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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Be a visible presence for life

by Terry

File:William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) - Maternal Admiration (1869).jpg
Maternal Admiration by Bougereau (photo credit:Wikimedia Commons).

Just before Holy Week, I had the great privilege of spending one morning at Aid To Women, a crisis pregnancy centre in Toronto, Canada.  I interviewed the Executive Director for an article I’m writing for the print edition of Catholic Insight Magazine.

ATW in Toronto is one of a group of ATW centers in North America that offers compassionate counseling and support to women and couples in unplanned crisis pregnancies.  Located at a busy downtown intersection, it is right next door to one of the city’s busy abortion clinics.

I had never been to a crisis pregnancy centre before and didn’t know what to expect.  I was greeted warmly by the Executive Director who radiated genuine warmth.  The centre itself is decorated in simple but inviting decor, complete with big comfy, leather couches.  Over mugs of steamy green tea, we talked about the important work of Aid To Women.

Because of its unique and providential location next door to an abortion mill, one of the aspects of their work is on the sidewalk, trying to talk to the young women before they enter the abortion clinic.  Day in, day out, good or inclement weather, there is at least one counselor trying to rescue moms and babies from the horror of abortion.  The work can be exhausting and at times, discouraging.

Along with the counselors, there is always at least one prayer warrior holding up a pro-life sign while praying quietly.  These volunteers stand behind the 60 feet injunction zone mandated by the city.  ATW considers the prayer volunteers to be absolutely crucial to their life-saving work.  It’s certainly not a glamorous position as the volunteers, like the counselors, are often subjected to insults, rude gestures or are completely ignored; but they are still a very visible presence – and that’s what counts.

“It’s not enough for people to pray in their homes,” explained the Executive Director.  “Pregnant women considering abortion need to see a strong, personal, public declaration of belief [in the sanctity of life].”

Continue reading at Terry's blog  8 Kids and A Business.

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