Offering alternatives to abortion  

Bob Confer

It’s been a tough year for the pro-life movement and we’re only seven weeks into 2019.

First, New York passed legislation codifying abortion rights on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, permitting abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy given certain circumstances related to health of the baby or the mother. The law also allows physician assistants to perform some abortions and moves the subject of abortion from the penal code to health statutes.

Then, in Virginia, delegate Kathy Tran introduced a bill with the backing of her Democratic peers that would loosen restrictions on abortion in the final trimester. Late-term abortions would be allowed under nebulous language that says the birth could “impair the mental or physical health of the woman.”

This, of course, has angered pro-lifers and even a good many pro-choicers who view this as going too far.

This has led to the usual debate — or more accurately lack of debate — about all things abortion: It’s bad (which I believe it is) and we shouldn’t be giving federal funds to Planned Parenthood (which I believe we shouldn’t).

Neither of those arguments has won a fight and — looking at the make-up of New York’s newfangled legislature as well as a President who’s happy enough to only issue a limit on abortions after 20 weeks — they won’t.

So, I’m here to offer some advice to my fellow pro-lifers: Until the worldviews of the elected change, which isn’t anytime soon, change your tactics and go into action. If you truly value life and want to see it flourish, screaming at the sky won’t work. Step up your game and offer alternatives to death. Focus on saving the lives that could be affected by abortion.

To do that you must offer, empower and promote alternatives to abortion because the issues that lead to abortions are real.

It’s silly to think that those getting abortions are repeat customers, loose women (and the callous men who impregnate them) or gals who are inherently evil and enjoy smiting life. Most of the time, the person seeking an abortion is a woman who is absolutely scared to death after having made a mistake in judgment. It could be a high schooler, a young lady in college, a thirty-something professional … someone who, from maybe one moment of indiscretion or a missed pill, has had something happen to her that shakes up her world. Ask anyone who’s a parent: Child-rearing changes your life, dramatically, and in a hurry. Not everyone is prepared for that. It can be pretty darned overwhelming.

We have to help these women be prepared for that experience and alleviate their fears — whether their fears are based on the physical, mental, emotional or financial. They need guidance on protecting that life within them, keeping their life and mind intact, and becoming a parent or finding a home for their baby. They need people who care enough to lead them away from the path to abortion and give them the tools and resources to succeed (or least try hard at succeeding).

Such organizations are out there ready, willing and able to serve our neighborhoods and help these young ladies in trying times, all while ensuring our world is blessed with the birth of a child. My column serves the urban centers of Lockport, Niagara Falls and Batavia; let’s take a look at the pro-life pregnancy centers within those places.

Lockport is home to Lockport CareNet at 229 East Ave. (LockportCareNet.com). The volunteer-driven non-profit has been in operation since 1985. They provide free ultrasounds, give parenting workshops to moms and dads alike, donate material aid like baby supplies, initiate community referrals for financial and medical aid, conduct adoption referrals, and provide loving support. I so value what they do for my community that they are on my year-end giving list every year.

Niagara Falls has the pro-life Summit Life Outreach Center at 1622 Pine Ave. (SummitLifeCenter.com). They do the same things as Lockport CareNet but they also highlight their abortion recovery services. While they don’t do or refer abortions, they know that some women not originally under their care do have them and suffer stress, guilt and emotional pain afterwards. They give those women the support, love and help they need in those dark days.

Batavia has All Babies Cherished at 445 Ellicott St. (AllBabiesCherished.com). Their services include education, support and advocacy during pregnancy, but they also tout their support of young families right through the third year of life. That’s pretty special. They know that parenting and life are long-term commitments and support should linger until the moms and dads are truly comfortable on their own.

I encourage all pro-lifers to support these organizations or similar ones within their communities. Give them your money and time. Donate baby supplies to them. Refer women in need to them. By getting involved, then and only then can we end abortion, one victory at a time … baby steps.

Bob Confer is a Gasport resident and vice president of Confer Plastics Inc. in North Tonawanda. Email him at bobconfer@juno.com.