Just give me the abortion pills…

These six words spoken by Jerryka, thankfully, were not the end of her journey. Instead, these six words were just the beginning. You see, Jerryka came to HOPE scared and uncertain of her future. A future planned, thought out, and within her grasp that didn’t involve an exam room at HOPE. We understand that plans often change, but no matter how often we see this at HOPE, we also know that for the patient this news isn’t an often occurrence. Instead, it is a life-altering appointment where earth shattering news, at times, is given.

Jerryka cried as she entered the exam room. These tears reflected her anxiety of what was to come. She thought she might be pregnant, but today was the day that thought would become a reality as our nurse entered the room and relayed the news of Jerryka’s pregnancy. In this moment of shock and desperation, Jerryka asked for abortion pills. This question didn’t surprise HOPE’s nurse as we understand the emotional rollercoaster one goes on when their fears become realities. This question, instead, prompted more conversation and care.

We calmly informed Jerryka that HOPE does not provide those pills or that service, but we do provide ultrasounds, parenting education, and material assistance for first-time moms. This news led Jerryka to schedule a follow-up appointment for her first ultrasound. As Jerryka walked out of the exam room and out of our office that day, the tears continued to accumulate on her cheeks. We weren’t sure if she would actually return, but we prayed this was not the last time we would see Jerryka.

We are happy to report that Jerryka came back to HOPE for her ultrasound appointment. She looked at our staff and said, “I am going to have this baby!” Jerryka signed up for HOPE’s parenting class and received her baby shower five weeks later. We are proud to share with you today that Jerryka’s story doesn’t end there. She married her boyfriend in early November, and they will welcome their daughter in January.

Jerryka’s story is a common one at HOPE, and thankfully Jerryka and her family believes that it is a story that needs to be shared. Jerryka recently reached out to us and said, “We truly believe that, maybe, I’m supposed to share my story to help girls facing the same situation, and to show people how much HOPE really means to this community and your patients.”

We are grateful for these opportunities to serve and are honored that so many of you take the opportunity to serve with us.

-posted by Andrew Wood, Executive Director