This posting was partly inspired as I was watching an episode of Law and Order's a few months ago when the character of policewoman Anita Van Buren commented about pro-life people, "yeah, they want the mothers to have the babies but they don't care what happens after they are born..." Do an online search using those words and there are dozens of similar entries that libel the pro-life movement in a similar manner.
Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal ran a column by Bill McGurn about Good Counsel, a home and network for challenged mothers in the New York area that decide to keep their babies:
His column goes on to say,
Here in Wichita, Via Christi Health and various Catholics support Girard House which is also a (wonderful) home for pregnant teenagers and young women. Very much like Good Counsel, they not only provide a place to live, they teach young women parenting and job skills. I have visited Girard and came away tremendously impressed.
Okay, but what do pro-lifers do after the young mothers leave these homes? I can only answer that question for Wichita, so here goes:
- Guadalupe Clinic, sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, provides medical care at greatly reduced costs. The faith of the mother does not matter.
- Many Catholic parishes and evangelical Christian churches offer free or reduced-cost daycare and full time pre-school.
- In the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, an education by our excellent schools is free for everyone. Yes, free. At our parish, full-time pre-school begins at age 4. We are determined that no child will be deprived a good education regardless of the parents' financial condition.
- Finally, we have The Lord's Diner. It provides a free hot dinner to anyone who shows up. Because we have neighborhoods of working poor in Wichita, the Diner now has a food truck that prepares and distributes hot meals in those neighborhoods. In some cases, it provides meals for multiple nights that can be taken from the truck, put in the refrigerator, then warmed when needed.
I know that similar programs are available throughout the nation, run by people with big hearts who want to help their fellow human beings in difficult circumstances and, most of all, want the next generation of children to grow up safe, secure, healthy and well-educated.
A big thanks to the Wall Street Journal for highlighting how the pro-life movement advocates and cares for women in difficult circumstances, not just at Christmas, but throughout the year.