When I read the letter critical of the pro-life movement ("Pro-life sanctimony," March 10), I felt the need to respond. The author claims that the only concern pro-lifers have is the delivery of live babies, but they have no programs to help with the situation.
Pro-lifers care very much about the care and well-being of the mother and her child. As one who has done volunteer work with my local pregnancy center for almost 30 years, I can attest to this fact from many years of experience. Most pregnancy centers offer free pregnancy tests, sonograms, STD testing, confidential counseling, maternity clothes, baby clothes, diapers, wipes, supplies, cribs, mattresses, baby formula and food, housing, parenting classes, transportation, prenatal vitamins, and, if it's something we can't help them with, we refer the mothers to someone who can.
We work with the mother long after her child is born, not only supplying the material needs mentioned above, but moral support as well. Whenever a mother comes in for material assistance, we ask how she is managing and how we can help make her life and her child's life better.
There is also an organization known as the Gabriel Network which works with many of the churches. Besides offering transitional housing, a loving volunteer called an angel friend will help the mother all through her pregnancy — and beyond.
Finally, I quote former Archbishop of Baltimore Edwin O'Brien: "To all those in crisis pregnancies, I pledge our support and our financial help. Come to the Catholic Church. Let us walk with you through your time of trouble. … Let us help you find a new life with your child, or let us help you place that child in a loving home. But, please, I beg you to let us help you affirm life. Abortion need not be an answer in this Archdiocese."
So, to label pro-lifers as sanctimonious people whose only goal is the delivery of live babies is both untrue and unfair. We do offer many programs that help the mother and her child to get a good start in life and beyond.