At the Witherspoon Institute’s Public Discourse site, Helen Alvaré, Greg Pfundstein, Matthew Schmitz and Ryan T. Anderson argue that the charge that the pro-life movement doesn’t support mothers and infants amounts to a slander:
One of the most frequently repeated canards of the abortion debate is that pro-lifers really don’t care about life. As much as they talk about protecting the unborn, we are told, pro-lifers do nothing to support mothers and infants who are already in the world….
This lazy slander is as common as it is untrue. Of course, there is much more that needs to be done, but in the decades since Roe v. Wade, pro-lifers have taken the lead in offering vital services to mothers and infants in need. Operating with little support-and often actual opposition-from agencies, foundations, and local governments, pro-lifers have relied upon a network of committed donors and volunteers to make great strides in supporting mothers and their infants. It’s time the media takes notice.
They marshal the basic facts on the institutional pro-life movement to support their case:
In the United States there are some 2,300 affiliates of the three largest pregnancy resource center umbrella groups, Heartbeat International, CareNet, and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA). Over 1.9 million American women take advantage of these services each year. Many stay at one of the 350 residential facilities for women and children operated by pro-life groups. In New York City alone, there are twenty-two centers serving 12,000 women a year….
Religious groups also provide crucial services to needy mothers and infants. John Cardinal O’Connor, the late Archbishop of New York, famously pledged to assist any woman from anywhere experiencing a crisis pregnancy, and the current Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, recently renewed Cardinal O’Connor’s pledge. The Catholic Church-perhaps the single most influential pro-life institution in the United States-makes the largest financial, institutional and personnel commitments to charitable causes of any private source in the United States. These include AIDS ministry, health care, education, housing services, and care for the elderly, disabled, and immigrants.
The article also includes a critical look at the pro-choice movement’s frequent calls for pro-lifers to promote contraception. Read the whole thing here.