By Pat Shea
A picture is not only worth a thousand words, it can be worth life. Soundview Pregnancy Services offers two locations on Long Island, New York; an office in Centereach, and a newly opened office in East Meadow. Both locations offer women facing an unplanned pregnancy or who are sexually active, free, confidential medical services, education, support and assistance.
For those who come in confused about whether or not to end their pregnancy, Soundview provides free ultrasounds and counseling in order to help them fully evaluate all their options and make an informed choice regarding their pregnancy. “It often happens that once a woman sees her baby on the ultrasound, she chooses life,” stated Soundview’s executive director, Doreen Jansson.
Once a client comes to the center, she works closely with a client advocate who can assist them in making life-affirming choices, whether its adoption or parenting, and continues providing assistance, ongoing emotional support and counseling, even after a child is born. Each center has its own staff but Jansson travels between the two offices offering support and guidance.
Soundview Pregnancy Services was established on Long Island in 1989, and was known as The Northport Care Center for Crisis Pregnancy. The center was originally founded and supported by the Northport Baptist Church. In 2011, Jansson, who had been a volunteer with the center for 15 years prior, became its executive director. In 2014, the center changed its name to Soundview Pregnancy Services, and, according to Jansson, “went medical.”
“Prior to 2014, all we could do for women when they came in was offer pamphlets with pictures of what their baby looked like at nine, ten or eleven weeks, provide free pregnancy tests and counseling,” explained Jansson. “In 2011, [as director] I looked at what was going on nationally across the country and realized we needed to make the commitment to “go medical” or offer ultrasounds so women could really understand that their baby was more than ‘a clump of tissue.’ We began to raise money for a sonogram machine and a medical director. It took about two years to accomplish this, but God provided us not only a medical director, but a nurse practitioner and the funding for a sonogram machine. It’s made a tremendous difference to show women what their child looks like on a sonogram screen and it helps them to understand that God not only has a special plan for this baby, but for the mother as well.”
In 2016, Soundview which was located on the North Shore of Long Island, opened a second office in East Meadow, located on the South Shore. “Opening a second location is a major accomplishment for a non-profit,” explained Jansson. “It shows we have engaged our community as well as our donors in helping save unborn children.
Soundview Pregnancy Services does not perform or refer clients for abortions, but does provide education and information on abortion procedures, risks and alternatives. They also provide abortion recovery and counseling for clients struggling with the aftermath of an abortion.
“We meet our client at the point of their need,” explained Jansson. “We explain that it’s not just about saving the child, it’s about helping the mother too. We develop a relationship and create a discipleship, showing them the love of God through this ministry. We work at getting them plugged into a church so they can have a Godly family to lean upon.”
Although many of the services offered at Soundview are provided for women, the center is clear that it’s there to provide support for the whole family. “We provide services for young women, but also young men and support for family members. We need to build a support system for this young family, and we work continuously to do so,” stated Jansson.
Through speaking engagements throughout Long Island, Jansson shares the vision of Soundview. Often, she is approached by attendees who share their personal stories with her.
“There was one evening a woman who stopped me at a speaking engagement. She said, ‘I came because I knew you were going to be here. You knew before I did that my daughter was pregnant. When she told me, I thought it was the end of the world. She and her boyfriend were 17 and neither of them had jobs. They were ill equipped to be parents and I was so upset I couldn’t even help my own daughter. You met with my daughter and her boyfriend. You gave them the tools and skills they needed to have this baby. You and your staff prepared them. You were there for my daughter when I couldn’t be. Now they both have jobs, they are doing well and they are pregnant with their second child. You were able to provide the emotional support I wasn’t able to do.’ That’s why we’re here,” stated Janson. “Stories like that are why we do what we do. This ministry offers the support to save lives. It is our goal to change the course of this generation. Our goal is for a young child to come into this world in love and heal a family. It’s amazing to see what God is doing in their live, and I am so proud to be part of it.”
Jansson understands too well what it’s like to struggle with the decisions many of her clients face. At 14, Jansson was raped and became pregnant. “I was so scared. Things were not going well at home and I waited and waited and was several months into my pregnancy, actually 23 weeks along, and still hadn’t told my mother. I was finally forced to tell her but by then I was so far along that an immediate decision had to be made whether or not to abort the baby or it would be illegal to do so the following week. I wish there had been a care center like Soundview at the time because there would have been another option. But instead, I was admitted to [a hospital] and injected me with saline. Let me just say…it’s a horrible, painful death [for the baby]. It was a traumatic experience and afterwards, I began to spiral down. I got involved with drugs and became depressed. But then I learned about the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Until then, I couldn’t release myself from the shame, guilt and depression.”
Jansson eventually married and volunteered for the Northport Care Center for Crisis Pregnancy. “Every time I spoke about the trauma these young women were facing, I knew I was speaking of my own life,” stated Jansson. In 2011, Jansson was offered the position of executive director for the center, but having just suddenly lost her husband, she turned down the position.
“I was in the midst of grief at the time, but I knew in my spirit that God was calling me and asking, ‘What else do you have in your life that can have more of an impact than saving my precious children and advancing my kingdom? Help these women.’ I kept saying ‘God, I am over my head,’ and God said ‘That’s where I want you. It’s about me, not you.’ So what else could I do? I accepted the position.”
For Jansson, it’s been an amazing journey and one that is far from over. “We now have two locations and we’re saving lives, but I have a vision to open another center in Riverhead in 2018-2019. There is nothing out there in that location— only Planned Parenthood offices. I would like to also have a mobile unit that can be parked on college campuses that can do STD testing and sonograms. I want to provide an available resource to these women—they deserve another option other than abortion.”
And for Jansson, it’s healing to give women access to better options than what was offered to her long ago when she needed help. “These women who come to us, they’re scared, they’ve been manipulated and lied to. Some manage to walk out of places [like Planned Parenthood] and find Soundview. And we welcome them. Our offices are designed to be a safe place. My staff advocates for these women. We treat every client with dignity and respect. We want every woman to realize that she, as well as the life inside her, has value.”
Soundview Pregnancy Services is on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. They can be reached at their Centereach office at (631) 676-7990 or their East Meadow office at (516) 430-7990, or by calling 1-800-713-4357. Visit their website at www.soundviewpregnancyservices.org. Free services include pregnancy testing, ultrasound, post abortion recovery, parenting classes, pregnancy education and coaching, abortion education, STD information, medical referrals, relationship coaching, community referrals, and sexual health education.