Late one afternoon, Carmen (38) sends an e-mail to the SAMC helpline. In Spanish, she asks for help to get an abortion. There is a counselor in the office who can speak Spanish but who is busy with another woman until noon. She therefore is planning on replying to Carmen in the early afternoon. To her surprise, just as she is leaving the office for her lunch break, she encounters Carmen and her boyfriend, the baby’s father, standing in front of the door to the SAMC helpline!
The surprised counselor ends up spending the time of her lunch break talking to the pair.
In the course of a long discussion, the counselor learns that Carmen comes from Latin America and is in Switzerland on a tourist visa. Her boyfriend, the baby`s father, is Swiss. She is here because of him. She already has a 7-year-old daughter from him who is living in her home country, and who they would like to bring over to live with them. Carmen doesn’t have Swiss health insurance and so understandably fears the high costs of medical care. To make matters worse, her boyfriend just lost his job. She sees an abortion as the only way out of her difficulties. The counselor explains to her that the SAMC supports pregnant women who are in trouble so they can keep their children, but does not help to get rid of them. However, both of them declare that they would have no problem with getting an abortion.
The talk goes on much differently than the two parents expected. During the ongoing conversation, the counselor has the impression that Carmen is becoming more thoughtful and is allowing herself to think about her child for the first time.
The counselor recommends Carmen to consult a doctor that works closely with the SAMC. And in fact she goes to see him. During her appointment there she sees her baby moving on the sonogram and hears beating the child’s heart. She is deeply moved. From the doctor she receives a printout of her baby’s image.
After the consultation, Carmen enters a church. There she experiences a big change of heart. Later she tells the counselor that she was completely overwhelmed by the atmosphere in the church, and decided right there and then that she would definitely keep her baby, no matter what the future would hold for her.
At first it seems as if Carmen’s boyfriend would like to marry her. Then, to her horror, she realizes that he has found another girlfriend. He spends less and less time with Carmen. He leaves her, with no money left, stranded in his tiny apartment!
Thanks to the SAMC emergency funds, Carmen is able to buy herself some food. She also receives clothing for herself and items for her baby from the SAMC repository. Then the Corona situation surges and Carmen, now highly pregnant, is unable to travel back to her own country.
Carmen eventually gives birth to a healthy baby girl. Just hours after the birth, she phones her counselor to give her the good news. She is thrilled, even though her situation remains difficult. Her boyfriend has recognized the baby as his own, but getting him to pay child support might require legal action.
The more her boyfriend withdraws from her, the more she considers returning with her baby to her home country rather than bringing her other child to Switzerland. However, first she would like to have her baby girl baptized on Christmas in that church which has become so special to her!
Looking back on all the problems she dealt with during her pregnancy, Carmen tells the counselor, «It was the most difficult and the most important decision to make. I am so grateful to have found the SAMC. If I hadn’t, then my daughter wouldn’t be alive now.» Out of gratitude, she gives her daughter the counselor’s name as her middle name. «Without you, I never would have been able to do this», she tells her.