TITUSVILLE, FL -- "Saving a life from abortion and a heart from despair can be as easy as memorizing a phone number and a website," said Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life.
For Respect Life Month this October, Priests for Life is partnering with Heartbeat International
and Good Counsel Homes
to urge pastors to include life-saving information as permanent features on their parish bulletins and web sites.
The project aims to raise awareness of alternatives to abortion and healing after abortion. Sometimes these alternatives simply consist in a listening ear and encouraging word, but they also meet needs like finding a pregnant woman a place to live, medical services, legal advice, help with making an adoption plan, parenting classes and help in finding a job or job training.
Counseling for those suffering from a past abortion is also provided by many pregnancy centers and other ministries.
Heartbeat International is the world’s largest network of life-affirming, pregnancy help organizations. Its message is: "Every woman should be loved and supported during her pregnancy.”
Visitors to Heartbeat’s OptionLine.org
, or those who call its 24-hour emergency helpline 800-712-HELP (4357) will be connected to help available closest to where they live. Confidential guidance is offered in English and in Spanish.
Good Counsel offers a life-saving alternative for any pregnant, homeless mother in need. Pregnant women, even those with other children and those struggling with addiction or mental health challenges, may live in a Good Counsel home for a year or longer as they return to school, get a job or begin a vocational training program.
or call 800-723-8331 to find – or offer – help. More information may be found at Good Counsel on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.
Good Counsel also offers healing for men, women and siblings suffering in the aftermath of an abortion. Many are suffering silently in church pews today. Confidential, compassionate counseling is available at www.postabortionhelp.org
or by calling 877-586-4621.
Priests for Life also has set up the website AbortionForgiveness.com
where visitors can enter a Zip code and find ministries for healing after abortion closest to where they live. These include pregnancy centers, special ministries and Rachel's Vineyard
The three groups are making a simple plea to churches of all denominations: Let your people know that help is available by placing it prominently on parish bulletins and websites.
This will accomplish two things: People in need of alternatives to abortion and healing after abortion will find help, and everyone in the parish will be equipped to help others in need. By making this information easily accessible, pastors will underscore the fact that churches not only oppose abortion but are ready to help people find real solutions.
"Everyone can reach upward, in prayer, to Our Lord for His help in such difficult situations,” said Peggy Hartshorn, chairman of the board of Heartbeat International. “But on occasion, we actually have the opportunity to reach out and guide someone to loving, caring, life-affirming help. It is by sacrificial service, modeled on Christ as the Servant of His Father and Our Savior who died for us, that we save lives and change lives."
Christopher Bell, president and executive director of Good Counsel Homes, said, "We may all be different parts, but we are certainly members of the One Body of Christ sharing the Good News about the Gospel of Life. The more we work together, the more men and women, children and babies will find concrete help and real hope."
Fr. Frank Pavone concluded, "There are many hotlines, websites and services. The ones we are speaking of here are the most comprehensive. We are asking pastors to start somewhere. The pro-life movement and the church do not point fingers of condemnation, but rather extend hands of help and hope. Let's utilize these concrete tools to replace despair with hope and save many lives!"
Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.