Ria's sons are looking forward to the arrival of their sister.
Ria: «If that conversation hadn’t happened, I would have taken those abortion pills.» (Staged photograph; © shutterstock/Valua Vitaly)

A Mother Regrets Ever Having Considered An Abortion

Ria (28), mother of two boys, is paralysed with fear as she learns that she is again pregnant. How it will continue, or rather, not continue, is something that she realises instantly: she immediately makes an appointment with her doctor to procure abortion pills. The outcome, however, is going to be much different from what she expects.

A woman that Ria knows discovers her intention to have an abortion and tries to awaken some maternal feelings for her baby. Ria doesn’t pay any attention. The acquaintance then mentions that she will ask an aid organisation to contact Ria directly. Ria doesn’t expressly turn the idea down, but she does reveal that she will pick up the tablets that day. Shortly thereafter, a request for help reaches the SAMC hotline, for someone to have a last-minute talk with Ria.

The Last-minute, Decisive Conversation

A counsellor was actually able to speak to Ria just before leaving for her doctor’s appointment. Throughout the difficult conversation, the counsellor could feel that the pregnant woman was under a lot of pressure and was only able to focus on one thing: she absolutely had to end the pregnancy, and immediately. She had numerous motives: she had recently started living on welfare, and didn’t want to become even more dependent on it; she was already raising other children all alone; she desperately needed to bring her life into an upswing, and that wouldn’t happen when starting over with a new baby.

The counsellor tries to loosen Ria’s fixation on all of the problems, telling her that often an abortion looks like the only way out, but that later, in hindsight, a change of opinion could weigh heavily on someone. She should think about how she feels when she encounters other pregnant women.

In the course of the conversation, Ria turns aggressive. The counsellor, however, remains calm and friendly, and explains how the SAMC has already helped a lot of women in similar circumstances. The talk ends with Ria declaring she is sure that she will go through with the abortion, and that anyway, her pregnancy isn’t that far along yet. The counsellor responds that her child is nevertheless a small person and already has her own heartbeat. Ria appears certain, however: the appointment is today at 2 pm!

Surprising Response

In the late afternoon, the counsellor’s phone rings. It is Ria, and she describes her visit with the doctor. On her way to the office, she really did encounter several pregnant women, seemingly as if they knew what she was about to do. That got her thinking. Then the doctor was unfriendly, and not very understanding. On her way home, she remembered the conversation with the counsellor, and how kind and helpful she had been. A discussion ensues, opening the door to other conversations. Through the exchange Ria begins to see that it is better to take on the challenges of a new child than to live a life overshadowed by an abortion. She announces she has decided to keep her baby and is glad. Even her two boys are looking forward to their new sibling.

The Joy of Motherhood Thanks to SAMC

Unfortunately Ria encounters various problems with the birth father. Then she has complications with the welfare office: because of incorrect calculations, she has been receiving too much financial help, and she will have the difference deducted from her benefits. This causes her to have trouble paying for the essentials. Despite all of this, she tells the counsellor that she doesn’t regret deciding to keep her baby. After having had an abortion, she thinks, she would have lost her sanity at some point. With the help of the SAMC, Ria is able to bring her situation back under control.

After giving birth to a healthy baby girl, she is thrilled, and thanks her counsellor for everything. «I am so happy that the SAMC is here, and really helps.» And referring to that first phone call at the beginning of her pregnancy, she remarks: «If that conversation hadn’t happened, I would have taken those abortion pills. Today I am so glad that I have my child. Whenever I look at her, I feel so guilty that I almost aborted her.»