Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Walking for Life

Shortly after we moved to this town my friend, Nicole, introduced me to an organization that I have grown to really admire.  It is a resource center for women facing pregnancy issues.  It is a life-affirming non-profit Christian organization that offers emotional, spiritual and physical support not only to the woman but to her family.  Their goal is to eliminate the perceived need for abortion by helping women feel confident, not fearful, about their pregnancy.

I first got involved in a crisis pregnancy center when Mike was in seminary in Minnesota.  We had very little money to tithe with or to donate to anyone.  I felt a need to give back, though, so started volunteering at Birthright, a Catholic organization.  I am not Catholic but they accepted my offer to be a part of their efforts and trained me.  I went down to their office most Saturday mornings.  I did pregnancy testing and helped women learn of their options.  It was a busy little place!  We linked pregnant women up with whatever kind of help they needed to empower them to carry their baby to term.  The part I enjoyed most was when women came in with their new babies and I got to help them choose from the donated clothing.

My time at Birthright was so enlightening.  Although I'd heard via the media that abortion was really a women's rights issue, I found that point of view to be a little off-kilter in reality.  Many girls or woman who came there told me they were planning to abort if their pregnancy test was positive.  Of those individuals, without exception, each said they would abort because their dad or boyfriend wanted them to do so.  Let me repeat that...WITHOUT EXCEPTION.  I am sure there are exceptions to that, but none of the people I counselled stated they would abort because they wanted to for themselves.

The other thing I realized was what a loving choice it is when a girl or woman who feels she can't parent, for whatever reason, chooses to carry the baby to term and offer it for adoption.  I know that sometimes those girls/women get no support and are judged for "giving up their own baby" but yet they do it so that child may have life.  What a sweet sacrifice!

I am not a very political person but I am a medical person and everything I have ever learned makes me believe that life begins at conception.  I really don't want to be in anyone's business regarding their reproduction.  However, if I truly believe unborn babies are humans, how could I not speak out?  I came to believe that keeping quiet about it would be as wrong as if I kept quiet if I knew someone was planning to kill their newborn.  That's how I became involved.

What I like about True Care is their compassion.  Even if the patient tells them she is going to abort, they still offer only kindness.  In fact, they let her know that she is welcome to come back at any time.  Knowing that many post-abortive mothers later struggle with depression and guilt, they offer care to help them reach a point of peace, knowing they are forgiven.

Some of the assistance offered at True Care includes a nursing consultation, pregnancy testing and ultrasounds, STD testing and treatment,  abortion recovery, education on all options and referrals for community services and adoption when appropriate.  They do all of this free of charge!



I also like that True Care's goals don't end with a live birth.  They follow-up and offer  parenting classes and other forms of practical help as needed.  At any time during the pregnancy and beyond, they refer patients for help that may be beyond the scope of practice that clinic.

On June 2 Mike and I will be joining a group of great people as we are fund-raising for True Care Women's Resource Center.  If you are interested in supporting this cause, just click here.  They have it set up so you can quickly and easily donate online.  I love that!

I realize that no every one agrees with me on this issue.  I welcome your comments but I ask that you be respectful as this really is an important cause to me and my concern is heartfelt.