By Dave Andrusko
Like many of you, along with contributing to National Right to Life, I also donate to women-helping centers, also known as pregnancy centers. My middle daughter was president of one of these life-affirming alternatives to abortion in Virginia for years which makes the linkage even more personal.
On their webpage they tell young girls and women they are “a non-profit organization committed to empowering women facing unplanned pregnancies.” Emphasis on “empowering.”
Read their email newsletters and you instantly realize that they operate on a shoestring budget relying entirely on the graciousness and generosity of people who will never know the babies whose lives they have helped save. Each time I read about their “judgement-free confidential” services (“provided free”), I am reminded of the truth that no matter how deeply pro-lifers might be immersed in the battle between the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death, we (meaning, in this case, me) can easily miss something that is hugely important.
Alongside with news about a “Layettes for love” drive and the polite plea for more volunteers, often we read the wonderfully encouraging news of a mom who chose life. However, one issue awhile back added this hugely important detail: “at least five of our moms who had previously had abortions chose life for their new pregnancies.”
Pro-lifers are overjoyed that the number of abortions, the abortion rate, and the abortion ratio are at the lowest numbers since Roe v. Wade opened the floodgates. Buried in that encouraging news, however, is that 60% of the little over 925,000 abortions performed in 2014 were repeat abortions, meaning the woman has had undergone at least one prior abortion.
I wouldn’t pretend to make global generalizations about repeat abortions. The reasons why a woman would have another abortion are enormously complex, as anyone who has worked at a pregnancy center will quickly tell you.
But you can say with confidence that there will be a tipping point, where the decision for life or death will be made–a hinge, if you will. Something as “small” as the assurance that the mom will have a car seat for her new baby, or a stock of diapers, or a few sets of clothes for a newborn can and do make all the difference in the world.
This is quadruply true if the woman (or girl) also has living children.
Like many churches, ours periodically conducts a drive to collect just such items. Kudos and gratitude to all those who generosity helps women and girls in extreme distress, particularly the saintly volunteers at women helping centers.