Berenice had just found out she was pregnant, scared and alone she felt like she didn’t have any other choice but to abort…but God had a different plan for Berenice. Berenice arrived at Planned Parenthood for her abortion consultation when Denise (Side-walk Counselor) called her over to talk with her… this conversation would change both of their lives forever.
“I started talking with Berenice as she pulled up and I could tell she was distraught and had been crying. So I approached her. I said you can come talk to me. I can give you some information about a free women’s clinic and we can help you. She was very hesitant at first. She told me, ‘I didn’t want to be rude so I came over to talk with you.” Denise, Sidewalk Counselor
“Denise asked me why I was there and I didn’t want to tell anyone that I was going to get an abortion so I told Denise that I was going in for birth control. I have always been against abortion but I felt like I didn’t have a choice. After talking to Denise, I told her I was actually there for an abortion consultation. I was living with my first two kids grandmother and I felt bad that I was going to have a baby with a different man. I wasn’t doing well financially. I was going through a lot at the time, I didn’t finish school and had my first baby very young, at the age of 16.” Berenice, LCWC patient
“We talked close to an hour. She was very convinced that she didn’t have a choice, she needed to have the abortion. I noticed she was wearing a bracelet with the Virgin Mary medallion. I asked her if she believed in God and she said yes but I just don’t think I can have another baby.” Denise, Sidewalk Counselor
“Denise was really kind and sweet, she prayed for me after we talked. She told me she could take me to a clinic and we went to the one on McDowell. I had the ultrasound done by Sherry (Nurse Practitioner) I told her about my situation and Sherry encouraged me to talk to Sheila. We drove to the North clinic the same day and Sheila talked to me about my living situation and financial problems. Sheila offered me to live at the apartment so I could finish school and save money to get my own place.” Berenice, LCWC patient
Sheila was able to get her set up in the emergency shelter and asked me if I was in it for the long haul and I said absolutely! We went to the house that she was staying at and were able to fit everything she owned into the back of my vehicle. We helped her move into the LCWC apartment. I’ve been in touch with her ever since. I’ve just been trying to be a mentor to her and the kids. She was my very first turn around, it was very emotional for both of us. I want to stay in their life and help them in any way that I can.” Denise, Sidewalk Counselor
At first I was kind of skeptical that people would be giving me a place to live and help me. I knew I had to make the decision, I wanted to give my kids and myself a better life. My kids and I have a roof over our heads, food to eat, and we have all the support from the Clinic. Sheila’s always telling me to call her if I ever need anything. Being able to live in the apartment has been a big blessing. My kids love it here. You guys do a lot for us. I was so lost and lonely and I have been able to find myself here. I like to read the bible Denise gave me, it has helped me a lot when I feel lonely. I want to be able to provide a good life for me and my kids and that is what I am working towards” Berenice, LCWC patient.
God has used us all in Berenice and her baby’s story. God desires us to have heart that is open to do His calling, to love His people like He loves us. We are so grateful for all of our donors. Your prayers and support have been able to allow us to reach more women each year.
After 19 years of working at Life Choices Women’s Clinics, Eva Romero, Spanish Counselor, has retired! During her time with us, Eva encouraged many women to choose life for their babies. She even rescued two kittens (one was outside of an abortion clinic and another was on LCWC property! We are thankful the Lord blessed us with her presence. We pray that God will protect Eva during this time of rest.
After a long search and much prayer, we are excited to announce that we are welcoming a full-time Nurse Practitioner from Colorado and a full-time Medical Assistant from California to our team. This allow us to increase medical services which will doubt the impact we can make in the community.
“With this pregnancy, I did three pregnancy tests at home and started my prenatal care with a doctor but when I was given the positive result for HIV, I kept thinking, it can’t be, it can’t be. All I could think of was that this was horrible and something only young people get for all their stupidities and I was worried my baby would pay for this.” After receiving the positive result for HIV, Isabelle recalled the time she had a pregnancy test and ultrasound performed at Life Choices Women’s Clinic. “My previous pregnancy was a miscarriage, I was very frightened because there was no heartbeat on the ultrasound. I remember how helpful the nurse was towards me.”
Feeling a strong sense of trust towards our staff and services, she decided to retest for HIV through Life Choices. “This time I thought, I will go there for another test… they confirmed what I already knew. I got a call to come in to the clinic, the nurse could not give the result by phone so I knew something was bad. When I was given my results I remember hearing, ‘don’t get desperate, don’t lose hope. The nurse reminded Isabelle that she is very special and that God will be there for her. I was told that, ‘in this day and age, people do not suffer like they did and they do not die like they did in the past.’ The nurse gave me the phone number for a person at another clinic that helps people with this (HIV diagnosis) and the nurse at Life Choices made the appointment for me.” Isabelle followed-up as our nurse instructed and we made it a priority to emotionally support her by keeping in contact throughout her pregnancy.
“I knew it would be difficult without the father of the baby involved. I had been in a relationship in the past with a man who was violent and I grew up in a violent home. I was all alone because I asked the police to intervene with the domestic violence. But Life Choices was very supportive and told me what I needed to do…I found the care I needed. The counselor kept telling me, ‘we need to hold on to our faith. God is there for us.’ I had taken the Morning After Pill that did not work. I considered abortion, but when it was explained by Eva (pregnancy counselor), I knew it was not something I could do. I really believe a lot of credit should be given to this clinic for all they did for me. They helped me feel comfortable.”
We are happy to announce that she delivered a beautiful, healthy baby. She has since continued to receive HIV treatment; Isabelle and her baby are doing well. We ask that you please keep this precious family in your thoughts and prayers.
Isabelle (Name has been changed for her privacy)
I write this article not in judgment, but in love. I want only to heighten your awareness of how the pill works. It astonishes me how many people truly do not know how these chemicals work in their bodies, and how few of God’s people speak about this subject. I am one of those guilty of both. The Lord has instructed me to write this simple message so that His people will know the truth. Praise the Lord, the truth does set us free!
I have known for quite some time that the Catholic Church was against any form of birth control, except for Natural Family Planning. Since I am not Catholic, I never really understood their belief, nor did I care to find out. Not until it hit me at home where I live. I began to realize, or should I say the Lord opened my eyes to, the truth that I was taught long ago in nursing school, and a lie I was living.
I can remember believing at one time that they, whoever they are, should be on every street corner passing out birth control pills for free. This would surely stop abortions, and the world would be a better place. What a long journey the Lord has taken me on since that time!
I was working as a Nurse Practitioner at a county family planning clinic. My clients, by large, were young women looking for birth control pills. I was dispensing birth control pills and giving Depo-Provera injections on a daily basis. At the time, I thought I was doing the world a great service. We were not going to stop teens from having sex, so let’s get them on the pill and keep down the statistics for teen pregnancy. An Emergency Contraceptive, at that time called the Morning After Pill, was hitting the market with fury. This pill was going to be the answer for women who had sex and did not use protection, or for those who used a form of protection that did not work, such as a broken condom. Again, another way we could help our women and prevent unwanted pregnancies. I began taking a closer look at how these chemicals worked, this time I wasn’t convinced.
I discovered that depending on where you are at in your menstrual cycle determines how the Emergency Contraceptive would work. If the Emergency Contraceptive cannot stop ovulation (release of an egg by the ovary of the female), and the male’s sperm does reach the egg, the chemical can cause the uterine lining to change. And when the fertilized egg (male’s sperm has reached the female’s egg), arrives in the uterus to get its nutrition, the changed uterine lining is now what is sometimes called a hostile environment to the fertilized egg. The egg, then, cannot implant and receive the nutrients that are needed to grow and, the egg is passed from the body. I considered this to be an abortifacient. Why? I believe life begins at the time of conception— when the male’s sperm penetrates the female’s egg. I decided I would not have any part in dispensing this pill. I refused to prescribe the Morning After Pill and, thank God, the entire clinic staff was with me. Then, one day the state health department sent me a package on Emergency Contraceptive, and encouraged all clinics to start getting the word out to our communities and begin prescribing it to our women. I quickly said to myself, “There’s no way I am going to write a prescription, or teach women how to take these chemicals to prevent pregnancy.”
A Change Of Heart
That day, the Lord spoke to me in that still, small voice that He loves to use on us. Not a loud, audible voice, but he spoke to my spirit, and I’ll never forget it. He said, “Why won’t you give Emergency Contraceptives? You give out birth control pills like they’re candy.” I knew immediately what He was saying. It was like scales fell from my eyes, and I could see the truth so clearly. I knew birth control pills worked the same way. They were just so accepted in the communities, and in the Church, that I blinded myself from the truth. Now I had to face reality. I couldn’t hide from it. I prayed, “Lord, if this is really true, you know I will go in to the director’s office and give my thirty-day notice right now”. I had long been a pro-life person, and I would not compromise my beliefs. So I began to study about chemical contraceptives, and to no surprise, it was true. I would read every book or piece of literature I could get my hands on, and they all said the same thing—they prevent ovulation by stopping the egg from being released from the ovary; they change women’s cervical mucus to make it difficult for the sperm to pass to reach the egg; they change the uterine lining to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. God’s words were clear. I then walked into my director’s office and gave my thirty-day notice.
When Does Life Begin?
There is a lot of discussion about when life begins. Even in the pro-life movement there is difference of opinions. Some believe life begins at the time of conception-when the male’s sperm reaches the female’s egg. While others believe it is at the time of implantation, which is when the fertilized egg implants into the uterine lining.
As Christians, can we say when God creates life?
From the very moment the male’s sperm penetrates the female’s egg, cells start dividing and multiplying rapidly. This fertilized egg has its own DNA structure unlike anyone else, thus, the beginning of a new life.
Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He that has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 100:3, NKJV)
And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open in the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrew 4:13, NKJV)
Birth Control= Abortion?
I have written this article to inform you how birth control pills and other chemical birth control work. As your sister in Christ, I want you to make an informed decision about your body and what you put in it. Allow me to take a brief moment to try to explain to you the three different ways chemical contraceptives work and why they would be considered by some an abortifacient.
1) They prevent ovulation. When the egg is never released by the female, the male’s sperm cannot reach it and, therefore, it is not an abortifacient. This is believed to be the primary mechanism of action.
2.) It changes the cervical mucus on the female making it difficult for sperm to pass. Again, the male’s sperm never reaches the female’s egg.
3.) It changes the uterine lining so the fertilized egg (the male’s sperm has reached the female’s egg) cannot implant into the uterus and get the nutrition it needs to survive.
You might say, “I know someone who got pregnant while they were on the pill, so that cannot be true.” The pill’s effect on the uterine lining does not always make implantation impossible. The pill keeps the woman’s uterus from creating the most hospitable environment for the baby. This leaves a lack of oxygen and nutrients, and this may cause the death of the baby.
Abstinence= Birth Control
The Lord has brought me a long way from those days of handing out birth control pills; I now believe and teach abstinence until marriage. God’s way is possible, and I have witnessed this with my own eyes. His way brings true joy, fulfillment and happiness to our lives.
After leaving the clinic years ago, I truly believed in my heart that my career was over. After all, who would want an OB/GYN Nurse Practitioner who would not give chemical contraceptives? However, my career is far from over, it is just beginning. I now work in several clinics that do not give these chemicals but, instead, teach other forms of birth control.
I pray that this booklet has touched you in a way that you will seek out this information for yourself.
Sherry Gorslin RN, WHNP, BC
To learn more about the Catholic Church’s teaching on birth control please visit the Humanae Vitae page: http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae.html
The following is a true story, but details have been withheld to protect family privacy .
When I first met her, she just couldn’t see her way to care for another child and deal with the complications of this pregnancy. She understood abortion was wrong, but felt like she had no other choice. She arrived at Planned Parenthood for her abortion pill appointment and when one of our staff members caught her attention she walked over to the Hope Mobile Clinic. I was hopeful she would accept our help and save the baby’s life after seeing the 8-week baby on the ultrasound and hearing the heartbeat. She felt the intense pressure to get rid of this pregnancy but the ultrasound image of her baby would stay on her mind. She left the Hope Mobile Clinic still feeling unsure and she made the decision to keep her appointment at Planned Parenthood and end the pregnancy with the abortion pill. She left Planned Parenthood feeling more conflicted than ever.
After a difficult night, knowing her baby was dying inside her, she remembered the Abortion Pill Reversal pamphlet she had received on the Hope Mobile Clinic and called the APR Hotline nurse. Debby helped her get started on progesterone, and referred her back to our clinic to continue her care. The progesterone had side effects, causing her tiredness and nausea.
The next thirty weeks were very difficult with physical safety and family security put at jeopardy all due to the pregnancy. On the day of this child’s birth, her mother felt the value of her baby’s worth and that it outweighed all the difficult circumstances. Life didn’t magically get easier, but there was a little more love to fill a hurting family. Difficulties didn’t subside, but the difference was that she was not alone…she had support from Life Choices Women’s Clinics.
– Sheila Riely
Many women experience the emotion of regret almost instantly after taking the abortion pill. Our desire is to provide hope & life to women who have started the abortion process and desire to reverse the effects.
To spread the message of hope, LCWC will be using our thrift store truck with an APR banner providing abortion reversal options.
Do you have a busy traffic area site where we can park the truck for a couple of days?
If so, please contact Sheila at 602.305.5100
6,509 office visists 704 STD & HIV Tests
1,823 Ultrasounds 2,006 Medical Services
4,187 Pregnancy Tests Direct Assistance to 182 Clients
As I have loved you, so you also should love another. John 13:34
At Life Choices Women’s Clinics we are meeting the challenge of competing for patients with this clinic that is supported by Title X federal tax dollars. This is a challenge that we are ready to take on! The defunding of Planned Parenthood of federal tax dollars is a long-term goal, but in the meantime we are increasing our availability and services to provide pro-life healthcare to even more patients who might otherwise go to Planned Parenthood.
First – we have added another team member to answer phones and work at the McDowell clinic.
Second – we have expanded office hours and services at the McDowell clinic.
Third – The inside of the McDowell clinic was remodeled last year, but now we are making improvements to the outside of the building to make it more visually welcoming. Thanks to our recent sign campaign, a new sign has been ordered and will be arriving soon! The fence that looks unwelcoming will be removed in January. We will also be adding decorative stucco and repaving the parking lot.
We are asking for Prayer Partners to pray for this clinic, our staff, and our patients. Please send us an email to sign up as a Prayer Partner and the day and time you can set aside to pray for our mission.
Please prayerfully consider making a tax deductible donation to support us in our efforts. You can help us to deliver strong pro-life healthcare and advocate for quality healthcare that will equip patients to take responsibility for their health, promote sexual integrity, and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted disease.
We took some pictures in the park.
La’Shawn was a little bored with the process, but when it was her turn to smile she was ready!
Jasmine and the kids were the first to take their places and the rest of us would fill in behind them.
Our picture was photoshopped to add Phyllis. We also made Karen, Armida, Therese and Joe taller create the finished card below.
As a single mom, I considered abortion because I did not know how I was going to take care of another child alone.
I learned that I was not alone, and the help I received from Life Choices Women’s Clinic gave me the courage to choose life for La’Shawn.
I was never alone…God was always at my side. Jasmine
Back: Sheila Riely, Mike Rock, Karen Swanson, Wes Robinson, Jocy Guzman, Armida Escarcega, Therese Reeve, Joe Haley, Don Kline, Peg Kline & Phyllis O’Toole.
Middle: Suri Estrada, Renee Connealy, Ann Hughes, Christy Schubert, Betty Schleis, Doris Kobrzycki, Laurie Luciani & Mary Graettinger.
Front: Jennifer Lopez, Jasmine with her children Daytrell, Martell & La’Shawn, Eva Rubio & Sherry Gorslin
During this holy season as we celebrate the birth of Christ, we ask for your renewed support to help all the mothers who may be feeling alone in their pregnancy. Together we reach out to women who are considering abortion to offer hope for a bright future for both mother and child.
Tell our supporters something about yourself.
“When I was born I was connected at the spine to my twin sister. Dr. Ben Carson separated us. My mom was told that I would most likely not live after the surgery, but that my sister would. I had three additional surgeries after the separation. I lived, but my mom was told I would never be able to walk. Everyone was surprised that I lived, and as a baby I started to walk.”
How did you find Life Choices Women’s Clinics?
“When I found out I was pregnant, I was upset and wanted an abortion. I googled abortion and found Life Choices, and when I called they told me they did not do abortions, but offered a free consultation. I also contacted an abortion clinic, but they wanted $500 and at the time, I did not have the money.”
Why were you considering abortion?
“I was just really overwhelmed at the time. I just had a baby and did not want to be pregnant again so soon. Because of the spine surgery, I am not allowed any epidural and pregnancies are hard on my body. I just did not want to go through it again.”
When was the moment you decided you were going to parent?
“The abortion clinic called me and said they would give me a discount on the abortion and it would only cost $250. By that time I was farther along in the pregnancy, and I already had several ultrasounds at Life Choices. I knew it was a baby, and I had made up my mind to parent at that point.”
How did Life Choices help you?
“They helped me so much! Life Choices has been a huge blessing. Everyone from Keiko, Tonya and Sheila. They really encouraged me, especially Keiko who did all of my ultrasounds. She just kept telling me that I can do it. Keiko told me her story of how she had to raise three children on her own and knowing that really helped me. It made me think that I could do that too. Life Choices also gave me so much help after Carter was born.”
Tell our readers about the day Carter was born.
“He was 3 months early and weighed only 2 lbs. and 6oz. I was really scared that he would not make it so I was too afraid to look at him. He was in the hospital for 3 months, and he was able to come home in March.”
What do you love most about your son, Carter?
“He is such a good baby! Very content and happy. My favorite thing is his laughter! He loves to laugh!”
Outside the Glendale abortion clinic Thursday a mother came on board the Hope Mobile Clinic. Like many, she was “looking for a sign from God” to not go through with the abortion procedure. In the past week, three mothers turned away from the heartbreaking choice of abortion, because the mobile clinic was there with volunteer medical staff who offered support and encouragement. On other days, the Hope Mobile has sat empty in front of the abortion clinic without having a single person come on board, but it continues to go and we continue to fight because it is exactly where it belongs.
Edmund Miller writes in an article entitled, Where the Pro-life Movement Belongs, “I remain convinced that the central weakness of the pro-life movement is its failure to be regularly present at the abortion facilities-because, quite simply, if we believe that each unborn child is eternally unique and significant, then at the very least we should be at the places where the child’s social and eternal value will be brutally, irrevocably denied.”
He goes on to say unfortunately that is not where most pro-lifers spend there time, because it is hard to measure success, and it becomes a very frustrating experience. It is an “intense sort of suffering.” This, Miller writes, is where we “must remember,-our suffering is our effectiveness,” and that, “willingness to suffer can have miraculous results, far beyond anything that our own ideas of effectiveness can calculate.”
Many pro-lifers continue to be present outside the Glendale abortion clinic. We see life extinguished, time and time again, but on occasion we get to see the uplifting moment when a mother and father leave the abortion clinic choosing life. We get to hear them say thank you for giving them the courage they needed to walk away from abortion, or for giving them that sign from God that they had prayed for. We also have seen abortion clinics close. So stand firm and stand strong and know that in a world that seeks to silence the voice of God, you remain as a voice of truth. (Pictured above: Fr. Ryan Lee leads prayer outside the Glendale abortion clinic)
Soon after she came to the United States as a refugee from war-torn Cameroon, she found herself pregnant, alone and without family. Reaching out to the Gabriel Project for help, she was brought to Life Choices Women’s Clinic for medical care. At first everything was routine, and although a pregnancy was not in her plans, she welcomed her baby.
The culture of life and pro-life healthcare is important at every stage of pregnancy. Our patient received an unexpected diagnosis that could have led to despair and abortion. Instead she was at a clinic that offered support and encouragement. The difference is life.
We were able to get her to a pro-life doctor who works hard to provide care that supports both the mother and her unborn child. Early detection of adverse diagnoses can save lives, but the medical community at large has adopted a seek and destroy attitude toward any perceived imperfection. Every woman deserves a pro-life doctor.
Today, both mother and baby are doing great!
(Pictured above: Dr. William Chavira provides healthcare that honors both the mother and baby)
Dominique discovered she was pregnant and called life Choices Women’s Clinics seeking information about abortion. At the clinic, she met the nurse and received an ultrasound that changed everything. She was offered words of encouragement and counseling from caring staff that gave her hope. She left the clinic “excited and scared” putting her trust in God. She now has a precious little boy named Elijah.
When I scheduled my appointment at the abortion clinic, I was struggling financially. The pregnancy left me feeling alone and very sick. Daycare was very expensive and I was already struggling. I had no support or family in Arizona, and I felt abortion was the only option. I prayed that God would take the pregnancy away. I called life Choices Women’s Clinics looking for financial help with my abortion. They offered me help instead to carry my pregnancy to full term. It has not been easy, but Life Choices was there for me during a sad and difficult time. They walked me through my options and helped me make a decision I could live with. I realized that kids don’t ask to come into the world, or for their lives to be taken. This baby was a part of me and
I had found myself lost and without a way out. We had just lost our apartment and all our belongings. To me, the news of me expecting another child felt like I could not bring another child into this world. This baby was going to be #5. I called Life Choices to get information on abortion. I made an appointment and when they did an ultrasound on me, I couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing. My husband and I found ourselves feeling guilty of even thinking about abortion when such a precious gift from God was forming inside me. Life Choices changed my life, not only mine but also helped my family through the most difficult times. They helped us to keep our family together, and prevented us from homelessness. I was able to save up enough money to move into a place to call home. My family and I have been blessed with so much and Life Choices has been a big part of that. I am proud to say my blessings are my children, and I am the mother of 5 beautiful children. My 5th blessing is called Isabella.
Briana was about to be homeless. Desperate, she called LCWC to say she would be on the streets that evening. Pregnant and no where to go, we were able to provide immediate shelter until she could apply for entrance into a maternity home. Briana was devastated with the news of her pregnancy. She was trying to get her life together and not sure what to do. Not being able to see past a struggling drug user, a friends father told her he would pay for her abortion at 11 weeks. At 14 weeks Briana decided that abortion was not for her and made the decision to adopt. “The biggest blessing is having my sister adopt my daughter,” said Briana. “I know she will have a great home.” “Life Choices has given me an opportunity to keep moving forward with my life. I especially enjoyed working with Sister Sharon. I had never met a religious sister before and she helped me a lot! I hope to find a full time job after I have my baby and possibly go back to school to do something in the medical field like nursing.” Briana graduated from rehab and had a precious baby girl on Oct 8.
The grace to see beyond the homelessness and drugs gave way to hope that saved two lives, a mother who chose life and adoption and a sweet baby girl. Both are moving forward into a future of grace.
9303 N. 7th St. Suite #4 Phoenix, AZ 85020
3516 W. MCDOWELL RD. PHOENIX AZ 85009
Call for locations and hours: 602.305.5100
Let us know how you’d like to partner with us. Because of your support, babies are being saved from abortion, teens, women, couples and families are being spared from the destruction of abortion, and lives are being transformed through Christ! We depend on people just like you. Call today for your personal tour of our centers and see how God will use YOU to make a difference.