The pregnancy test question

You will have seen from our Impact Reports that our free pregnancy tests are in great demand. I was asked a couple of times last week – “ If Life stopped posting out pregnancy tests wouldn’t that save the Charity money” – of course the answer is yes it would save money… but at what cost? You may not be aware that each pregnancy test includes information about our services and because many women can be overwhelmed with their feelings, they reach out to us.  

Think of . . . 

. . . the girl who reaches out to us who thinks she is pregnant and has no one to talk to about what’s happening for herShe’s thinking how angry her parents will feel, how disappointed everyone around her will be, but she talks to us. We help her look at her body and what is happening, explore that there is no such thing as 100% safe contraception . . . A few days later she comes back and tells us the test was negative and that her period’s started but more importantly, thanks us for such a great service and that she would certainly come back if she needed to talk and would tell her friends about Life. 

Should we give this up?

. . . or the woman who really wants so desperately to be pregnant. We talk over what is happening for her, her feelings, the disappointment and sorrow every time she sees a negative test result. We talk about her cycle, her diet, affirming that she is giving herself the best chance possible to achieve pregnancy . . . and then the joy and happiness of getting the thing she most wanted; the positive test, letting us walk with her through her pregnancy  and share in the joy of her new born. 

Should we give this up?

. . . the woman who takes the test and finds out she is pregnant and then only a week or so later, reaches out to us in a veil of agony because she has started to bleed. Seeking medical support she is told she is going through “early miscarriage”; words that are said everyday but to this woman it’s like a dagger piercing her heart but now everyone is telling her it was nothing’, ‘you can try again’. No one wants to talk about what it meant to her . . . that it was her baby . . .

Should we give up being there for her?

. . . or the woman who returns to us to tell us the test is positive, but she can’t continue with her pregnancy because her partner/ mum/ husband/ employer will not allow her to. She’s reaching out to us because the pregnancy test she received, had our contact details with it, so didn’t have to search and come up with the choice of BPAS or Marie Stopes. Thankfully, now, she has a real chance of hearing herself and recognising that she does have a say in what happens to her pregnancy 

Should we give this up?   

My answer is no. 

For me, this is why I am doing what I do and have done for the past 26 years. Being there, a listening ear for all of these individualsespecially when it comes to saving a life.    

The pregnancy test offer costs less than keeping a Pregnancy Matters Centre operational for a year, less than any form of advertising that we would have to pay thousands for and it has tangible life saving outcomes

I know what I would rather do


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7 people are talking about The pregnancy test question

  1. Jane Fetherston says:

    The request for a pregnancy test is the "point of entry" for many clients to engage with Life's services. It establishes a definite contact, at the instigation of the client, from which a conversation around a possible pregnancy can take place. I feel it is an essential part of Life's services as it enables the organisation to dialogue with women who need support. The clients find Life, a listening ear and the help they need!

  2. Martha says:

    I think this is a really important and valuable service. It gives people in difficult, complex or uncertain situations the opportunity to discreetly and conveniently access a test with non-judgemental and non-directive support offered along with it. The article says the service is in great demand, there's a woman behind each of those requests with her own story, her own needs, and this service surely makes support and empowerment accessible to them.

  3. Amie says:

    Thank you Life for all the work you do, especially for being there to listen to the women and men who need your support.

  4. Clare Walsh says:

    Sending out free tests provides a much needed space for open discussion and exploration around the whole subject of pregnancy and what it means to be, or not to be.

  5. Lucie Scurlock says:

    I think the numbers of Pregnancy Tests sent out to woman say it all , we reach so many first time clients through this service and is a key way to support the woman that come through . To lose this service would be a travesty.

  6. Joe McGarry says:

    Really good that contact is made by so many before they make such a big decision and have the chance to think things through for themselves and really do then choose for themselves.

  7. Pauline says:

    Thanks for that Liz ...so true and so glad Life is doing this

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