Human Interest

Love Them Both: How to help a pregnant mother in a crisis situation

pregnant, Texas, friend

Every child is a blessing, but when a woman learns she is pregnant and circumstances aren’t the best they could be, raising a baby may feel impossible to her. While people may refer to pregnancy help centers as “crisis pregnancy centers,” the truth is that the pregnancy isn’t the crisis and abortion isn’t necessary to fix the crisis. The real crisis is the concern (or concerns) causing the woman to believe she is incapable of raising her baby. Abortion will not fix this.

Homelessness

Being homeless is itself a crisis situation, but being homeless and pregnant could make a woman feel inadequate when it comes to being a good mother. Whether she is currently homeless, or is a teen who fears she will become homeless when her parents find out she is pregnant, there are services available to help her.

A homeless shelter can be a good option when in a bind, but maternity homes exist to help women who are pregnant and have nowhere else to go. The National Maternity Housing Coalition has a map of maternity homes in the U.S., but a quick internet search or phone call to a local pregnancy center can help locate one as well. Maternity homes offer women and girls more than a shelter can. For example, St. Raymond’s House has transitional homes in Missouri, where women and their children can live while the mothers take part in a self-sufficiency program, setting them up to have a successful and stable future.

You can also help her with material items she needs, such as maternity clothing and seasonal clothing like coats, hats, mittens, and boots.

READ: Love Them Both: 7 pro-life ways to help a pregnant or parenting teenager

Abusive relationship

Women in abusive relationships can become frightened for their safety and the safety of their babies when they learn they are pregnant. And they are right to feel that way. As previously reported by Live Action News, the Family Violence Prevention Fund notes that pregnant women are more likely to die by homicide at the hands of their partner than to die by any other cause. 

While an abortionist will kill a preborn child and send his or her mother straight back to her abusive partner, pro-life options can protect both mother and child from an abuser. If you know a woman who is pregnant and in an abusive relationship and doesn’t know what to do, the local pregnancy center can help her get to a safe domestic violence shelter at a non-disclosed location. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is also a good resource for her to be able to talk to someone for advice and help.

If she doesn’t want to leave the relationship, try to stay in contact with her and support her. Come up with a safe word together so she can call you when she feels in danger without alerting her abuser. Continue to support her and encourage her to keep her baby, and let her know you will help her get to a safe location whenever she is ready.

Drug addiction

A mother’s drug addiction can be very dangerous to a preborn child, but it doesn’t mean she needs to get an abortion. Pro-life organizations can help with financial needs and can connect the woman to a residential drug or alcohol treatment program.

Medication-assisted treatment can help to reduce cravings for certain drugs, including heroin and other opiates. Pro-life centers can also connect the mother to health care options for her and her baby, and once rehab is complete, a maternity home program can help her launch her new life.

Poverty

Some women are pressured into abortions because they are living in poverty. It has become expected for women labeled “poor” to abort their babies rather than bring a “poor” child into the world. Pregnancy resource centers can provide resources to help these women secure a safe home, find child care, and learn skills that can help with job placement.

Being low-income doesn’t mean a woman can’t be a great mother. She simply needs support.

Resources

When a woman becomes pregnant without having planned to become pregnant, almost anything can make it feel like a crisis. If she’s still in school, if she still lives with her parents, if she’s married and has had an affair, if she doesn’t own a car, or doesn’t have health insurance, she can feel pressured by her circumstances to have an abortion. No matter her situation, what she needs to hear is that her baby is not the cause of the crisis, and that help is available to ensure both she and her baby are safe and stable.

There are numerous pro-life resources available to help women facing a crisis situation. A more complete list is available here.

Standing With You. Students for Life of America’s Standing With You Initiative connects women with non-violent pregnancy resources and helps community members assist local families. It also helps pro-life students serve their pregnant and parenting peers and provides a list of national and local resources for women.

OptionLine. Option Line offers a confidential live chat, text line, and toll-free hotline for women facing an unplanned pregnancy and is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-712-4357.

Care Net. With pro-life pregnancy centers across the country ready to help women and their babies, Care Net offers free resources and a confidential, toll-free line for pregnant women to call at 1-877-791-5475.

Heartbeat International. The organization behind OptionLine and Abortion Pill Rescue, Heartbeat International offers pregnancy support through thousands of centers worldwide as well as maternity homes and non-profit adoption agencies.

Pro-lifers can help any woman considering abortion by helping her out of the crisis with real solutions.

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