Educate. Equip. Empower.
ComfortCare Women's Health • Summer 2020 Newsletter
A woman considering an abortion is more than her choice. 
Have you ever experienced one of life’s “interruptions”? For example, have you ever been unexpectedly unemployed? Found out news that significantly altered the plans you had for your future? Ever had to walk through a challenge…alone? 

If we can identify with any of these events in our lives, we can identify with the disruption it brings. Perhaps the immediate response – maybe it’s not fear for all of us, but your mind and your body shift to crisis mode. You just start running through scenarios and working through what makes the most sense. Maybe you had a family member or a friend who could help you process. But what if you didn’t? What if you had no one who was capable of reminding you of the big picture? What if you had a ton of people, but it was a scenario that you believed brought shame and you couldn’t find the courage to share it with anyone?

Here’s where we often find a woman who is considering abortion. She has found herself in circumstances (sometimes beyond her control) and she can’t see a way out.  She’s in crisis mode.
_______________________________

" ...women seek abortions for reasons
related to their circumstances. "
-Biggs, Gould, & Foster, 2013
_______________________________

So I’ve been doing some research as to why women choose abortion. What are these circumstances that prevent her from seeing a solution apart from abortion? I’ve done the research before, but felt it was time again. Do you know what I found out? From research dating back to the 1980s up through today, the reasons are the same. So what I am offering you today is education. Because we have an opportunity to push the conversation beyond abortion being right or wrong. We have an opportunity to talk about the circumstances she may be facing and how we become a part of the solution.
Educate.
A national study identified the three primary reasons women pursued an abortion: Financial Reasons, Timing, and Partner-related reasons.

At ComfortCare, we also strive to understand why our patients are considering an abortion. It is our hope that we can provide education, resources, and community to help her identify some solutions to the practical challenges she faces. What we have found at ComfortCare parallels perfectly to the reasons identified in the study mentioned. 

At ComfortCare...
72% of our patients in 2019 made less than $29,000 annually.
34% (the majority age group) of our patients in 2019 were 20-24 years old.
56% of our patients in 2019 reported that they were single.


In addition, many of our patients fall into more than one of these categories...  Can you imagine what it would be like to be a single, 24-year old, who makes $20,000 a year and is now facing the potential of raising a child? The question is not intended to justify the pursuit of abortion, or even the choices that lead to the pregnancy. The question is merely an opportunity to consider another part of the conversation. If we understand the reasons women believe abortion is their only option, can we offer any support in those spaces to show her another way? 

Consider reviewing some of the suggestions in our “Equip” section and what you may be able to do in your community.

__
Biggs, M.A., Gould, H., & Foster, D.G. (2013). Understanding why women seek abortions in the US. BMC Women’s Health, 13, 29. doi:http://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6874-13-29
Equip.

Like so many of us, we wonder…what can I possibly do to help in the fight against abortion? While the list is not all inclusive, we have compiled a few ideas you can consider. Whether you have 10 minutes of free time or the financial resources to support others doing the work, there is something on this list for everyone!

Are there single moms at your church?  How are you welcoming them? Maybe it’s something as simple as helping her get her child(ren) and stuff out of the car and checked into childcare?

Volunteer through your church or in other community organizations (Young Life, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, etc.) to invest in the lives of young men and women…prior to a time where they are making decisions that lead to a future unintended pregnancy.

Learn about resources within your community designed to help address some of these challenges listed above. Is there a way you can support them?

Who are your neighbors – families/single parents with young kids? How can you help? Maybe you could take them a meal or simply offer some encouragement for their journey.  (In each of the geographic areas that ComfortCare serves, there are at least 15% or more of children/individuals living below the federal poverty level. There are people in our communities that could benefit from the generosity of their neighbors!)

Do you know anyone that has an abortion in their past?  Help by creating a safe space for her (or him) to talk about the experience, apart from judgment. If they have not already done so, encourage them to seek healing and support through that journey. (ComfortCare's HEART program is a great place to start.)

Further educate yourself about the issue. Through education and awareness, we can foster understanding and create change! Here are some great organizations that look at a variety of ways to influence the fight for life:  The Family Foundation , Focus on the Family , Charlotte Lozier Institute , and CareNet .  

ComfortCare Women’s Health is continually striving to engage the women and men most vulnerable to abortion every day. If what you can do is support the ministry so that the work can continue, you are contributing in the fight against abortion! Thank you!

Empower.

Remember the education above... A woman chooses abortion because of her circumstances.  

Tiffany* visited ComfortCare with the father of her baby, seeking information related to abortion. The circumstances that were driving that consideration – Tiffany already has a child at home and she suffers from a disorder that would potentially complicate her pregnancy. However, the baby’s father wanted her to keep the baby. As we so often see in these appointments, however, he was also willing to move forward with whatever decision Tiffany made. After reviewing medical information with both parents, the ComfortCare staff performed an ultrasound. It turned out that she was already further than 12 weeks pregnant and they not only saw the baby’s heartbeat, they also saw moving arms and legs. Even after such a moving ultrasound (the father was thrilled!), Tiffany was still uncertain and looked bewildered as they left the appointment.

A week went by and Tiffany returned to receive her STI results and was all smiles. She let the staff know that they were keeping the baby and noted that the ultrasound made the difference. She could not get over what it was like to see her baby alive and moving on the screen! 
Supporters, these moments are all about educating our patients with information that empowers them to make a fully informed decision! 

Thank you for making that possible!

*name changed for anonymity

Get to know our Staff Members
STEPHANIE CRAWFORD
President/CEO

Tell us about your family:  
My husband, Ches, and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary earlier this month! We are blessed with our son, Jaden, who was born in September 2019. He is keeping us active as he is only content when he is moving or eating…and if he has to, sleeping. Our two fur babies are adjusting well – Banyan and Booker will both be 5 years old in 2020 and have been with us most of their lives.

How long have you been involved with ComfortCare?  It has been just over three years since I started as President/CEO.

What led you to ComfortCare?  
As most of us who work here would say, it was truly a God thing. In short, God led me on a journey that showed me the preciousness of life - at every age in the womb. Through healing and opening the right doors, it was clear that this organization was exactly where God wanted to use me.

What inspires you about this ministry?  The people. Whether it’s staff, volunteers, donors, or the patients. When I have engaged in each of those spaces, God makes it so clear why He has brought that particular person to ComfortCare. How often do you get to work in a place where you see God’s hand at work every day? It’s incredible.

Who has been an inspiring influence in your life and why?  
An old boss of mine. He taught me so much as a young professional. He taught me practical skills that helped me be successful in that environment, but he also taught me what it looked like to celebrate your people and how to lead with compassion.

What is your favorite place to vacation?  That’s a tough one for me! Depends on the need – an old cattle ranch in Nebraska when I want to be disconnected from everything but family, the beach when I need utter relaxation & no itinerary, and Asheville, NC, when I want the trails to hike mixed with the perks of a larger city. 

What have you learned during COVID-19 about your life, work, & family?  Stay flexible! Seriously. I wish it was more profound than that, but everyone is working through this experience differently and in order to have grace for that, you have to stay flexible.  

What is your favorite way to relax? 
On a boat.

If you had to pick just one... Coffee or Tea? COFFEE!
Get to know our Board Members
CURTIS WILBUR
Board Chair

Tell us about your family:  
My wife, Janis, and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary on June 13. God has blessed us richly with three daughters, all of whom are now married, and with seven grandchildren ages 5-12. Janis and I grew up in upstate New York and met while undergraduates at SUNY Buffalo. Following marriage and graduate school, we eventually settled in New Jersey for 28 years where we raised our family and pursued careers. We moved to Lexington 13 years ago.

What led you to ComfortCare?
We are members of Grace Presbyterian Church where I currently serve as an Elder and Treasurer. It was at Grace where we first became aware of ComfortCare through the Baby Bottle campaign. Later, Sam and Jackie Calhoun invited us to attend the annual fund-raising banquet. We were attracted immediately and very supportive of ComfortCare’s mission. In 2015 I was invited to join the Board of Directors and elected Chair this past January.

What inspires you about this ministry? Serving at ComfortCare inspires me because its work literally affirms life in the most basic, God honoring way that I can imagine. There is nothing theoretical or hypothetical about its mission. In our society, mothers trapped in an unplanned pregnancy have the authority to determine life or death for the infant growing inside of them. For me, nothing is more powerful than to hear the testimonies of those who choose life as a result of ComfortCare. To think that you and I were called by God to play even the smallest part in that decision is both humbling and overwhelming.

Who has been an inspiring influence in your life and why?   Throughout my life, God has placed many people in my path whose advice, character, or simple words of encouragement and kindness proved wise and godly. In thinking about this mosaic of God’s great provision, it seems as though He has been preparing me to serve a similar role with others whom He places in my life for a brief time or a more extended season.

What is your favorite place to vacation? Our favorite vacation spot is wherever our extended family gathers each year to celebrate our life together in Christ. The photo above is last year’s gathering in Yellowstone.

What have you learned during COVID-19 about your life, work, & family?
I would say the COVID-19 experience has taught me to press more deeply into my faith. For example, Philippians 4:11-13 tells us,  “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  COVID-19 has given me abundant reasons to express discontentment, but even more opportunities to stop grumbling and lean more deeply into Christ and His strength.

What is your favorite way to relax?
My wife and I love to relax by watching redemptive movies. An amazing number are available for streaming. Uncovering them does take some effort, but many wonderful gems are the prize.

If you had to pick just one... Coffee or Tea? I am a coffee guy, not tea.
The Stride for Life has been rescheduled!
Introducing... Stride 1.4
July 11, 2020
9:45 am
(arrive between 9:15-9:30am, drive begins at 10am)

Stride 1.4 will be a unique way for us to gather and reflect on our mission in the context of COVID-19 and social distancing. You'll find a few brief details here, but please be on the lookout for additional emails and follow us @SupportCCWH on  Facebook  and  Instagram  for further details.

Why 1.4?     The most recent statistics tell us that 1 in 4 women will have an abortion by the age of 45. We will come together to mourn the  1  that will not experience life outside of the womb; to grieve with the mother who didn’t choose life and to pray for healing over her and anyone else involved; and to celebrate and pray over the  3  lives that were chosen and the families that are raising them.

How will we do that?
Instead of our traditional walk, we are coordinating a 1.4 mile DRIVE. We will host a brief program to kick us off in the parking lot of Crossroads Baptist Church   (31 Cross Road Ln, Fishersville)  and then drive 1.4 miles to Bridge Christian Church   (1275 Goose Creek Rd, Fishersville)  together as we join in prayer and reflection over the 1 in 4.

You may be thinking 1.4 miles is a short drive. While you are correct and we would love to walk it instead, we felt this was the most responsible way to give us an opportunity to gather at this time. In addition, we are hoping to inspire you with patient stories and encourage you in the details that we’ll be sharing as we get closer.

If you are unable to participate that day, please join us virtually! Take a 1.4 mile walk in your neighborhood or a 1.4 mile drive wherever you feel close to God. Take a picture of your 1.4 mile walk/drive and post on social media and tag #SupportCCWH. However you choose to participate, let’s do this together!

Ready to sign up?
  • Register today and start raising funds toward the Stride 1.4 event.
  • If you registered for the Stride prior to COVID-19, your registration should still be active and you can just pick up where you left off.
  • If you still have your paper fundraising form, you may use that to collect sponsorships and donations. Bring it with you on July 11 to turn in to a staff member (along with any cash or checks you've collected)
  • If you would like to use a paper fundraising form, but do not have the original form we mailed out, you can download one here.
  • If you are not comfortable raising funds at this time, but would like to be a part of the Stride 1.4 event, we'd love to have you! Join us on July 11 as we celebrate together.
  • If you have additional questions, please email Jerelyn Anderson, Director of Events, at jerelyn@ccwomenshealth.org or call (540) 885-7448 ext. 308.

We hope to see you there! 
FOLLOW US: