Thursday, 26 June 2008

Abortion: Prevention & Healing

Fr Tim has posted an excellent piece on the reasons why women have abortions and how the Church must respond.

I should mention that LIFE has been saying this kind of thing for years however often they are snubbed in Catholic circles and why? Who knows.

I particularly liked the emphasis on chastity which is different from abstinence. Living a chaste life adds a dimension to saving sex that the message of abstinence forgets. Chastity is a virtue, a gift from God as well as a discipline (a difficult one in my own opinion), whereas abstinence is just a discipline and there is no meaning other than practical prevention against STI's.

One thing that I did notice is that whilst everything said in Fr Tim's post is good, it did sort of miss out anything about the many women who could find healing in the Church but who are afraid to walk through the doors because of how they see people in the Church. Of the young students I speak to many tell me of their experience of condemnation from people rather than reaching out in love.

This is why this blog has been critical of the approach by SPUC at times. I know many wonderful people who work for SPUC, but a lot of the comments from John Smeaton lately have been unhelpful. I also see no sense in a political lobby group who do not lobby and who do not actually work in parliament. I would like to point out that SPUC have many arms in the UK which contribute well in the field of Education and also the excellent work done by British Victims of Abortion; however the political side of things must face up to facts - if you don't actually lobby and don't contribute where the government gives you a chance to contribute then you wont get anything done.

That aside, the 'I know it all' approach must go and we must respond with alternatives for these women and at times men in desperate situations... As Fr Tim rightly points out; it's not enough to say 'it's a child' they know it is; we need to say 'how can we be of help and enable you to keep the child'. Steven Covey in his book 7 habits of highly effective people coined a phrase which I like:
'seek first to understand, then be understood'.

LIFE as a charity is committed to that with the housing programme, Gemma Fund, Zoe's place hospices and counselling care programme for women in crisis pregnancy situations, but also in post abortion trauma. In the words of George Bush (a man I admire in many ways) we must respond by saying:
'we love you, we love your baby and we want to help'

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