It is a constant chant from those who would like the defenders of unborn life to disappear, and leave them undisturbed in their killing. “Your concern for life does not go any further than the uterus.” “All you want is to stop the abortion, and then you abandon the mother.” “You don’t care about the woman. It’s all talk.” Etc.
It makes a nice sound bite for the media, but the charge is false.
For over twenty years the local pro-life center where I live has been collecting money and clothing, and giving that money and clothing out to pregnant women before the birth of their child, and then after the birth until the mother is able to get back on her feet financially. They have paid grocery bills, rent and house payments, car payments, utility bills, gasoline bills, and other costs of women who choose not to kill their children. In addition, volunteers from the center call or visit with the women who have come for help, and they assist those women in a myriad of small but important needs which they have.
The center has recently purchased a 3D sonogram device so that pregnant women will be able to see their children in the womb in an atmosphere of dignity and concern for them and the life in the womb. The sonograms are free, and are done by competent and licensed medical volunteers. The machine itself was purchased with donations from the Knights of Columbus and individual donors.
Volunteers at the center have spent decades giving their time and their money to help pregnant women, before and after the birth of their children. They counsel, advocate, and support the women who come to the center. They come to the center every week, month after month, and year after year. They ask for nothing in return. On occasion a woman will call or come by and thank them for helping her save her baby. Sometimes the person calling is the one saved from the abortionist’s knife. The gratitude that these people express is deep and genuine and a reminder that abortion is not an abstraction, but is a matter of the life and death of human beings.
There is also a local ministry, the Gabriel Project, which helps women throughout their pregnancy and after with material assistance and friendship, all provided by dedicated volunteers who take responsibility for women who seek their help. The volunteers in the Gabriel Project develop close bonds with the women who come their way in that apostolate. They are there for prenatal appointments, the birth, and after the baby is born, according to the mother’s needs. The Gabriel Project is matched by the Rachel Ministries program which provides emotional and material help for women who suffer from the emotional and psychological trauma after having had an abortion. The abortionists’ lie that there is no emotional consequence when a woman kills the child in her womb is put on display every day in the Rachel Project.
Consider also this one example of many of the generosity of those who witness and counsel in front of abortion facilities. A woman who works with me in weekly sidewalk counseling in front of a local facility is faithful in going there each week to offer help and hope to the women coming to kill their children, especially Hispanic women since she is bilingual.
Recently she sent an email in which she reported on the status of a mother whom she had encountered at the facility earlier this year, and whom she had persuaded to not kill her child. Her quiet work is testimony that the allegations of the abortionists are false. Here is what she wrote in a quick (and informal) email:
Maria (not her real name) called Tuesday ..her daughter was born Dec 17 and weighed 7 lb 11 oz…I was able to get her to confession/communion the Wed before the baby was born….Maria also told me she was short on formula so I told her that I would take her some early Wed morning….I went to Walmart that same night, then Wed I went to my parish to pick up more gifts from the parish and 2 large bags of groceries from our food pantry….myself and a close girlfriend went to see Maria and I was able to hold that precious gift of God….she is sooooo beautiful, we took pictures and I had them developed yesterday…the parish family came through with gift certificates, and baby gifts…I am so grateful to them for embracing Maria and her new baby daughter…I’ve talked to Maria about baptism there and thanking the parish for all their help…I also mailed her electric bill for this month to the pro-life center since she won’t be able to get out for a while.
Contrary to the abortionists’ lies, what I have described in this article happens in hundreds of cities and towns across the nation, day after day, year after year. Gabriel Projects and Rachel Ministries exist in most dioceses, and most of those dioceses have pro-life centers or Respect Life Offices, or both. And that is not all.
Beyond the involvement of those working directly in the pro-life apostolate, the Catholic Church in this country provides an incalculable amount of assistance. There are Catholic pre-natal clinics, Catholic hospitals, Catholic housing programs, Catholic food banks, Catholic counseling offices, Catholic facilities for unwed mothers, Catholic adoption services, and numerous other services which help women before and after the birth of their children. Beyond that there are Catholic physicians, nurses, and others health care professionals who donate their time and talents to help these women.
So the abortionists are wrong. Another lie of the pro-choice crowd. The help and assistance rendered to women before and after the birth of their children is extensive. The promise to the pregnant woman that she will be helped and not abandoned is real. It’s not all talk.