God’s word calls His Church to care for orphans and widows and to be the hands and feet of Jesus. In light of the recent Roe v. Wade US Supreme Court decision which returned authority regarding abortion access to the individual states, what is the proper response from Illinois Christians? We may be tempted to breathe a huge sigh of relief and move onto the next moral battle. However, the fight for the lives of the unborn still wages on in the hearts and minds of many Illinois men and women. Now with limited access to abortion in neighboring states, Illinois abortion numbers are expected to increase tens of thousands per year.
Reviewing the primary reasons why women chose abortion, we are better able to provide alternatives. Illinois Right-To-Life reports research from the Guttmacher Institute which states that 74% of women who chose abortion did so because having a child would dramatically change and complicate their lives. Many women indicated that having a child would interfere with their education, with their careers, or effect their other children’s lives. 73% of women do not feel financially prepared to have a child. Also of interest is that 25% of women chose abortion because of the fear of others learning that they have been sexually active, and another 20% say that they feel immense pressure to abort from their husband or parents. This number would likely be much higher if the research elicited information about pressure from significant others/boyfriends.
Given these factors and statistics, how can we be like Jesus to women who are considering abortion? Education and emotional support, practical/financial help, and non-judgmental care would help lower the risk of abortion. So, we must be unwavering in our passion for life – both of the mother and of the child. We must provide practical support to the mother while she is pregnant, but more importantly after the child has been born. We must also celebrate each pregnant woman’s courage and not judge what brought her to this point.
As a Christian, pro-life program, Pregnancy Support Services (PSS) has provided free professional and compassionate counsel and guidance for over 70 years. The vast majority of clients in the program today choose to parent their children. In the last year alone, we assisted 49 individuals and their families facing challenges during pregnancy or shortly after birth. In addition to the counsel regarding pregnancy, delivery, parenting and adoption, PSS has provided practical help when needed. PSS has helped with rental assistance to several clients, covered the cost to have electricity restored to a family’s home, helped furnish a family’s apartment, purchased shoes for a family of 6 who recently arrived from Afghanistan, provided several gift cards to area grocery stores, and provided Uber gift cards. Thanks to a partnership with a diaper bank in Waukegan (Keeping Families Covered) we can provide up to 200 diapers, 2 packs of wipes, and 1 can of infant formula each month to every client.
Want to make a difference for life? Would you like to help support women and families? Become a volunteer with PSS as a mentor for clients, drive to pick up the diapers, help organize our donations on a monthly basis, or financially support the work of the PSS program. Call us and we can talk about your unique skill set! There are also lots of things you could do to be the hands and feet in your neighborhood or at your church. Volunteer to watch a single mom’s children so she can work part-time and not give her entire paycheck to cover daycare. Or, as a small group, decide to give a pregnant woman at your church a baby shower, offer to bring over coffee to a new mom and help her fold her laundry, and watch her baby so she can take a nap, repair her car so she can get to and from work, or teach a young mom how to drive so that she can pursue greater independence for herself and her child. We all can find ways to bless a new family; often we have to think outside the box.
- Faith Allman, Supervisor Pregnancy Support Services