I recently read that the governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell has certified health regulations that impose strict hospital construction standards on his state’s 20 abortion clinics. He stated that these regulations were necessary to make sure that the patient’s safety was protected. In Illinois there are no strict regulations of abortion clinics. All efforts to pass legislation that would regulate them as surgical centers have been defeated. Caring Network believes that women need to be protected and have a right to know exactly what happens to them if they go to an abortion clinic. They need to know abortion procedures, risks and alternatives. We don’t know what will happen with Illinois legislation, but I do know that Caring Network will work to make sure that women are completely informed. How do you think we are doing?
That was the title of an article in the January 3rd issue of Time Magazine. The writer concludes that although abortion remains legal, there are fewer abortion doctors and clinics. State based regulations have also limited abortion access. She also sites the change in public opinion due to neonatology and ultrasound. Americans now have an understanding of what a preborn baby looks like. At Caring Network, we know the power of ultrasound to reveal truth and change minds. Caring Network offers ultrasound at all four of our centers and we intend to remain on the cutting edge of this life saving technology. In 2012 we updated one machine with state of the art 3D technology, extremely powerful imagery particularly in a later term pregnancy. And it is effective. A majority of the women who see their unborn child through ultrasound make a decision to carry their pregnancy. Have you seen the Time article? Let me know what you think about it . . . .
This year on January 22nd, Roe v. Wade will be 40 years old. Roe v. Wade is the Supreme Court decision that ushered in legal abortion in our country. Since that time countless babies have been lost and women and men affected by an abortion decision. This decision was the impetus for the start of Caring Network in 1981. Community leaders wanted to do something to help women in unplanned pregnancies and to minister to them. So they started Caring Network as a hotline that rang in a local mechanic’s garage. Now Caring Network of DuPage has grown to a multi-faceted ministry with four centers that impact thousands of lives every year teaching abstinence in our classrooms, providing counseling for women and their families, and many other vital services! Caring Network has saved and changed tens of thousands of lives since its beginning with the help of our ministry friends and partners. While we don’t know the future of Roe, we DO know that God has provided a safe haven for women and their babies through Caring Network of DuPage.
This special Sunday is coming January 20th. In 1984, then President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation declaring that the 3rd Sunday of January would be Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. This Sunday would be closest to the anniversary date of Roe v. Wade which is January 22, 1973. Today, those that value life all around the country celebrate this Sunday as a reminder that all life is a gift from God. Caring Network partners with the many churches in our area to offer speakers, DVD’s bulletin inserts, and displays. We also offer the little baby bottles for people to fill with coins as a way to help the moms and babies and to model to children the value of giving. We invite your participation in this celebration of life. Is your church involved?
We have all heard a lot these past two months about the “fiscal cliff”. What would happen if the U.S. went over it? Lots of discussion. It made me think about the women who come to Caring Network for help. To a woman who has no support, carrying an unplanned pregnancy must seem like going over a cliff. She wants to keep her hold on that rocky cliff of life, keep working, going to school, keep her relationships intact. To avoid going over the edge of that cliff and risk losing her job, career or family, she believes she has to sacrifice her child to abortion. But with the help and expertise of our Caring Network counselors and medical team, she can regain her footing, find resources, change her future and save the life of her child. Our counselors see a lot of women in danger of going over the cliff. Please continue to pray for our Caring Network team and the women we are serving.
The world changed that night many years ago in Bethlehem. On that most holy night, the angels shouted for joy and the shepherds worshipped a tiny newborn baby, Jesus. Promised long ago, the Son of God had come into the world destined to suffer and die for all of our sins so that Heaven would someday be our home. As we celebrate his birth next week with family and friends, take time from your busy Christmas activities to reflect on this great gift that has been given to you and what it means for your life. As Christians we know that the truth of God humbling himself to become a man to save us is a life changer. How true are the words of the Christmas hymn, “Wise men still seek Him.”
Christmas blessings to you and your family! Thanks for all you do for Caring Network’s moms and babies.
I am so grateful for our many Caring Network ministry partners. This year two families issued a Challenge Matching Grant for $300,000 which was announced in October at our 2012 banquet. These two families had also provided a challenge match at the 2011 banquet, but this year they increased it by 50% demonstrating their confidence in the work of Caring Network. The dollar for dollar match applies to gifts that are made in 2012 that are greater than gifts given in 2011. Caring Network is a ministry of excellence that is making a difference in the lives of women in DuPage, Cook, Will and Kane counties. Look for the graphs in the video of my banquet speech which is located on the side pages of our website, www.caringnetwork.com . You can help us meet the Challenge Grant by mailing in your gift or making one online in an amount greater that you gave in 2011. Your gifts really do make a difference; just take a look at the stories on our webpage.
Many women who come to Caring Network will have an ultrasound. What do they see? At 5 or 6 weeks, the baby is not as well developed, but a mom can see the beating heart of her baby and what many women call, “their baby bean.” By 10 weeks, little hands and feet can be seen and that little baby can put on quite a show, jumping and bouncing around in his home in his mom’s uterus. Caring Network’s nurse spends a lot of time pointing out to the mother the beating heart and feet and hands of her tiny baby; encouraging her to connect with what she is seeing on the ultrasound screen. Most women are very impacted by what they see on that ultrasound screen. In 2011, 72% of pregnant women in danger of choosing abortion who came to Caring Network for help chose life following an ultrasound.
Caring Network’s abstinence until marriage program, Amplify, influences 8500 middle and high school students every year. As any parent knows, that is a daunting task! How do they do it? Amplify educators do more than point their fingers at students, saying “No! Don’t do it.” First of all they place the entire lesson within the context of learning to have healthier relationships. They include facts about pregnancy and the benefits of choosing abstinence as a lifestyle. Then they equip them with skills to resist peer pressure and make good decisions. Each educator relates personally to students by relaying their own experiences and how a good or bad decision impacted their life. Sprinkled throughout the curriculum are fun activities that bring the message home. “Beanboozled“ has the students trying different flavors of jelly bellies, some good and some bad, to demonstrate the importance of making good decisions. And the message gets through. “After this program I am so much more informed. I learned that abstinence is best for me and I will stay abstinent until marriage.”
Many women in unplanned pregnancies believe they face insurmountable obstacles to carrying their pregnancy to term. Then they come to Caring Network. Here they find acceptance, love and real help for the problems they face. “Do you need help with medical care, a place to live or furniture?” Caring Network can refer you to agencies that can help you with that. “Do you need help in telling your parents about the pregnancy or help in other relationship issues? Caring Network counselors are ready to help and work hard to overcome the obstacles women face in continuing their pregnancy. When the needs of women are met, decisions change. This is a quote from a satisfied Caring Network client. “The information given was extremely helpful and now I no longer have to get an abortion.” What an opportunity we have to make a huge impact on the life of a mom and her baby!