Lydia – A Beating Heart is the first and only pro-life pregnancy resource center in Macedonia. Abortion is used without a second thought as the primary form of birth control in Macedonia and throughout the Balkans. Often, when a woman is asked why she wants an abortion, she simply shrugs her shoulders and says she doesn’t really have a reason other than she wasn’t planning on getting pregnant at this particular time.
Unlike most situations in the U.S., most of the women having abortions in Macedonia already have a family. Having more than two children is very anti-cultural, so most women abort all pregnancies after the first two. Many women will have had several abortions over the course of their lifetime.
From 2013-2019, there were some laws in place restricting abortion. A woman less than 12 weeks pregnant was required to wait 72 hours, have counseling, and get an ultrasound. If she was over 12 weeks pregnant, she must obtain the signatures of three physicians approving the abortion. In 2019, these laws were reversed. Currently, unrestricted abortion is allowed up through 22 weeks of pregnancy, and late-term abortions are allowed after approval by a medical consultation with two physicians and a social worker. The abortion pill also became legal in 2019.
We were so grateful for the more restrictive laws, but regardless of legal status, our goal is to change the cultural concepts surrounding abortion and adoption. The Lydia Center is dedicated to counseling and helping women while promoting the value of life and the rights of the pre-born baby. Our goal is to love, support, and assist women facing unplanned pregnancies, post-abortion trauma, and other family-related crises.
When women call our counseling center that we named “Now what?”, we show them actively our love and support. When women are facing an unplanned pregnancy or reproductive loss, often they ask themselves “Now What”. Therefore, in our counseling center, through the talks with our counselors, we would like to help them to find the answers to these questions, and at the same time, to find the hope that they desperately need.
We also aid impoverished women by giving out donations of clothing, diapers, and other baby necessities.
Svetlana Jovanova is the Founder and CEO of “Lydia – A Beating Heart” since its foundation in 2012 and is now the Director of the Lydia Network. She has attended multiple trainings and conferences with Heartbeat International and is certified in peer counseling. She is LAS certified by Heartbeat International and certified as a reproductive loss trainer for the Institute of Reproductive Grief Care.
Alexandra Petrovska started volunteering in 2015 and became a staff member in 2016. She has a University degree in Psychology. She is the staff psychologist and Director of the Lydia Counseling Center for Women “Now What”. Alexandra is a certified counselor for unplanned pregnancy and post-abortion counseling by Heartbeat International and is also a certified family and systemic psychotherapist.
Daniela Jordanova has been on staff as staff nurse and counselor with Lydia from the start of 2012 till June 2022. She graduated from medical high school as a nurse. She has attended several trainings and conferences with Heartbeat International and Save One Europe, and has multiple certificates in peer counseling, unplanned pregnancy counseling, and post-abortion counseling. At the moment, Daniela and her husband are part of CRU – Macedonia, but she remains a volunteer at Lydia – A beating heart.