As a young woman in high school, I found myself in an unplanned pregnancy. I loved my baby and wanted to keep it, but was surrounded by pressure from others to abort. Unfortunately, I didn’t speak up for my baby and underwent the abortion procedure. The experience left me traumatized, depressed, alone, and suicidal. After two years of suffering, God spoke to me about forgiveness and I began my healing journey.
Ten years later, I found myself in another unplanned pregnancy. I was shocked, but understood that all babies are a gift from God. The dad was and still is struggling with issues of his own and isn’t involved. However, my family was supportive and have helped me raise my sweet baby boy.
A couple months after giving birth, I was reflecting on how blessed I am to have the support I do, and God gave me a heart for women who may be lacking support and community. I thought about how many women there are who want their babies but are being pressured to abort or feel alone and scared. It crushed my heart. I don’t want anyone to suffer the way I did in high school. I don’t want women to abort their babies because they feel alone or are being pressured to.
Although I would love to end all abortions, I feel that God is calling me to this specific niche of women who are being pressured. So, Unite for Lives was born. UFL exists to prevent forced and pressured abortions by empowering women to choose life! I wish someone would’ve been at the abortion clinic the day I underwent the procedure and told me they would help me and my baby – so that’s what I’m going to do!
UFL has a large banner addressing women who may be feeling pressured to abort, and we connect them to community resources depending on what they need given their situation. There are vast financial resources, housing assistance, adoption options, and so on that we can equip women with so they feel confident to choose life. We also offer free postpartum support so that they don’t feel alone.
If a mom signs up for the postpartum program, a volunteer will visit her home to help with housework, running errands, or holding the baby so the mom can rest. Volunteers are also emotionally supportive, and the idea and hope with the postpartum program is to unite community members so we can all support each other and be the hands and feet of Christ. Life is so much better done together!
UFL is also educating communities on the negative emotional impacts of abortion. This issue isn’t discussed enough in our society, and I want to change that. Women ought to be fully aware of the potential psychological risks of abortion such as depression, regret, guilt, shame, anxiety, and more. UFL has a YouTube channel that will be used to educate people on this issue as well as sharing testimonies about abortion trauma to get the conversation going. If you want to share your story, please contact me!
– Brianna Erfman (Founder of Unite For Lives)