Staff Spotlight

Amber Havekost, Director of Counseling After Abortion, shares her highlights and experiences in working with women who are processing past abortion decisions.

The reality of the abortion decision. It is life-altering; complex; often caught up in the tyranny of the urgent. Decisions to make, some forced, some for convenience, many seemingly inconsequential, but none with the benefit of a crystal ball and all with the weight of hindsight.

And does this decision get caught in the constraints of assumptions? Is it wrapped in packages of political division and religious expectation and unempathetic opinion? It is here, where personal stories are often overlooked, causing the humanity of the living and the unborn, to get lost in the clatter of it all.

Alternatives Counseling After Abortion program is critical and it is quickly growing for a time such as this. With approximately 6000 searches for abortion daily, the need is ever-present to offer support and counseling for the searches that follow for help after an abortion.

So, here’s what’s been going on:

Quarter one was marked by my return to Alternatives in this incredible role. Our focus has been on process improvements to reduce barriers for individuals seeking care, which immediately paid off as I’m serving many ongoing individual clients, the most at one time to date for Alternatives! Additionally, we launched two support groups in March!

Quarters two, three, and four will bring about continued program enhancements to meet the increase in requests for services including support group restructuring to create better accessibility to a very timely need and a peer-to-peer mentoring program that will provide a new depth of support.

I’m so grateful to be back doing this special work. In closing, here are some thoughts from my day-to-day encounters:

What we think we know about individuals who have made abortion decisions is likely very distant from what is real about them. The women we are currently serving, both individually and in group, are deeply empathetic, they are insightful, they are thoughtful and compassionate, they are loved. None of them made this decision flippantly, all of them made it in the midst of astronomical complexities.

We all face decisions, it’s part of the human experience. I imagine there are some in your own story that causes you to pause, some you’d wished for a crystal ball, and somewhere the weight of hindsight feels suffocating. Some even with complexities strikingly similar. Yet, your story isn’t over. And neither is theirs. This is light existing in the dark, where hope glimmers and purpose is found.