Denominational opponents of abortion will put more emphasis on pregnancy care, options if Roe overthrows

Anti-abortion faith groups plan to put more emphasis on helping people facing pregnancy crisis situations if the Supreme Court overturns its 1973 Roe v. Wade who legalized abortion.

Prospects of overturning nearly 50 years of the Roe decision’s place as the “law of the land” rose last week when a draft majority opinion leaked in the case of Mississippi Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was published by Politico last week. The decision, expected at the end of June, would return the legalization of abortion to the states.

Maria McFadden Maffucci, president of the Human Life Foundation in New York, said her group would not “declare victory and go home”, but would instead continue its pro-life efforts and increase its charitable donations to support women in crisis. pregnancy crisis and those who want to place children for adoption.

The foundation, established in 1974, champions the sanctity of life at all stages and has focused on opposing abortion. The foundation also prints a magazine called Human Life Review.

“The only way I can see us coming home is if the culture as a whole agrees on the sanctity of all human life,” Ms Maffucci said.

In the meantime, she said the foundation’s charitable arm would raise money to help churches serve pregnant women in need of help with alternatives to abortion.

“Church should be the first place women go for help not having an abortion, you know, so there’s an immense amount of work to be done,” Ms Maffucci said.

Roman Catholic Church officials said the church’s ‘Walking with Moms in Need’ initiative aims to help Catholics know how to help people in crisis and how to refer them to life. help, regardless of the person’s faith.

“You would be really hard pressed to find an organization that offers the financial commitments, the personnel, the institutional commitments to charitable work, that the Catholic Church does,” said Kat Talalas, associate director of pro-life communications at the American Conference. . Catholic bishops.

Julie F. Dumalet, who heads the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston’s pro-life office, said parish volunteers offer help with parenting resources and childcare beyond the birth and infancy, and into adolescence when children of working parents need after-school programs to stay out of trouble.

She said the aim is to answer an overarching question: “Can we be the hands and feet of Christ, for people in need, and certainly not just pregnant women?” But can we broaden what we mean, in our case, by being pro-life?

Leaders of other faiths have also highlighted the need for more support for pregnant women before and after birth, as well as those in the process of adopting a baby.

Rabbi Yaakov Menken, executive director of the Coalition for Jewish Values, said he anticipates an increase in adoptions – often facilitated by agencies within the Orthodox Jewish communities that the group’s 2,000 member rabbis serve – as these adoption organizations are “growing as demand increases”.

“Already, there are agencies today in many communities that want to serve more children than are actually brought to them because people are having abortions instead,” Menken said.

Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family, knows the problem of adoption firsthand. By the age of 11, both of his parents had died and he was in foster care before a teenage brother could raise him.

“Every year I hear about a million couples want to adopt young children,” Mr Daly said in an interview. “What a great opportunity to try to connect these millions of parents with about a million abortions a year. If we can convince the culture to consider adoption rather than abandonment of their child, that would be a great outcome.

He rejected the argument of some pro-choicers that opponents of abortion only care about the fetus, not the baby after it is born.

“For nearly 50 years now, churches and communities, through pregnancy resource centers and other mechanisms, have increased their capacity to support women in this situation,” Daly said.

“One of the things that people don’t understand is the amount of support that’s out there for these women who have unplanned pregnancies,” Daly said. “In some cases, it’s housing, food, diapers, formula, cribs, job training, job placement, budgeting, training and parenting training.

“The churches are doing a fantastic job of helping these women pick themselves up and make a decision they will never regret.”

And Shawn Carney, president and CEO of 40 Days for Life, a Texas-based group that holds prayer vigils outside abortion clinics, said his organization sees the greatest demand in its network. national pregnancy resource centers in some of the most pro-choice states. .

“The biggest states for 40 Days for Life aren’t Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi,” he said. “They’re California and New York and New Jersey and Illinois, you know, we’re strongest in places where abortion is and is accepted and supported.”

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