According to a recent survey, over 40% of women who have had an abortion were regular church goers at the time of their abortion. Unfortunately, 76% of those women stated that the church had no influence on their decision. They reported feeling judged an unwelcome. We have to face this bitter reality. Most women don’t turn to the Church for help because the impression is that church members judge single women who are pregnant.
Being pro-life, we are right to care about the baby, but we also must care for the emotional and spiritual care of the mother in an obvious and present way. These women are among us, they are our daughters and our sisters. They need support and love as they accept the unexpected gift from God and the difficult journey that can come from choosing life.
Endow has partnered with Footprints to create an 8-week reflection guide and tools for parishes to use as they walk with women in unexpected pregnancies. We will provide spiritual, emotional, and physical support in a safe, nonjudgmental way so the Church once again becomes the first place pregnant women seek help and support rather than the last.
- A woman facing an unplanned pregnancy will contact Footprints confidentially via text, phone call or email.
- After some initial evaluation of the circumstances, the woman will be invited to attend an 8-week parish program designed to assist and support her as she discerns the choice of parenting vs adoption.
- As women come forward to participate, various parish ministries will be contacted to spiritually adopt a specific woman, and will be asked to pray for her and her baby from this point forward.
- The program includes a newly created Endow reflection guide which will be used solely for the Footprints.
- During the program, the women will be formed by group discussion, prayer, the Sacraments, lessons from the Saints, scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Catholic Devotions, music, journaling, personal testimonies from other women, and possibly, spiritual direction.
- The women will be informed about the appropriate parish, Catholic Charities, and community resources available to them.
- A grand celebration will be held on the 8th week which will honor them for saying “yes” to life. Women that intend to parent will be given baby shower gifts provided by their adoptive ministry. Women that intend to place for adoption, will be showered with personal gifts provided by the ministry that spiritually adopted them. Friends, family, and representatives from various parish ministries will be invited too.
- Footprints and the parish will continue to walk with the women by continuing to provide support through various parish.
- The goal will be for past participants to become mentors for future participants.