Most Amarillo women who choose abortion are doing so far beyond their teen years. One local woman faced that choice when she confronted an unplanned pregnancy at 29.
According to Planned Parenthood, 85% of women who decide to end their pregnancies are 25 or older. Christy Hilbert never expected to end up pregnant and single. "When that happens, you just automatically feel like somebody throws heavy woolen blankets over you," she says. Hilbert remembers it was hard to think clearly, but says she found support at the CareNet Pregnancy Center, where she now works.
"We have dealt with so many women who came in saying I want to have an abortion but then chose life. And then they bring those babies back and they say oh my goodness, what if I had gone through with that and what if I'd aborted this baby," says Center director Candy Gibbs. Planned Parenthood's director insists fewer women would end up in Hilbert's situation if birth control and sex education were more easily available.
"What we're here to do is make sure women who want to avoid unintended pregnancies have the access to birth control to do that," says Claudia Stravato. Gibbs disagrees. "The fact is that abstinence is the one that works," says Gibbs. For Hilbert, her change of heart came when she learned how soon her baby's heart started beating... and she continued her pregnancy.