Our mission is to empower women to make informed decisions and choose life for their babies. Therefore, there is no metric more significant to track than how many babies’ lives have been saved from abortion, in part, because of our efforts. But this can be a difficult thing to do.
More often than not, undecided clients leave our offices after a consultation or ultrasound and are still not solid in their decisions. She may thank us and say that we were helpful but there is almost always a sense of disappointment when the client leaves and we haven’t been able to change her mind. What if there was a way to measure if she has had even a small change of heart? What if we were able to actually track our effectiveness in transforming her perspectives and influencing her choice? Well, there is!
In this post, I am going to share a tool that I have been using for nearly 20 years. The Pregnancy Intention Scale can help you track Life Saves, but more than that, it can help you track heart changes, so that you can measure how successful you have been in breaking down barriers and transforming the client's view of abortion.
To start, let’s first define a “Life Save”. For most centers, we delight at every choice for life. However, when a woman comes in who is intending to carry and is encouraged in that choice, we would call that a success but, often not a “save”. A true “save” would be when a woman who is considering abortion as a viable option, has a complete turn around and chooses life for her baby.
Understanding the Pregnancy Intention Scale
As you can see in the graphic, the number 1 would represent a client who intends to carry. Maybe they haven’t decided between parenting themselves or choosing a family yet, but nonetheless, the baby’s life is safe. On the opposite side of the scale would be the number 5 which indicates that this woman is determined to abort. She feels solid in this decision and in many cases, she may even have an appointment scheduled or pills on the way. The center part of the scale (2,3,4) would represent an abortion minded or undecided woman. For her, abortion is on the table as a viable option regardless of how she may have felt about it prior to this pregnancy.
Putting the Scale to Use
In order to use the scale well, you will employ it 3 different times while working with a client.
First Contact: If the client has not indicated her intentions over the phone or hasn't been clear, simply ask her. “ Julie can I ask what your intentions might be for this pregnancy? Are you planning on carrying? Or are you exploring your options? This may help me to schedule you with the right staff member if you decide to come in.”
During Intake: As the client arrives and begins the intake process, she is asked where she fits on the Pregnancy Intention Scale either verbally or as part of the intake paperwork. This will indicate what type of education she needs and help you to tailor the consultation just for her.
On the Exit Survey: Adding the Pregnancy Intention Scale to the exit survey at the end of a consultation and or ultrasound appointment will allow the client a few minutes alone to really think about where she is in the decision-making process. It will also be a great indicator whether or not you have been successful in breaking down barriers and changing her heart even if she is unable to tell you that she’s chosen life. This information call also speaks to what the follow-up process might be.
Now let’s put this into a real-life scenario. Say that Julie called about abortion but admitted that she was unsure what she wanted to do. I would have scheduled her an appointment and indicated to the Options Specialist that she was a “3 or 4”. Then let’s say Julie came in and she circled a 4 on her intake paperwork. And then after her consultation and ultrasound she is handed an exit survey where she circles a 2. To me, and my former staff, this would indicate that her head hasn’t caught up to her heart yet and that we need to follow up soon and offer to talk. It would also indicate that we have success in changing her heart and shifting her perspective.
We know that we did our part and did it well, regardless of whether she was ready to choose life right then. Our advocates would have no sense of desperation, or failure because we have measurable evidence that the Lord is working and we can trust that He will continue, even after Julie leaves the office.
Then as a bonus, the Pregnancy Intentions Scale gives us a really great set of stats to share. For example, typical stats may look this this: 38 abortion minded clients resulted in 9 life saves. That would be a great report! But this would be better: This month we provided consultations to 38 women who were undecided or determined to abort. Of that 38, 98% had heart changes and we were able to confirm 9 Life Saves.