Pro-Life in Practice: 20 Active Ways to Help
Those of us who are pro-life have heard it again and again: “you only care about babies until they’re born.” This is wholly untrue of the pro-life movement. But we can always strive to do more.
Many people I know are doing a lot for women and families that struggle — so much so that I asked folks for some things I could share with you. And the March for Life was FULL of Catholic groups, which contribute a huge portion of social services in this country. Not to mention, churches in general, which are not given enough credit in the media coverage for all they do to support vulnerable women and children.
Because we do still see hundreds of thousands of yearly abortions, there is certainly more to be done. Many of us are Christians and part of that duty is inconveniencing ourselves for others and for the sake of the Gospel.
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Sometimes, people don’t know what they can do to support moms, families and society beyond delivering the message that these lives have value. Here are several things we can all do to make abortion a less viable option for moms in a crisis situation.
- Donate to & volunteer at local Crisis Pregnancy Centers. These are some of the best resources moms in crisis have — stocked full with diapers, clothes, wipes, toys and other necessities. Keeping these resource centers furnished with money and volunteers is one way to make moms feel like they have somewhere to lean on. Here’s a map to help you find one near you.
- Offer free babysitting. Whether it’s a single mom with one baby or a married mom with multiple kids who is having a hard time economically, baby-sitters are important. And expensive. If you have time or capacity to help, be there for your neighbors, friends, family and community members.
- Get involved with Safe Families for Children. This organization, with over 100 chapters across the country, hosts vulnerable children and creates extended family-like support for desperate families through a community of devoted volunteers who are motivated by compassion to keep children safe and families intact.
- Become a CASA volunteer. In 2017, more than 85,000 CASA/GAL volunteers represented the best interests of more than 260,000 children in court. CASA/GAL volunteers are everyday people who have undergone screening and training with their local CASA/GAL program.
- Become a mentor at Big Brothers/Big Sisters. (I also REALLY like programs devoted to mentoring teens in foster care like DCFYI) One of the ways to help prevent teen pregnancy and thus the need to even consider abortion, is to mentor vulnerable teens. This can be key in helping educate, support and dissuade them from making a decision that could negatively affect their life forever. Mentorship is an undervalued but effective solution in this arena.
- Support Wendy’s Wonderful Kids. The Foundation provides grants to adoption agencies to hire and train recruiters in a Child-Focused Recruitment Model to find loving, permanent homes for the nearly 155,000 children who are in foster care while waiting to be adopted. Research has proven the model to be up to three times more effective at serving youth who have been in foster care the longest, including older youth, sibling groups and children with special needs.
- Advocate for Special Angels Adoptions or Rainbow Kids or Love Without Boundaries. These organizations exist to help place children with special needs into adoptive families.
- Teach your children love and kindness for those who are different. We must uplift the value of all human beings, supporting and teaching our kids to be kind to others that look different or have different abilities.
- Support smaller organizations like Rustic Hope, a 501c3 non-profit organization that offers free support to single mothers before, during, and after delivery. A little Googling in your geographic area will go a long way — and they need you.
- Speak out for criminal justice reform. Some don’t see these as related, but they are! All life has value, including the worst of the worst. And some life is treated with less value than others inside of our criminal justice system. Making reforms here will uplift all life and begin to restore families and communities.
- Support maternity homes like Hannah House. There are maternity homes like these across the country, providing food, shelter, maternity care, pediatric care after a baby is born — and more. Mothers are often allowed to stay there with babies for a year or more after birth, while they figure out (with the help of the homes, volunteers, classes, etc.) how to manage life in the next phase. They also provide material support in the form of diapers, clothes, formula, and more for newborns to age six.
- Support life from womb to tomb. As pro-lifers, we value life until natural death, which means we should also be supporting the elderly by visiting them in nursing homes, bringing meals to those who can’t get out and providing as much material support as we can.
- The Gabriel Project. Here is a place where any woman in a crisis pregnancy can find help from reliable and compassionate Christian sources — these are nationwide in local communities.
- Become a Diaper Genie. Diapers are so crazy expensive and always needed. Buy diapers when you go shopping and drop them off at local centers, offer for free in online groups you trust or donate regularly to the National Diaper Bank, which does important, incredible work.
- Sponsor a child. Begin a relationship with a child through Compassion or World Vision — or another sponsorship organization you trust (do your research). These organizations are doing great things to support children and families internationally.
- Organize regular collection drives. Through your church, community center or even a place like your gym, organize regular collections of things like diapers, wipes, blankets, clothing and more. And don’t forget about mommas! Consider a mom-themed drive for things like toiletries, morning sickness meds, comfy clothes, skincare kits for pregnancy/post-partum related issues, body care products like nipple cream, stretch mark lotion, even coffee (as us moms know can be very important in those first months of life.)
- Become a foster parent. There are many needs inside the foster care system and they always need more parents. Consider opening your home to foster children or being open to foster-to-adopt older children who are looking for forever families.
- Become licensed for respite care. Many people don’t realize that you have to get a security background check and training in order to babysit for foster families. For those families taking on foster care, this means it’s harder for them to find childcare and they need people who can help. This is a small way you can help in the foster care system.
- Push for paid leave. This isn’t about getting political but about advocating paid leave policies that support moms. As a conservative, I don’t mean a federally mandated extended plan. But encouraging businesses and organizations, from small to large, to offer some form of paid leave that is realistic and empowering to women, especially those in tough situations. The Independent Women’s Forum has an option I find viable (full disclosure: I work there, but truly believe in it!) but whatever policy you see as best, advocate that. Paid leave is a policy issue that we are not all going to agree on, but it is something to think about.
- Support post-abortive women. When women do choose abortion, they still need our love, support and compassion. And because many women do have multiple abortions, loving a woman post-abortively with compassion could contribute helping her feel like she can choose life if she finds herself in that situation again.
This list is only a handful of the organizations that exist across the country to support women, children and families. We are not just mouthpieces for the womb, but heartfelt and generous advocates taking pro-active steps with our lives and pocketbooks to help women and children in need. We believe all life has value and have no ulterior motive for saying “Choose Life.” It’s a genuine, authentic belief in life from conception, the place every single one of us began.
Lastly, these are actions pro-life and pro-choice people can ALL participate in. Though we are divided in this country, we can all agree that we don’t want women to have to face such tough personal circumstances alone. We want women to feel empowered to choose life for the babies and many will if they recognize the resources and possibilities available.
Originally appeared at ErickaAndersen.com. Reprinted with permission.