From aborting her own baby to starting a network of pro-life medical clinics: Kathleen Eaton’s story
SANTA ANA, California, February 15, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The young woman staggered out the back door of the abortion clinic. She barely managed to make her way to her car before she collapsed on the curb, sobbing uncontrollably.
The year was 1980. Kathleen, in her early 20’s, had recently separated from her husband and had just aborted another man’s baby. In her time of crisis, Kathleen had turned for help to the only organizations she knew, Planned Parenthood and Family Planning Associates. The first gave her a pregnancy test, the other aborted her baby. As Kathleen doubled up from pain on the curb side, rocking her tear-streaked face in her hands, she vowed to God that if he showed her just one woman who faced a choice like hers, she would do all she could to guide that woman down a different path.
Weeks went by as Kathleen experienced vivid flashbacks of grief-stricken women moaning on dirty mattresses in a recovery room. Even now she remembers the counseling she received at the clinic. “I was not allowed to see the ultrasound monitor, nor was I given the opportunity to hear the heartbeat of my child.” As she began stitching the pieces of her life back together, she came to the realization that her pre-abortion counseling did not include any discussion of choosing life for her unborn child.
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With this realization, Kathleen decided that not only would she honor her curb-side vow to God, but she would dedicate her entire life to preventing other young women from making her mistake.
Now, 31 years later, Kathleen Eaton is one of America’s leading pro-life advocates who has worked tirelessly and successfully to create a chain of fully licensed pro-life medical clinics that offer holistic healthcare to a woman and her unborn child.
Kathleen told LifeSiteNews that she is “ironically thankful” that her experience with abortion was “so awful” because it set a course for the way her seven California-located Birth Choice Health (BCH) Clinics operate as they serve women and their unborn babies.
“First of all, every pregnant Mom sees her baby on the screen and hears the heartbeat,” she says. “We are blessed to have the best, most modern 3D/4 color ultrasound equipment in all our clinics (thanks to the generosity of the Knights of Columbus) and equally blessed to have been able to staff our clinics with M.D.s and nurse practitioners who are not only medically trained, but are Godly men and women who work hard at creating an environment where life gets put back in choice.”
Not only do BCH Clinics provide ultrasounds, but they also provide medical consultations, pregnancy tests, STD testing, HIV/AIDS testing, well-woman care, prenatal care, and adoption counseling; providing sexual health services that are consistent with what Kathleen and her team call the “inherent value of every human life.” Contraceptives and abortion services are not found anywhere in any of the medical clinics.
Having fully licensed medical personnel offering a range of medical tests gives the BCH Clinics the firepower they need to become the new go-to place for young people to receive help and become educated on options that truly honor a woman and the life she carries within her.
“Too often these young people would turn to the large abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood for these services because they made the biggest noise out there in the cyber market place,” said Kathleen. “That’s where we come in. Through our staff of nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors, we can offer a full service medical alternative for sexual health and pregnancy and we can even up the ante by offering it to them free of charge. As fully licensed medical community clinics at the State level, BCH Clinics can advertise our services on the same playing field as the large national abortion providing clinics.”
BCH Clinics decided to offer STD testing, although not without controversy. However, Kathleen pointed out that as a medical provider in what she called a “sexually active world”, the pro-life medical clinics have a “unique opportunity” to impact that world and change the hearts of young people who come to them for testing and treatment services.
“Through our medical testing and treatment we create trust, and if we can create trust in our client, they will return, tell their friends, and soon BCH Clinics becomes their ally in the war they battle each day living in a sexually permissive culture,” said Kathleen. “When, or if, they are facing an unwanted pregnancy they know they can trust us with that as well.”
The BHC Clinics and their new Mobile Unit on wheels strategically place themselves near abortion clinics so that they can offer an oasis of life in what is more often than not a desert of death. Kathleen sees that her lifelong mission of competing for the lives of women and their babies is being fulfilled. She and her pro-life team know that they are making a difference in the communities that they serve.
“I am happy to report that of those abortion-minded women who see their child in the womb and hear its little heartbeat, 77% of them go on to carry that child to term. Ultrasound is our most powerful tool in saving innocent life from abortion.”
The BCH Clinics are structured to serve what Kathleen calls “the complete needs of today’s young families.” They offer a class called Beginnings for a woman who is becoming a mother for the first time, that teaches her what it means to be a “complete mother” to her child. Mothers not only learn about the care and feeding of an infant, but about nurturing and protecting their child. Optional programs are offered as well that include the spiritual side of parenting and the importance of living a life with God as your partner.
There are also courses for young Dads, who originally may have pushed their partner to abort. There the fathers have an opportunity to acquire the skills necessary to become a caring father who looks after the needs of a mother and child as best as he can.
The BCH Clinics also offer programs for abortion recovery, adoption, and teen abstinence. They even provide maternity housing for homeless pregnant moms. Kathleen explained that with all of these programs and services, their approach is not simply to teach their clients new skills, but to “focus on all the players that will affect the new little life we helped bring into this world.”
At the end of the day, Kathleen and her pro-life team know that their work accomplishes more than to help a woman make the right choice; it creates a space for a new life to “grow and thrive” so that one day, a man or woman will be able to tell others about the great gift that life is.
In 2010, Kathleen was honored with the John J. O’Connor Pro-Life Award for her distinguished achievement in serving women and their babies. Since becoming fully licensed medical clinics, Kathleen and her pro-life team have logged over 70,000 client visits in their clinics. Since 2006, they have saved an estimated 3100 babies from abortion.
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