As the phone center manager for Pregnancy Resource Center of Gwinnett, Georgia, Lana Duffell has very little time to call her own.
Without the persistent effort put forth by Lana and her co-laborers, the call from a local woman or girl facing the desperate circumstance of an unexpected pregnancy might fall through the cracks, and cause her to choose abortion as the only option she can see at the moment.
So most days, Lana keeps her nose to the grindstone and her ear to the phone.
But when Lana and her staff decided to take time off during this Christmas season, she had no concerns about the calls and contacts that were sure to come in. Lana and her staff had full confidence that, even if they wouldn’t be there to answer the phone, Heartbeat International’s Option Line® would.
While Lana and her staff rested and reenergized for the coming year, the staff at Option Line routed a total of 39 calls and contacts to Pregnancy Resource Center, ensuring that not one woman seeking help fell through the cracks.
“Option Line has been there for us on a 24/7 basis, when we are in meetings and also when our phone lines are overwhelming,” Lana says. “With Option Line, we are at peace, knowing that our callers will get a live person who can offer them information about abortion alternatives or set an appointment so that we can do further counseling.
“Option Line answers our calls when we are not available, making the difference between losing a life and saving it.”
Since it opened shop in 2003, Option Line has answered the call more than 1.5 million times, in addition to 2.5 million unique visitors to its website, www.OptionLine.org.
That translates to a staggering amount of birthdays, which otherwise would never have been. For now, we’ll celebrate just one: Happy 10th Birthday, Option Line!
Since answerering its first phone call in early 2003, Heartbeat International's Option Line® has responded to over 1.5 million calls, text messages, emails and instant chats from women and familes facing unexpected pregnancies. Option Line staff are available 24/7, 365 days per year to answer callers' questions and connect them to pregnancy help organizations within their local communities, utlizing Heartbeat's Worldwide Directory of Pregnancy Help.
In their own words...
"I worked at Option Line for five years, and during that time, I watched it grow to become a premiere resource for women and men in pregnancy crisis. It was a great pleasure for me to work for an organization that believed in the strength and courage of women."
~April, Heartbeat International Ministry Services Specialist, former Option Line employee
"I love being a part of Option Line, and I feel honored to be in a position to reach so many young girls, women, and men from all over the world. I truly enjoy talking with callers and being able to help and support them by showing Jesus' love. Hearing that I've helped someone makes my day!"
~Julie, Option Line employee for 4 years
"Working at Option Line is an adventure! The job is never the same one day to the next, and knowing that what we do here reaches people in more than 100 countries every month never stops amazing me. Sometimes the calls are funny, and sometimes they're heart-breaking, but my favorite kind of call is when we hear back from someone who wants to tell us about their new baby and thank us for being there when they needed help."
~Bri, Director of Option Line Operations, Option Line employee for 10 years
~Chris, Option Line employee for 3 years
Listen to the positive impact Option Line has:
Young Lady: Hi...i talked with you yesterday. I took a pregnancy test...and I’m not! I just wanted to thank you for your advice about faith and family. I learned a HUGE lesson.
OptionLine: You're welcome and I am glad!
Young Lady: You guys are doing something amazing for young women. That's great. Thank you! God bless.
One Monday, a Tallahassee center answered the phone to hear a young woman ask about an abortion in the third trimester. The volunteer Karen spoke with the caller for a long time in hopes of changing the young woman’s mind. Before hanging up, Karen prayed with the caller. On Thursday, Option Line connected a caller who had questions regarding a late-term abortion, to the Tallahassee center. This scared young woman was pleading for help. Soon, this young woman realized that she was talking to the same center she had called 3 days earlier. She asked if Karen was available, and the Executive Director explained that Karen was out of the office. As they concluded their conversation, she asked the caller to please consider what they had discussed and encouraged her to call back on Monday to speak with Karen.
Well, she did call back on Monday, but she said that she was at the hospital delivering her baby. The center was thrilled that she was giving birth to a healthy baby instead of aborting! Since the woman didn’t have much support, the center scrambled to find all the resources she needed including a labor coach, information on adoption, and even a donut! The birthmother called before leaving the hospital to thank the center for all of their encouragement.
This story has a very happy ending. Not only was a life saved, but a woman was saved from the effects of abortion, and a baby was given a new home with a very happy adoptive family.
Option Line is proud to connect callers to centers so they can receive the help they truly need. Option Line consultants rarely get to hear the outcome of their calls, but each time we send a caller to a center, we pray for the center’s availability and resourcefulness. We understand how hard it is to “wo-man” your 24-hour hotlines and staff your centers and keep up with current resources and information – but we need you and women need you. Thank you for all of your hard work and preparation!
The Option Line® that you know and trust is going strong, now fully managed by Heartbeat International®.
Since Option Line took its first call in 2003, more than 1.5 million women and their friends have used this valuable service to connect with their local pregnancy help organizations. Heartbeat International’s goal is to connect every person who contacts our Option Line to the nearest help center that can meet her needs.
Nothing can replace the face-to-face support that local pregnancy help organizations provide to those involved in an unexpected pregnancy. By partnering with the pregnancy help network and other life-affirming efforts, we offer help to those who need it most.
Heartbeat’s Option Line is committed not only to women who need help, but also to highly personalized service to the pregnancy help network.
Using the technology of Heartbeat’s Plus Link program for web-based appointment setting, Option Line consultants can set appointments for at risk women in participating help organizations. Scheduling these callers immediately increases the likelihood that women will keep their appointments and choose to carry their babies to term, increasing the number of lives saved.
The Extend Web Services program develops and manages engaging websites for pregnancy help organizations at an affordable cost. This effective web presence allows centers to compete online with abortion providers. Centers that take advantage of Extend gain the confidence that the content supplied to their site by Heartbeat is legally and medically accurate.
Every day women in crisis are being helped and connected to their local pregnancy help centers to receive even more life-saving support.
Option Line story as told by one of our consultants:
Monday I received a chat from a 19-year-old girl. She was scheduled to have an abortion on Wednesday. However, I could tell that she was extremely conflicted about the appointment. She openly shared with me that she viewed abortion as killing a life. I knew she did not truly want to go through with the abortion.
As we chatted, I discovered that her boyfriend had made the appointment for her. He was very controlling and threatened to abandon her. The girl had no intention of staying with her boyfriend long term but feared that she could not stay in college or make it financially on her own.
When I asked her what her mom would say about her decision, she said her mom would tell her to keep the baby. At that point we had a breakthrough! The girl decided to cancel her abortion appointment that day and I helped her make an appointment with her local pregnancy help center!
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