There’s a new way to have a talk these days, and it’s as easy as a click and a blip. That’s why a call center that refers people to crisis pregnancy centers says it’s an effective way to reach those young and pregnant, and not knowing what they can do.
“It only makes sense that Instant Messaging is the fastest growing contact channel for the demographic segment facing a potential crisis pregnancy,” according to a statement from the organization called www.OptionLine.org.
The electronic communication allows individuals seeking help or advice – or options – to speak to counselors in complete anonymity, but still have their concerns addressed – and addressed right now.
“The stories we hear day in and day out are amazing,” said Joe Young, Option Line’s executive director. “In 2006 we had over 204,000 contacts from young men and women seeking advice. More and more of them believe abortion is NOT the answer, but unfortunately do not know the options available to them for supporting through parenting or adoption.”
He said the organization’s outreach through IM is becoming bigger and bigger – and already has proven its success, as the following transcript of an exchange shows:
Anonymous Client (11:06:12 AM): hello ive talked to you before
Answers at OL1 (11:06:35 AM): May not have been me, but possibly
Anonymous Client (11:07:48 AM): yeah i just wanted to tell you guys that i decided to keep my baby boy James and now hes 1 month and 3 weeks old
Anonymous Client (11:08:03 AM): im very happy that i kept him..hes my life
Answers at OL1 (11:08:25 AM): Oh hon, thats amazing
Answers at OL1 (11:08:30 AM): thanks for telling us
Anonymous Client (11:09:16 AM): no problem, its the most i can do because i’ll never be able to meet you guys in person..and you helped me make the biggest decision in my life
Anonymous Client (11:09:23 AM): so thank you very very veeeerrrryyy much!
Answers at OL1 (11:10:09 AM): you are welcome, and you did it, we just nudged, i am very happy for you, its good to know you are ok with your decision
Answers at OL1 (11:10:12 AM): we’re always here
The exchange took 240 seconds, probably less time than it would have taken the happy young mother to look up a telephone number.
“In speaking with a young woman the other evening, she didn’t even realize that someone could help her with parenting classes and instruction,” said Young. “It’s so frustrating that abortion had been drilled into her head for so long, and that she didn’t know what else she could do.”
More and more young women these days use the Internet for e-mail and chat, and, recognizing that, OptionLine’s call center, which refers callers to crisis pregnancy centers around the country for testing, counseling, advice, direction, and options, added the IM option to reach them, officials said.
It allows young women – or men – to “communicate freely and confidentially with a consultant, and learn that they might have some positive pregnancy options, instead of abortion.”
The OptionLine website provides information to more than 20,000 visitors – including women vulnerable to the societal campaign promoting abortion – about local pregnancy centers and services in their area each week, officials said.
OptionLine’s call center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is staffed by dozens of trained phone consultants to connect women in need directly to those who can help.
It also offers help to those struggling with post-abortion complications.
The organization said 78 percent of the women who call, or IM, these days who believe they are pregnant are considering an abortion. “But statistics also show that nine out of 10 women, upon visiting their local pregnancy center, WILL choose life – instead of abortion,” the organization said.
WND had reported earlier on the success rate that crisis pregnancy centers have had when girls come in for counseling and ultrasound tests.
The new IM program clicked “instantly” with those in need:
Anonymous Client2 (11:58:59 AM): I think this is so awesome we can IM someone about this thanks!
Anonymous Client2 (11:59:19 AM): I feel relieved to talk to a professional
Anonymous Client2 (12:00:04 PM): as we speak
Answers at OL1 (12:00:54 PM): Well thank you, I am grateful to have the opportunity to be here for you
Anonymous Client2 (12:01:23 PM): You Rock!
Anonymous Client2 (12:05:19 PM): ok I would love to get tested again and get an ultrasound. Where can I go to do both?
Segment redacted because of confidential information and telephone exchange
Anonymous Client2 (12:32:20 PM): thanks so much this has been so convenient for me and you have answered all my Q’s!!! who ever came up w/ this idea is brilliant!!!
Answers at OL1 (12:32:47 PM): Thank you! I am so glad to have been able to help you!
Anonymous Client2 (12:34:04 PM): ur a blessing!!!
Answers at OL1 (12:34:25 PM): So are you…you have really brightened my day
Anonymous Client2 (12:34:36 PM): what does O L stand for?
Answers at OL1 (12:34:44 PM): Option Line
Option Line’s call center is located in Columbus, Ohio, and was formed as a joint venture between Care Net and Heartbeat International. Care Net and Heartbeat International are faith-based organizations that promote women’s reproductive health by ensuring access to accurate information about all pregnancy options and the provision of positive alternatives to abortion.
Those seeking help are served without regard to age, race, income, national, religious affiliation, disability or other arbitrary circumstances, client information is held in absolute confidence, and information is provided about pregnancy, fetal development, lifestyle issues and other concerns “with kindness, compassion and in a caring manner.”
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