Earlier this month I was honored to attend the San Diego Association for Life’s quarterly meeting. It is a group of non-profit organizations who exist solely to help women of our greater community choose life.
I wrote several months ago about how I thought the pro-life movement was not doing enough to let the public know that they care very much about the women who will give birth to the babies we know they want to save. (See my January 19, 2018 blog entry.) There is, among the pro-choice movement, a decided “misplaced compassion” that focuses almost entirely on the wellbeing of the woman. And, while there is certainly a need to be concerned for and to help any woman who sees no way out of an unwanted or inconvenient pregnancy, there is just as much of a need for the infant she carries.
Babies are people, too. And, as science shows us quite clearly, they are separate individuals growing and developing in the womb, from the beginning of conception. Each child has his or her own DNA, they have separate body parts that begin to form quite quickly in the process of fetal development. Just because we don’t see a fully formed adult standing before us, or even a fully formed child, that does not mean there isn’t a distinct individual hiding in its mother’s womb; there is.
I still believe in the need to change hearts and minds in our country and around the world so that it won’t really matter if we change laws. An irrelevant law is the same as no law at all. If we as a people decide and make every effort to walk with a woman in need of assistance from the moment she finds out she’s pregnant through gestation, delivery, and beyond, we will have fewer women thinking they need abortions.
Carrying and especially delivering a baby are scary prospects even when a baby is wanted and planned. But, sadly, in our current age, there are too many women dying during or immediately after childbirth because of something going wrong that was not detected or anticipated by medical personnel. The health of the mother during and after birth must be considered and she must be given better care than we seem to be giving some women currently.
Obstetricians need to speak up if they think that hospitals and other facilities that exist for the delivery of babies are not meeting standards. And researchers need to find out the common attributes in women or conditions in facilities that are the cause of a high mortality rate for women during and after childbirth. Minority women seem to have the most deaths related to pregnancy and delivery which is quite disturbing. But, once again, we need research to find the common causes for this situation. It might be as simple as economics, or it could be cultural. Some people complain more than others, or don’t talk about certain private things going on with their bodies, which could cause a doctor to miss something. Or for a nurse to not know what a woman’s concern is. We just don’t know.
Having said all that, I still think, or actually believe more firmly, that having someone to accompany a woman with child on her journey to birth and beyond is going to help in just about every aspect of the mortality rate issue, as well as in the decrease of women seeking abortion.
Everyone wants to know they are loved. And loving our neighbor, caring for someone we may not even know, like the Good Samaritan in Jesus’ parable, can bear nothing but good fruit, to use an apt metaphor for this discussion.
I left that Association for Life meeting full of hope and so inspired by the passion and the compassion I witnessed in the executive directors representing their agencies there. Every man (there were a couple) and woman (there were many) in that conference room was there because they care about women and children. It did include at least one adoption agency that still cares for the woman who is carrying a child and will help them throughout the process, as well.
I think it’s time to tell the stories of the people who are caring for the women and the babies they carry and deliver. These are pro-life success stories and each one of them can encourage another woman who finds out she’s pregnant and does not necessarily want to be. Those of us who care about both mother and child, need to support these organizations, financially or personally by going in and finding out what needs to be done to help.
I’ve begun looking into that and am waiting to see what God wants me to do beyond the funds we are now donating to some of the centers. Please prayerfully consider what you and your family might be able to do. Look for a directory of Pregnancy Resource Centers in your area, I’m sure you’ll find one. I found 17 in the San Diego area. Just do an online search and find out. Ask what kind of volunteers one of them near you needs and how you can help, if you are not able to give financially. Maybe you meet a young mother and change a life or two, or more. Maybe you change your own, as well. It can only be for the better, for everyone.
I just know that these people and places exist and everyone needs to know more about them and how to help. We need to let the world know that we #LoveThemBoth – mother and child.