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A simple “Yes”

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Mikki Doerger had that life-changing moment when she and her husband said, “Yes,” to a pilgrimage with the Catholic Medical Association to Mexico City, where Mater Filius originated. Four years later, Doerger and her husband now oversee and manage operations at Mater Filius Queen City.

“Mater Filius is an international community (three continents, eight countries and 24 cities) of Catholic men and women who are dedicated to providing expecting women with an alternative to abortion that not only empowers them as mothers, but also as women,” said Doerger.

The Cincinnati organization offers housing and comprehensive support for women who are pregnant up to eight months after their child’s birth.

“We are blessed in the Greater Cincinnati area to have many organizations working to address these concerns and to help women say ‘Yes’ to motherhood,” said Doerger. “I think what really sets Mater Filius apart from other maternity homes is the spiritual formation. The volunteers are united in a deep Marian devotion to imitate her example of charity in service to others, just as she did with her cousin, St. Elizabeth. We are encouraged by the practice of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, with a chapel dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the center of our home, so that ‘The Sweet Love of Mary’ might lead our mothers to a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, the divine healer.”

Mater Filius aims to defend life with love. While it takes many people to say “yes” to make that happen, voting “no” can also make a significant impact. This is even more essential with the upcoming ballot measure in the November election aiming to destroy Ohio women and families.

“As a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization supporting pregnant women, the November election is certainly on our minds, but our focus has to stay centered on our mission to provide a safe, calm and supportive environment for the women who need our assistance,” said Doerger. “There are so many women already suffering during a time in their life when they should be allowed to celebrate with excitement and joy. It takes our full attention, love and support to walk with them during this time.”

“One thing that I often hear from women is that they do want choices, but maybe not the choices that one might initially think of,” continued Doerger. “These are choices that many of us take for granted. They want choices about education so that they better understand their bodies and the specifics of how and when they get pregnant. They want opportunities to learn and prepare for motherhood. They want better prenatal care, being listened to in appointments and the delivery room and more support postpartum. They want choices about housing, employment and daycare that allow them to keep and support their babies. And they need the support of community, friends and family walking beside them. One friend who works helping women so beautifully wrote, ‘It’s not the babies they want to avoid; it’s the poverty.’”

Doerger added, “In my opinion as a woman and a healthcare professional, women need more protections and support around healthcare education and care, but this amendment would not only restrict health care regulations, it could possibly prohibit them entirely. This amendment proposes that the state shall not directly or indirectly burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with or discriminate against an individual exercising this right. Health and safety standards are a must and we already see gaps in healthcare safety, especially when it comes to performing surgical procedures in outpatient settings. We need better safety standards, not fewer standards.”

Doerger concluded by saying she receives calls regularly from health professionals, social workers and other pregnancy centers who share their concerns about the health and safety of women’s care, but she has yet to receive a call from someone seeking help from an abortion center. This, Doerger noted, is because abortion centers do not have the same mindset as those who are focused on the health and safety of the mother and baby.

“They run a for-profit business that is centered on perpetuating the cycle of poverty and oppression, and now they have submitted a proposal to protect their business interests and to have it forever enshrined in our state constitution,” said Doerger. “If they are really interested in protecting women’s health and safety, I propose they change their name to Unplanned Parenthood and begin offering trauma care services, women’s health and fertility education, parenting and life skills training, adoption services, employment opportunities and affordable housing. Can you imagine the good that could come from the abortion industry putting their resources into addressing the true concerns of women?”

This article appeared in the October 2023 edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.

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