Jor-El Godsey, President of Heartbeat International, a worldwide network of pregnancy centers, and Chris Bell, President and Executive Director of Good Counsel Homes, joined Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life today for a special video announcement in which they renewed their collaborative call for churches to provide information to their congregations about alternatives to abortion.
“In the midst of this pandemic, when churches are developing their online resources more than ever to minister to people while they are at home, pastors have a great opportunity to include in those resources and broadcasts the life-saving information these organizations provide,” Fr. Pavone explained.
“Saving a life from abortion and a heart from despair can be as easy as memorizing a phone number and a website.”
For many years, Priests for Life has collaborated with Heartbeat International, Good Counsel Homes, and other similar service organizations to promote awareness of alternatives to abortion and healing after abortion. Sometimes these alternatives simply consist in a listening ear and encouraging word; or else they meet wider needs like counseling, a place to stay, medical services, legal advice, adoption services, parenting classes, guidance in seeking employment, and more. Counseling for those suffering from a past abortion is also provided by many pregnancy centers and other ministries.
Priests for Life has been urging pastors for decades to make information about these services a permanent aspect of their parish bulletin and website.
Heartbeat International is the largest network of life-affirming, pregnancy help organization in the world. Its message is, “Every woman should be loved and supported during her pregnancy. Help someone with an unintended pregnancy connect to local life-affirming pregnancy help quickly at Heartbeat’s OptionLine.org, or by calling our 24/7 emergency helpline 800-712-HELP (4357).”
This hotline will connect people with the help available closest to where they live. Confidential guidance is offered, both in English and in Spanish.
Good Counsel homes are for any pregnant, homeless mother in need. Mothers, with or without other children, including those struggling with addiction or mental health challenges, may live in a Good Counsel home for a year or longer, return to school and begin a vocational training program or work. Visit http://www.goodcounselhomes.org or call 800-723-8331 any time of any day for help or to offer help. More information may be found at Good Counsel Homes on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.
Good Counsel also offers healing and hope for men, women and siblings suffering the aftermath of an abortion. Many are suffering silently in our pews today. Confidential, compassionate, counseling is available at http://www.postabortionhelp.org or by calling 877-586-4621.
Priests for Life also has set up the special website AbortionForgiveness.com at which one can enter a ZIP code and find the ministries for healing after abortion closest to where one lives. These include pregnancy centers, special ministries and Rachel’s Vineyard retreat sites.
The three groups are making a simple plea to churches of all denominations: Let your people know that help is available! Place on your parish bulletin and website one or more of the hotline numbers and websites that we provide.
This will accomplish two things.
First, people in need of alternatives to abortion and healing after abortion will find them.
Second, the people in your parish will be equipped to use this information themselves, to reach out to others in need.
And in the process, they will see that the church’s stance on abortion is not simply to oppose it, but to accompany those in need to find the right solutions and make the right choices.
“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,” Chris Bell explained. “The more we work together, the more men and women, children and babies will find concrete help and real hope.”
Peggy Hartshorn, Chairman of the Board of Heartbeat International, added, “Everyone can reach upward, in prayer, to Our Lord for His help in such difficult situations. 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.”
Evangelist Alveda King, full-time associate of Priests for Life, also commented on this project: “Pastors and leaders need to direct people to life-affirming pregnancy care centers that offer real help to those in need of health care. What a blessing you can share with your church members; to bring joy to the anticipation of the arrival of their newest family member amidst challenging situations.”
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!”
Click here to download and print a PDF document to give to your pastor or key church leader explaining this project.
For information on this and other pro-life projects for Churches, visit ProLife.Church