The rhetoric on both sides of the abortion debate can be intense at times. Showing love and support to the women impacted by unplanned pregnancy is a priority now more than ever. Before laws are changed, the hearts and lives of individuals must change first.
At Caring Network, we seek to rescue the unborn by reaching out in love and compassion to women who are unexpectedly pregnant. We have been offering free services and support since 1981. If you’d like to learn more about our organization and how to get involved, contact us or check out our Get Involved page.
THE REALITY OF UNEXPECTED PREGNANCY
Facing an unexpected pregnancy can be frightening, lonely, stressful, and more. Some women feel like abortion is their only option. So it’s no simple task for women to overcome all of the obstacles before them to choose life. Common obstacles women face with an unplanned pregnancy include:
- Lack of financial resources: One of the most common fears women express is feeling they don’t have the financial resources necessary to continue their pregnancy and raise their child.
- Coercion: Often, a woman feels pressured by her partner, friends, or family to have an abortion. According to the Elliot Institute, 64 percent of post-abortive women in the United States are coerced by someone else to have an abortion.
- Lack of stable housing: Can you imagine losing your home simply because you’re pregnant? Sadly, this happens to women who are told to leave their homes when they disclose their pregnancy to partners or parents.
- Lack of family support: Without strong family support, women often know they will face homelessness and poverty if they choose life for their baby without adequate help.
- Timing: Women often feel incredibly conflicted when they want their baby, but they also had other plans to accomplish first such as graduating high school, completing their degree, or spacing their children further apart. If they don’t have support and resources, they are more likely to choose abortion.
- Partner relationship issues: Women understandably fear exposing their child to an unhealthy or abusive partner. The father of the baby may not be involved, which leads her to single parenting. That fear leads to feeling abortion is their only option.
- Aversion to the thought of placing their baby for adoption: “I could never give my kid up for adoption!” It’s a phrase advocates regularly hear in our pregnancy centers. In addition to a lack of understanding about adoption, abortion is so culturally acceptable that women consistently choose it over adoption.
For women who find themselves feeling alone and lacking support, abortion seems like their only viable option. However, when they have tangible support and resources available to them, they can be empowered to courageously choose life for their children, despite their obstacles.
THE CONNECTIONS PROGRAM, IMPACTING LIVES
How can pregnant women in crisis get the necessary support? That’s where the Connections Mentoring Program steps in. We pair a pregnant woman who feels alone with a group from a local church who has stepped forward to be her friend – to have lunch or coffee with her, go shopping, or just talk on the phone here and there throughout the month.
When her baby is born, her loving group hosts a baby shower for her. The Connections Program is the hands and feet of Christ at just the right time.
The ways a Connections Program ministers to a woman braving an unplanned pregnancy include offering:
- Spiritual support
When a woman is seen for who she is rather than a project, spiritual support gives her a chance to heal at her core with the kind of heart-penetrating transformation and healing only Jesus gives.
Hope is imperative for a woman who has chosen life for her baby as she navigates all of the obstacles that accompany an unexpected pregnancy. As a woman sees that she is not alone through relationships built with other women in the Connections Program, her hope grows.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13, NIV). Being authentically loved with the love of Christ has the power to transform a woman’s life.
- Emotional support
Unexpected pregnancy and single parenting are difficult and exhausting. These moms need to be seen and heard. Women often cope with sleep deprivation, lack of support, court battles and co-parenting issues, and intimate partner abuse history. When a woman has personal connections providing emotional support through our Connections Program, she and her child are set up for success.
- Tangible support
God tells us in James 2:16 (NIV), “If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?”
One of the most cited reasons women choose abortion is lack of finances, so knowing they will have tangible support is crucial. One element of the Connections Program is hosting a baby shower where moms receive the items they need and community love and support.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Right now, as the abortion battle lines are being drawn in state after state, we as Christians can feel helpless to make a difference. If your pro-life convictions are moving you toward a desire to take loving, effective action on behalf of the unborn, why not consider forming a Connections Group among your friends at church?
Connection Groups are a powerful way to help save a baby by serving a woman who is stressed and alone. Come alongside a woman who needs a supportive network of friends who tangibly demonstrate the love of Jesus, reminding her how valuable she is.
Caring Network is always looking for more individuals to participate in the life-giving work of our organization. If you’d like to learn more about the Connections Program, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Groups are needed throughout the year. If you’d like to find out more information on other ways to get involved at Caring Network, contact us right away. You, too, can make a difference for life!