*Talia called in to Jane’s Due Process, like so many others in her position, with an uphill battle ahead of her. With a missing father and an erratic and mercurial mother, Talia, at age 15, was pretty much raising herself. A recent middle school graduate, Talia had just gotten her period earlier this year. She knew a little bit about how that worked, she said, but not really much. It hadn’t occurred to her when she missed her first period a few months back that she might be pregnant.
When she realized that she was, indeed, pregnant, she knew immediately that she wanted an abortion. Like she told me, she was just a kid herself. Talia was responsible and on top of things from the get-go: she completed our intake form, set up an appointment at an abortion clinic and called me back immediately after her sonogram appointment, as I had instructed her to do. She was ready to meet with her attorney and file the judicial bypass paperwork.
But–not so fast. Talia had accidentally walked into the crisis pregnancy center next door to the abortion clinic. With a similar name, similar architecture, and similar color scheme, I can’t blame Talia for getting the two facilities confused. To make matters more confusing, when she walked into the crisis pregnancy center, the staff pretended to be aware of the appointment she scheduled, posing as the abortion clinic next door.
The volunteers, posing as doctors in white coats, told Talia that if she continued her pregnancy they would assist her in raising her baby–both financially and emotionally. Though seemingly altruistic, I find this hard to believe–their specious tactics displayed a level of untrustworthiness beyond belief. After Talia declined and reiterated that she wanted to terminate her pregnancy, the volunteers sat Talia down for a “counseling session” with a woman who claimed that she had an abortion and it ruined her life.
Though now filled with fear and confusion, Talia was still steadfast in her decision to terminate her pregnancy. Realizing that she wouldn’t budge, the staff told her that they could, indeed, perform the abortion, but only in a few weeks. “They told me they would call me when they had an open appointment. They said I had a lot of time,” Talia told me. Talia was 19 weeks pregnant–just one week under the legal limit. Their strategy became clear: delay, delay, delay.
Talia’s call to Jane’s Due Process after her appointment was her saving grace. I very quickly realized that she had been tricked by the crisis pregnancy center, and was able to get her into the abortion clinic the following day. Understandably, she was confused. “I thought I was in a real doctor’s office,” she told me. “I don’t get it.”
Through the generous support of her boyfriend’s grandmother, who stood by Talia’s side every step of the way, and by piecing together funding from both statewide and national organizations, Talia was able to scrape together $4,000 for her procedure. She started the ninth grade last week and is back to feeling happy and active.
Does this story sound familiar? If you’ve been following our weekly stories you might think so. And that’s because it is. We’ve had more minors this year accidentally visiting crisis pregnancy centers than ever before. Fake clinics are increasing their visibility and deceitful tactics–and young women are suffering because of it. Visit www.txpregnancy.org to learn more.
We need you to make a difference.
If you’re interested in supporting the Janes, share these Stories from Jane sign up for our newsletter. We’ll alert you about current legislation, future events, and other ways that you can help every woman, no matter her age, have a voice.