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One of the main goals of any pregnancy center is to see lives saved.. Certainly, one of the most rewarding aspects of such work is seeing a client who was originally considering abortion change her mind and choose life. This is cause for celebration, and also cause for ensuring that we provide guidance on positive next steps for her journey. In this article, we will consider why it is important to lay out next steps for a client who has chosen life (and those who may still in the decision-making process, too).


More than likely, your client was very focused on both her present and future – she considered an abortion because of her current circumstances and how a child might affect her future. So if she has made a choice to carry, she may need our help adjusting to her decision. We can help by talking her through what she anticipates in her present (today, tomorrow, this week) and her future (next week, next month, and to her due date). You can help paint a picture in her mind of the excitement ahead, and also ease her mind by removing anxiety-inducing “unknowns,” by walking her through what she can expect physically, emotionally, and otherwise in the coming weeks and months.


Providing your client with a process of next steps can give them a sense of steadiness. Moving from abortion to parenting is an important decision. Making a life decision does not actually reduce or remove any obstacles she is facing in her life. In fact, it is important to be sympathetic to how she may feel – that abortion may have provided her a false, but real, sense of relief. A pregnancy may complicate her life in many ways, and acknowledging this while praising her positive decision can go a long way. She wasn’t expecting to continue being pregnant, much less to take care of a child later on; giving her a road map for her immediate future can build her confidence in her decision and remove fears.

She will be looking to your center’s staff for support. They were the ones who helped her make the decision for life, and now she will need and want support in how to make this decision work. Being prepared to gently guide her by empowering her with next steps is an important tool in responding to a life-decision.


The first step to consider is a follow-up ultrasound. If there has been one ultrasound following a positive pregnancy test, offering a follow-up ultrasound can help cement the life-decision for your client. This allows the client to see her baby again, as well as sets her up to be well-informed when she begins her OB/GYN care.

Another step your advocate can take early on is to assess the obstacles identified in the options consultation. If there are community resources available to manage some of these obstacles, take time to talk through these resources. Allowing your client to see that you care for both her pregnancy needs and her other needs, she will feel much more equipped to lean into her life-decision. It also will grant her an opportunity to further express any needs or doubts that she has. Pregnancy, especially unexpected pregnancy, is an emotional time, and giving her caring attention and time will be invaluable to her.

Next, talk through some of the practical issues ahead. Since your client has only recently decided she will parent, there are likely a lot of practical steps she wasn’t considering. For example, it is important to inform her of how to obtain medical insurance if she doesn’t have any and help her to understand what to expect from OB care. She may also need to reassess, school, work and living arrangements over time. Calm her fears and ensure she knows you will help with these things down the road. Your center can provide a referral for these services, which will create a caring bridge from your initial services to the next step in their journey, not leaving them to fend for themselves now that they’ve made a life-changing decision.

Another next step to encourage is to start or maintain healthy habits. She may need basic education regarding diet, lifestyle changes and the importance of prenatal vitamins. If she has been engaged in drinking or using substances, she will need support and encouragement to quit. (e.g., cigarettes, alcohol, other drugs, etc.). Along with these healthy new habits, her mental and social health will likely need to be supported through engaging parent mentoring, support groups and counseling.


Showing genuine care and providing practical guidance, such as referrals or advice can go a long way; emphasizing that your concern for her and her baby goes beyond the four walls of the center is extremely valuable to her. In all of this, there are many ways to help your client feel more confident for this new shift in her life.


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