Your Work in Post Roe Ohio
On the morning of June 24, 2022, the long prayed-for overturn of Roe v. Wade came to pass, dissolving federal protection for abortion and moving its regulation to the states. It’s a giant step in the right direction, although abortion remains prevalent across the U.S., including in Ohio. Right here at home, preborn children are aborted at up to 20 weeks gestation, many times because their mothers don’t know how much help is available.
We can be part of that help. Equipped by God’s grace and love for our neighbors, not only will abortion end for one mother and one family at a time, joy and peace will replace it. Whom the Lord calls, he enables to bring real help and hope to abortion-minded mothers and fathers. Here are ways you can, right now, act to end abortion in our archdiocese.
40 Days for Life is “an internationally coordinated 40 day campaign” of prayer and fasting while maintaining a peaceful, round-the-clock vigil at abortion facilities throughout the U.S. This simple movement’s power is in its peaceful prayer. When 40 Days for Life participants are present on sidewalks outside abortion facilities, their silence proclaims that God is present. Planned Parenthood reported that scheduled abortions decrease by up to 75% on the days vigil holders are there. This quiet effort saves lives, and praying with other participants builds a loving unity that strengthens the heart in the face of evil acts. To join our local campaigns, visit 40daysforlife.com/ cincinnati or 40daysforlife.com/dayton.
A faithful participant in 40 Days for Life, Lauren Muzyka, Esq. ached to speak with the mothers entering abortion centers. But what to say? Teaming up with researchers, Muzyka found answers and began Sidewalk Advocates for Life (SAFL) in 2014, whose mission is “to train, equip and support communities … in sidewalk advocacy” by imitating Christ. Trained Sidewalk Advocates speak love into the crises of abortion-bound mothers and fathers, bringing them life-affirming options.
Holding love at the heart of their work, Sidewalk Advocates offer kindness over condemnation, connecting families to local pregnancy resource centers and abortion workers to And Then There Were None, a ministry for those wanting to leave the industry. Since 2014, SAFL has supported 18,300 mothers in their choice for life and assisted 85 abortion workers who quit the business. To learn more about SAFL’s work in our archdiocese, contact the local coordinator at sidewalkadvocates.org/locations.
When SAFL encounters families needing help, they refer them to local resources—a superabundance of help exists unbeknownst to those who need it most. Dozens of pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati have faith-filled volunteers willing to walk with mothers through—and well beyond— their pregnancies. Women receive access to ultrasounds, doctors, financial support, counseling and more. They can find everything they need to not just survive, but truly thrive. PRCs can provide so much support because of their caring employees and volunteers. Consider this your official invitation to become one: Visit the PRC nearest you and ask how you can help. Donate baby supplies, teach a class for expecting mothers or simply answer the phones. Every helping hand empowers PRCs to keep helping others.
In addition to prayer and in-person help, financial support sustains the Pro-Life Movement. Many ministries rely on donations to fund their full-time staff, location start-ups and training. Help from local PRCs is free to women in need because of others’ generous financial and material contributions. Regular donations of any amount keep the movement going and growing.
Let us also not forget those who are already suffering from the effects of an abortion. Project Rachel (PR) is a confidential, post-abortive ministry in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati that serves all those affected by abortion. PR helps women and men journey to hope and healing by discovering God’s love and grace through a network of spiritual counselors, advocates and peer-to-peer ministry. When you discuss the tragedy of abortion, also remember those who are suffering, and mention the hope and healing available through Project Rachel. Go to ProjectRachelOhio.org for more information and even printable resources to use at your parish.
The Pro-Life Movement has a place for everyone. Whether the Lord calls you to pray or practice outreach at abortion centers, roll up your sleeves at your PRC or share your treasure to support it. God blesses the efforts of those who lend a hand. Using our God-given gifts, passions and time, together, we can effectively combat the greatest injustice of our time.
For a full list of resources, please visit catholicaoc.org/forlife.
This article appeared in the January 2023 edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.