, there seems to be a huge discrepancy in the way adoption can be perceived versus the actual results of adoption. Although the vast majority of parents and children involved in the adoption process have a positive, happy family situation, very few people actually choose adoption for their baby, particularly with an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy.

In fact, there are 36 couples ready and waiting to adopt for every one baby placed for adoption.

There are many reasons behind the choices a pregnant woman makes. Perhaps one of the main reasons 40% of women facing an unplanned pregnancy choose abortion over adoption is misinformation.

Many women languish over the idea that they have a child somewhere in the world, never knowing what happened to them. Others feel they have too much or too little involvement in the process.

The reality is, adoption comes with a variety of CHOICES.

A birth mother may choose an open or closed adoption, even selecting the child’s adoptive family if desired. Some birth mothers may be able to arrange financial and material assistance during their pregnancy. Additionally, many pregnancy resource centers, clinics, and maternity homes can provide support and resources through the pregnancy and after.

If you’re interested in adoption – either as a birth parent or adoptive parent – there is help, support, and obligation-free information. It’s merely a call away.

Feeling Grateful on National Philanthropy Day

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the creative light of altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness… Life’s persistent and most urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is National Philanthropy Day – a day to celebrate charitable work, sacrifice, and generosity. Everyone can make a difference in their community, whether it be with money, resources, or time. You need only choose a cause you feel passionate about.

At Options United, we care about the women, babies, families, and communities impacted by abortion. We know that abortion ends the life of an innocent human being and forever alters the lives of everyone around them. We know mothers can experience physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual consequences after an abortion. We know that women are often manipulated by the abortion industry, feeling they have no other choice.

Our mission is to remedy this by connecting women facing crisis pregnancies with local pregnancy resource centers and clinics where they will receive the information and resources they need to choose LIFE.

To do this, we rely on partnerships with many incredible people.

Call responders and managers operating the crisis call center, lovingly responding to callers and their difficult situations.

Pregnancy resource centers and clinics, adoption organizations, and post-abortion counselors who provide the free services these mothers need.

Generous monthly and one-time donors who enable us to be fully-staffed and market to women who need help and support.

The definition of philanthropy is “the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.” As we reflect on this national holiday, I can’t help but thank God for all of the amazing people who have believed in and supported our mission – resulting in lives being changed for the better!

We couldn’t help mothers and babies without your support. In the last 10 years of Options United’s existence, we’ve confirmed over 2,600 women have decided to keep their baby after calling Options United!

It is a wonderful thing to give life. $76 is all it takes to save a life.

If you’re inspired by Options United’s mission and work this National Philanthropy Day, we would greatly appreciate your financial partnership, whether it’s a one-time gift or a monthly commitment that can be canceled at any time. You can donate here!

The Role of Grace in the Pro-Life Movement

In preparation for National Inspirational Role Models Month, I thought up the names of numerous pro-life figures who have been influential in my learning and activism. As I thought of names like Abby Johnson, Dr. Anthony Levatino, and Norma McCorvey, my mind raced through the potential backlash we might face on social media.

Abby Johnson was the Director of Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas and had two abortions herself. 

Dr. Anthony Levatino was an abortionist who ended the lives of over 1,200 babies in the womb.

Norma McCorvey was “Roe” in the infamous and devastating Roe v. Wade case in 1973.

But then it struck me. The key word. Was.

Abby Johnson is now an incredible pro-life activist. She left Planned Parenthood after performing an ultrasound to guide an abortionist during a vacuum aspiration abortion. She saw the baby fight the deadly instruments and something in her snapped. She realized the truth of abortion and it nearly destroyed her. Abby ultimately used her guilt and pain, combined with the knowledge of Planned Parenthood’s shady practices, to become a sidewalk counselor, write books (one of which is now a movie), (link) and start a non-profit organization dedicated to freeing abortion workers from the industry. She helps women choose life and former abortion workers find new life-affirming, women-supporting jobs they can be proud of.

Dr. Anthony Levatino is now a pro-life advocate, working as an OBGYN to help women, children, and families. He started his own private practice to encourage mothers to choose life. He explained the realities of abortion clinics and procedures, providing shocking insider information, as well as his personal testimony in heart-wrenching videos done through Live Action (link). Dr. Levatino has also testified before Congress to expose the true, grim nature of the abortion industry and life-ending procedures he previously took part in.

Before passing away in 2017, Norma McCorvey gave birth to the baby who led to her involvement in the Roe v. Wade case, as the entire process took three years. That baby was adopted by another family. Norma later regretted her involvement in making abortion legal, citing it as the biggest mistake of her life. She felt she had been used and manipulated by her young and ambitious “pro-choice” lawyers. Norma became a Catholic pro-life advocate and spent the rest of her life trying to undo her mistakes.

Although these people made tremendous, life-ending mistakes, I find them to be some of the most effective champions of the pro-life cause.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” -Romans 3:23 (NIV)

Without these brave souls, who courageously share their devastating mistakes with the world, we would have little understanding of the minds, hearts, and intentions of pro-choice people. We would lose the opportunity to learn how to best reach people who are lost with the grace, tenderness, and compassion they need –  whether they work in the abortion industry or have had an abortion themselves.

To me, the pro-life movement is characterized by our love and mercy, as we exemplify Christ’s forgiveness and redemptive power.

The men and women who step up to share their regrets and mobilize alongside us should be met with open arms, prayers, and healing resources. These people are best equipped to reach those ensnared by the lies and manipulation of the abortion industry. We need only provide them the opportunity to thrive.