COMMENT: If the Supreme Court overturns Roe, abortion policy would revert to the states. Abortion advocates are also preparing for this battle.
For the first time in nearly 50 years, pro-life Americans will descend on our nation’s capital for the annual March for Life with the well-founded hope that the Supreme Court might finally overrule Roe v. Wade.
Yes, there is real hope that the high court will relegate the tragic decision that led to the deaths of 63 million unborn children to the dustbin of history. But the prospect of such a momentous decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization presents a daunting challenge for those of us who care about unborn children and their mothers. Are we ready? Have we built the “culture of life” that Pope Saint John Paul II called in gospel of life? Are we ready to support mothers in need and welcome their babies into the world?
The truth is that building a culture of life is still a work in progress. The staggering demand for abortion tells us how much work we have ahead of us.
For one thing, the pro-life community has been supporting mothers in need since the 1970s, founding a vast network of nearly 3,000 pregnancy resource centers soon after. deer was returned. The Catholic Church has led these efforts from the start. If the court cancels deer, however, the needs will skyrocket. Fortunately, the Church is leading the way with a new initiative to meet the increased needs of mothers and children in a post-natal period.deer world.
And the Church needs your help.
The new initiative is called Walking With Moms in Need. It is a national but parochial effort. The vision is a church-wide response to mothers and children in need. The hope is to engage everyone in the pews to build a culture of life in a holistic and practical way.
It is not just another church board promoting another parish ministry. Rather, it is an umbrella approach that draws from all church ministries to meet the needs of mothers. The program would reach and assist mothers in multiple ways, addressing their medical, housing, employment and material needs. How? ‘Or’ What? By engaging not only Catholic charities and food banks, Catholic hospitals and schools, but also individual parishioners – doctors, nurses, teachers, financial planners, social workers and, above all, mentors willing to walk in friendship with these mothers.
Walking with mothers in need is also an effort to communicate, so that pregnant women know that the 17,000 parishes of the Church are not there to judge them, but to love and serve them. Each participating parish will receive a large road sign visible to all passers-by, inviting any pregnant woman to seek help from the parish. As Pope Francis said, “parishes should be islands of mercy in a sea of indifference.”
The USCCB resource person for this initiative, Kat Talalas, is asking for your help.
“Most women who have had an abortion say that if only one person had intervened to offer help, they would not have chosen the abortion”, explains the young lawyer. “We want any pregnant mother or parenting mother to know that they can turn to our parishes to be connected to the life-affirming help and friendship they need. Women in crisis need you.
This is a well-organized turnkey program. The “Parish Action Guide” offers a detailed, systematic and easy-to-follow checklist for carrying out this initiative. It includes sample emails, flocknotes, announcements, and homilies. Atlanta, under the leadership of Archbishop Gregory Hartmayer, is one of the first archdioceses to implement the program. Atlanta Cross-Cultural Ministries director Lucia Luzondo described the effort this way: “Sometimes we are eager to preach the truth, but not so eager to help people meet the demands of that truth. … It’s about accompaniment, getting to know her, offering a shoulder to lean on, a personal connection. Katherine Doyle, Director of the Archdiocese’s Ministry of Justice and Peace, added, “No matter where you stand politically, everyone can get on board with Walking with Moms in Need.”
If the Supreme Court overturns deer, abortion policy would be up to the states. There, the battle of hearts and minds will be more important than ever. Abortion advocates are also preparing for this battle. They are working overtime to find ways around new state pro-life laws.
One proposal is for the Biden administration to house abortion facilities in federal office buildings — where states have no jurisdiction. Imagine your post office was split up to include a federally run abortion clinic. Or mobile abortion trucks in federal parks. The abortion lobby also plans to make mail-order abortion pills widely available online.
Clearly, the abortion lobby is busy making plans for a post-deer world. Are we? If your parish has not yet implemented Walking with Moms in Need, there is no better time than the present. Prayerfully consider teaming up with your fellow parishioners to launch this life-saving program.