Rhonda and Gary were both 18, in love, and in college. Like many in our society, they did not think that having sex prior to marriage carried any consequences or could hurt them in any way. Although they used contraception, they conceived a child. Suddenly, all the plans for college and a bright future were in disarray. They were confused and frightened and did not know where to turn.
Rhonda decided she should have an abortion as that seemed to be the best “solution” to her “problem.” Gary did not agree with her, but he felt he should not try to dissuade her. They both sought the counsel of Rhonda’s mother, who tried to convince her to choose life and not abort her baby. After several discussions, debates, and arguments, Rhonda’s mother wearied and agreed to help her daughter have the abortion.
Since she was less than seven weeks along, Rhonda chose to take mifepristone, or RU486. After she took the abortifacient pill, her mother had an almost immediate sense of regret that she had facilitated the abortion of her own grandchild.
She went to see a priest who offered to speak with her daughter. After much discussion, the daughter finally agreed to speak to him. After discussing the situation with the priest, she began to question her decision. The priest put her in contact with me, and she asked to meet with me. On that Saturday, I met her in the office, with an assistant, to explain how mifepristone works and what her possible options were. I first wanted to do an ultrasound to see if the baby was still alive.
When Rhonda, her mother, and Gary saw the embryo in her uterus with a beating heart, they began to cry. These were tears of joy that the baby was still alive but also tears of remorse, for each of them, individually, regretted the decisions they had made.
They wanted to know what they could do to reverse the mifepristone. I explained to Rhonda the risks of the situation and offered her progesterone therapy since mifepristone functions as a progesterone antagonist. She agreed to proceed, hoping and praying for the best.
As we journeyed together through the first trimester, at each visit I saw a transformation in Rhonda, Gary, and Rhonda’s mother. I could see a beautiful love, joy, and peace developing within them and among them. They had recommitted themselves to their faith and were now trusting that God would guide them every step of the way.
By the end of the first trimester, I referred Rhonda to an obstetrician. Rhonda feels blessed to have been given a second chance; a second chance she feels was by the grace of God.
When I think of Rhonda and Gary, I think that they are, on one hand, extraordinary, but, on the other hand, ordinary like you and me. They initially acted out of fear, but through their near-death experience, they learned the power of trust, faith, purpose, and love.