Attending the March for Life, voting for pro-life measures, and speaking to others about why abortion is wrong are all indispensable measures.
We should strive to be publicly, confidently, and distinctly pro-life. But of course being pro-life doesn’t stop there; our votes and signs and posts are meaningless if they’re not supported by our everyday actions. One criticism pro-lifers often hear is that we seem to be so against abortion, but not particularly in favor of the mothers who choose to give birth in difficult circumstances. Below are seven ways to live a pro-life stance that go beyond campaigning for a legal end to abortion.
1. Help out a single parent.
Of course we shouldn’t make undue assumptions about others, but a single mother (or father!) is someone who quite possibly chose against an abortion and brought their child into the world knowing it would be a sacrifice in many ways. Regardless of their circumstances, single parents face unique struggles in raising their children. Doing something like offering to watch their child or run an errand for them is a simple act of charity that might make a huge difference to the parent in question.
2. Volunteer at a Crisis Pregnancy Center
These centers exist to help pregnant women in tough situations confidently choose life—and they’re often very much in need of time, money, and supplies. One bonus is that, depending on what the center or shelter provides, volunteering at one might entail getting to play with babies.
3. Donate to a post-abortion healing ministry
Project Rachel is a well-known US Catholic ministry that provides services to women attempting to recover from their abortion. Most women who get abortions feel pressured by others to do so, and it’s well-known that many bear deep grief and regret after the fact. A donation to a ministry like Project Rachel is a worthwhile tithe. Many in our society are quick to claim that plenty of women are perfectly fine after their abortion, that it’s judgmental to suggest otherwise, and downplay the emotional, physical, and spiritual effects of such a choice. By supporting to a post-abortion healing ministry, you’re validating countless women who have been traumatized by their abortion.
4. Pray the Rosary
For women who got abortions, women considering abortions, the souls of their babies, the fathers of their babies, the doctors and workers at the clinics…the list goes on. Mother Mary loves and cares for all of us in an infinite way, and leaving everything in her prayerful hands is always our best option. Our Lady of Guadalupe is patroness of the unborn, so consider offering your Rosary or other devotion to her specific intercession.
5. Brush up on Pro-Life topics
Abortion is rightly considered particularly egregious by the faithful. However, being pro-life naturally encompasses so much more. Brush up on the Church’s stance on euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, the death penalty, torture, IVF, embryonic research, and contraception. Go beyond learning whether they’re “allowed” or “not allowed.” Try to understand why certain choices are fundamentally bad for us. Talk to Christ about these issues and pray for conversion or understanding, if need be. It’s always good to go deeper on Church teaching and understand the nuance of Catholic belief, and the if anyone asks if you care about life issues beyond abortion you can explain what, and why.
6. Give to the poor.
After all, this is who abortion tends to affect, right? People who have been told that economically, they really have no other options. We know that Christ has a special love for the poor, and we’re called to look after them in imitation of Him. Caring for the poor in whatever ways we can just aligns so well with a pro-life mindset. It’s a tangible way to show those in poverty that their lives, and the lives of their children, are valued.
7. Befriend the disabled
Last but certainly not least, is offering an act of charity to a person who is physically or mentally disabled. It’s becoming the norm to choose to abort a fetus with a more serious disability, but this is an issue that goes beyond carrying a disabled baby to term. I have no doubt that the physically and intellectually disabled often feel a particular brand of loneliness. But we all know that disabled individuals have lives as complex and meaningful as any able-bodied person. One powerful way we can be witness to the value of their lives is by being present to a disabled person we know, being sensitive to their limitations while still taking them seriously, even if that takes extra patience.
This list is by no means comprehensive—living out a truly pro-life mindset encompasses so much! All the same, these are a few small steps we can take to walk the walk, so to speak, and demonstrate the immense value of each human being by the way we live. The world doesn’t know the love Christ has for each and every person, but we can be its teacher through our actions.