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Crisis pregnancy Centers: Heeding Pope Francis' Call to 'Accompany' Women Contemplating Abortion

By Matt C. Abbott
December 10th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)


In his apostolic exhortation The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis writes: It is not 'progressive' to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life. On the other hand, it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty. Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?

CHICAGO,ILL. (Catholic Online) - In his apostolic exhortation The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis writes:

'It is not 'progressive' to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life. On the other hand, it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty. Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?'

I'm sure that most if not all avowed pro-lifers are familiar with crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) and the wonderful work they do "behind the scenes," so to speak. There are a number of CPCs across the U.S. and in other parts of the world.

Part of me doesn't like to highlight specific CPCs because it may give the impression that those CPCs are doing better work than the others, which isn't necessarily the case. Still, I think it's good to show the overall success of CPCs in general and the vital role they play in the pro-life movement-and this can be done by highlighting a few such CPCs. Not to mention that featuring each and every CPC in the world would require writing a tome!

Living in Chicago, I know of three local CPCs that do a great deal of excellent pro-life work.
The Women's Center has been in existence since 1983 and has saved thousands of babies and assisted thousands of women and families. According to the organization's website:

We offer ongoing counseling and referral services for alternatives to abortion, as needed. We also provide over $500,000 annually in tangible assistance in clothing, food, baby goods, furniture (especially cribs and baby needs), toiletries, and other basic family needs. Over 1,000 children per year who would likely have been aborted are brought to birth because of our counselors' efforts

Aid for Women
is another example of a fine CPC. Founded in 1978, Aid for Women reaches out to thousands of women every year throughout the Chicago metropolitan area who find themselves in difficult and unplanned pregnancy situations. Each client is provided with compassionate and confidential counseling as well as the support and resources needed for her to choose life instead of abortion for her unborn baby.
 
The third example of a Chicago-area CPC is Waterleaf Women's Center, which opened a few years ago. A recent email from Waterleaf announced: We just received word that our official 60th 'save' was born! This beautiful baby boy would have been aborted had her brave mother not opened her heart to our message. She was scared and felt pressure from her family to abort. The loving care of our client team, the ultrasound image of the life inside her, and the grace of God led her to choose life.

We are frequently asked how many babies we have saved, and it is always tricky to answer. Unless we have knowledge that a client who was classified as abortion-minded (or leaning that way) has given birth, we do not count it. Of course, our clients frequently are too embarrassed or busy to call so the exact number is known only to God. We are grateful for each and remind ourselves that this is not a 'numbers game.' Every life is sacred.

In New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, Expectant Mother Care/EMC Frontline Pregnancy Centers "has served over 125,000 clients since 1985, with over 42,000 certain saves from abortion."

God bless the baby-saving, women-helping work of CPCs!

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

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Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic columnist with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, Media and Theatre from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, and an Associate in Applied Science degree in Business Management from Triton College in River Grove, Ill. He has worked in the right-to-life movement and is a published writer focused on Catholic and social issues. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.

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