20 September 2017

Crisis Pregnancy Centre Causeway Care in Crisis

For some women finding out they are pregnant is far from a happy occasion. Circumstances may leave them feeling they are in an impossible situation, leading to despair, depression & fear, not knowing where to turn to for support or help.

raIt may be a teenage girl who is too frightened to talk to her parents or a woman who finds herself in a dysfunctional relationship or even a married woman who is worried her husband won’t want an addition to the family. Whatever the reason a woman is experiencing an overwhelming pressure of circumstance, there is hope and help to be found from Causeway Care in Crisis. The Crisis Pregnancy Centre opened its doors in 1999 as a caring response to the needs of individuals in situations of crisis pregnancy, miscarriage or suffering after an abortion. As a non-denominational Christian voluntary organisation and a registered charity we rely completely on financial donations from local Churches & individuals. We are affiliated to the organisations Care Confidential and the Association of Christian Counsellors and the Centre is staffed by a Co-ordinator along with fifteen counselling volunteers who have all undergone eighty hours of training and attend regular counselling supervision sessions. Our main aims are to reach out in Christ’s compassion and love to those in a crisis.

We offer the following services:-

n Free pregnancy testing

n Confidential counselling to explore all available options in crisis pregnancy

n Post abortion counselling/support

n Miscarriage counselling

n Befriending service

In each crisis pregnancy situation using sensitive counselling and exploring of the options, along with their consequences, a woman is helped to find a way forward in her crisis. Each of the three options – parenting the baby, placing the baby for adoption, abortion – is fully explored allowing the woman to make an informed choice. We don’t always know the chosen outcome and we respect the decision of the woman, whatever it may be, however we remain available to every woman regardless of which option she chooses.

The following story is given with permission of a client:

“Finding out that I was pregnant was a massive shock to me. What would my family think of me, how was I going to tell them? I felt I had let God down. Abortion was my first thought so I got details of an Abortion clinic in Yellow Pages and enquired about the cost and how soon I could have it done. I felt so much panic, shame and embarrassment but I knew as a Christian I didn’t have the right to take this life away. In the Yellow Pages I had seen a small advert for Causeway Care in Crisis so I made an appointment to call in. While in the waiting room I picked up some of their literature and realised this was a Christian organisation.

The two girls at the Centre just listened to me. They didn’t judge me and they told me that God still loved me and this child was a gift from Him. I needed to see myself as God saw me and not how I saw myself. They prayed with me and kept in touch throughout my pregnancy and afterwards, which was a great support. I thought I wouldn’t get through that point in my life, but I have. I had my baby and he’s been a real blessing to me and I love him so much. How could I have ever had an abortion? I would have missed out seeing all the little things he’s doing and when I look in on him every night before I go to bed, I thank God for giving him to me.”

Often abortion is chosen by a woman because she feels there is no alternative in her unplanned pregnancy or she believes this will be a ‘quick fix’ to the crisis. Following an abortion a woman’s immediate feeling is often one of relief but for some that initial response can be replaced with emotional difficulties that she had not expected.

Even years after the abortion a woman may experience many issues including:-

n Tearfulness

n Pre-occupation with the abortion or unborn child

n Feelings of regret or guilt

n Inability to be near babies or children

n Feelings of helplessness and isolation

Abortion is largely presented as a ‘woman’s issue’ and as such the thoughts and feelings of men can be side-lined. Yet abortion can have a profound effect on men as well and an increasing number are seeking help after a child of theirs has been aborted.

Healing of emotional hurt following an abortion is possible…many women have been helped to come to terms with their decision to have an abortion by undergoing a sensitive recovery programme called ‘The Journey’ which is rooted in Christian principles, but also incorporates sound psychological truths. It can be used to help all those suffering after an abortion, irrespective of their faith or belief and although its content refers specifically to women much of it can be adapted to offer help to men.

The following story is given with permission of a client:

“I fell pregnant at the start of my university life when I was 19 years old. I could not face telling my parents and my boyfriend made it clear to me that he did not want the baby. We sought help from a doctor to discuss our options and I believed that together we would get through this and be ok. However to my disbelief my boyfriend threatened suicide if I didn’t get a termination. Naively I chose him over our baby – my tears and pain didn’t change his mind so at 7 weeks pregnant I had the abortion. I remember assuming that it would be a matter of simply going to the clinic, having the procedure and getting on with life – I was wrong. A year later our relationship ended and I fell into a desperate spiral of self-destruction.

Later I found a decent man and when I told him about my abortion which was troubling me greatly, he was supportive and non-judgemental. We went on to have two beautiful children but seeing both of them made me feel worse about the abortion because I pictured what my unborn baby could have looked like. Instead of time healing, things seemed to have grown worse and I was far from over it. Five years after the birth of my daughter, and after a couple of years on antidepressants, I decided to take positive action and sought counselling with Care Confidential who referred me to Causeway Care in Crisis Centre in Coleraine.

I completed ‘The Journey’ a 10-week course of which I was initially very sceptical, but I was desperate to try anything. Happily I now feel like a different person because I have found peace and forgiveness with God. I have acknowledged my role in the decision to have the abortion, and I have learned to forgive myself, and those involved. I cannot change the past, but I have changed how I deal with it.”

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this feature, or you would like to become a Friend of the Causeway Centre, then please contact Catherine at: www.causewaycareincrisis.org.uk Tel: 028 7032 7717 or Mobile: 077 8603 8343

26a Railway Road, Coleraine.

Facebook – Causeway Care

There are many other pregnancy crisis centres throughout the UK. For further information please contact www.careconfidential.com