Sydney (Agenzia Fides) – The Catholic Church in Australia is offering women help on a psychological, relational, material, and economic level, in an effort to go beyond statements and exhortations and make a commitment to offer direct support to women with an unexpected pregnancy and in this manner support the gift of life and dissuade women from choosing to have an abortion.
The Australian Bishops have launched a concrete support plan for women, through a DVD that has been distributed in parishes, schools, and associations, entitled: “Walking with love.” The DVD is a useful tool for those who wish to help prevent a pregnant mother from having an abortion. It also offers contacts for obtaining psychological and material support for mothers with an unwanted pregnancy, in a manner that involves the spouses, the family, and the entire community in supporting the new life conceived.
The project was launched by the Bishops' Commission for Pastoral Life and features the personal stories of two young women faced with an unexpected pregnancy. The two had decided to have an abortion, however after experiencing the support of many people and Catholic associations, they recovered confidence in life and today are both happy mothers.
“As never before, the Church must be strongly pro-woman in Her ministry to those facing an unexpected pregnancy or whose lives have been affected by abortion,” said Bishop Peter Elliot, President of the Bishops' Commission promoting the project.
Another important intervention of the Catholic Church in this matter was carried out by Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane, who inaugurated the new “Pregnancy Crisis Centre,” specialized in helping pregnant women to be open to life.
The Archbishop began the initiative, as a response to the abortion rate in Australia, which is now at 90,000 per year, and trying to help the poorest families as well, who many times opt for abortion for economic reasons.
The Center has a team of doctors, psychologists, and Catholic social workers, ready to respond to any needs that these women and families may have, accompanying them on the road to life. The Center also offers courses in promotion of life in the local high schools of Brisbane, in order to carry out an apostolate of prevention and formation of adolescents and youth. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 3/11/2008)