Pregnancy help information distributed throughout archdiocese
January 21, 2011
By David Eck
A new brochure providing detailed information on pregnancy help centers in the Cincinnati archdiocese is the latest tool in the fight against abortion.
The brochure, which can be found in this issue of The Catholic Telegraph, links women who have an unplanned pregnancy or feel overwhelmed to agencies that can help them. The “You Are Not Alone” brochure is being distributed throughout the archdiocese with separate Cincinnati and Dayton/north versions. The brochure is a joint project of the archdiocesan Family Life and Catholic Social Action offices.
“We just thought this was another avenue worth taking to make sure that as many parishioners as possible have in their hands a resource they can even carry around with them, so that if they’re ever in a situation where they’re talking to somebody whose considering abortion…they can hand them this,” said Tony Stieritz, director of the Catholic Social Action office. “At the core of all of Catholic social teaching is the life and dignity of the person. The protection of human life from conception until natural death is one of the core tenets of bringing our faith into action.”
The centers are listed geographically, along with the services they provide. The center directors have committed to a code of ethics that supports life from conception to natural death, and the resources are free and confidential.
Information also covers such questions as previous pregnancy terminations, places to get pregnancy tests, anxiety over the responsibility of having a baby and the emotions of an unplanned pregnancy.
“Being pro-life doesn’t mean just protecting the unborn and abandoning the mother throughout her whole motherhood,” Steiritz said. “I think it means providing as many resources as possible that support and can assist that mother in the holy work of raising children.”
The brochure grew out of a respect life effort of the Social Action Leadership Team (SALT), at St. Andrew and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishes in Milford. Jerry Braun, a member of SALT and parishioner at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, realized that women with crisis pregnancies would benefit from the services of pregnancy help centers and be dissuaded from possibly terminating their pregnancies.
In 2009 the team worked with artist Angela Foulks to create a brochure listing the centers in the area and made it available through the two parishes. The Greater Cincinnati Advocates of Justice Parish Collaborative, a network of parishes that works on social justice issues, embraced the concept, and modified brochures were distributed in several additional parishes last October.
The brochure helps women understand a support system for them and their children exists.
“Our focus is compassion toward the women,” said Judy Alten, a member of SALT who helped bring the concept to the collaborative. “This is what Jesus would do, and this is what we want to do.”
Funding for archdiocesan-wide distribution came from the Respect Life Fund and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Stieritz said. About 55,000 copies of the brochure are being distributed across the archdiocese and parishes can order additional copies through the Catholic Social Action office.
David Eck can be reached at: [email protected].