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Transformed by Empathy

Oftentimes it is easy to confuse empathy for sympathy, but there is a significant difference between the two. Imagine sympathy as peering into someone's pit of darkness, witnessing their pain and fear, and expressing, "I'm truly sorry, that sounds terrible." Empathy, however, entails entering that same darkness and fear, sitting beside them—sometimes without words to share their experience. At Women’s Choice Network, we embody empathy, meeting clients non-judgmentally where they stand, offering potential solutions and aid for their hardships.

Megan called us sounding desperate for help. She let us know that she was pregnant and struggling with what to do next. One of our ultrasound technicians, Sandy, asked Megan if she was available for an appointment to talk through her options. Megan shared she already had two autistic sons, she did not want them to know about the pregnancy and because of that she had no idea who would care for them during her appointment. She explained that she and her husband were in the midst of a nasty divorce and during their marriage, her husband recklessly spent all of their money and was physically abusive to their children. Upon hearing her concerns, Sandy suggested that Megan bring one child to the appointment while the father watches the other, with a staff member available to supervise the child during her appointment, to which Megan agreed.

During her appointment, Megan elaborated on her reasons for seeking an abortion. She recounted how her husband pressured her into the decision because the child was not his, threatening to sever ties with her and their sons. Megan also reiterated her financial struggles, with mounting housing payments, vehicle repairs, and a struggling business as their sole income source. She mentioned a visit to Planned Parenthood, where they initially quoted $800 for an abortion, then lowered it to $350 if she could arrange transportation. Unable to afford even that, Megan was turned away.

Stephanie, the site director, inquired if Megan's decision for abortion would remain if financial concerns were resolved and assistance for her boys secured. Megan firmly responded with a "no." Stephanie introduced her to Let Them Live, who generously offered to cover Megan's rent, car repairs, and car payment until the baby's birth. This newfound support led Megan to dismiss the idea of abortion and contemplate either adoption or parenting. Megan expressed gratitude for feeling supported and heard by the staff, which significantly influenced her change of heart. Megan's journey continues, and we kindly request your continued prayers for Megan, her sons, and the arrival of her new baby.

Megan’s story serves as a testament to the profound impact empathy has over sympathy and the pivotal role it plays within our ministry. It echoes the resounding truth that when used effectively, empathy holds the potential to reshape lives. Far too often, we encounter clients who convey how our dedicated staff has redirected their trajectory by creating a sanctuary of compassionate listening and genuine understanding—something they had yearned for but scarcely found elsewhere. In a world where isolation and misunderstanding can cast shadows of doubt and fear, our commitment to empathy shines as a beacon of hope and transformation for our current and future clients.

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