While society grapples with the pro-life/pro-choice issue, the fact remains that the babies keep on coming. We can spend numerous hours debating what has caused the higher rate of unwanted or crisis pregnancies but the babies keep on coming.
Many blame the culture of Hollywood and the music industry. Others blame the governmental policies that have an effect on welfare payments to unwed mothers and many feel there are other reasons that are to be blamed for the situation.
But the babies keep coming. For the sake of this column's message for the week we need to get past the moral outrage many of us have over the causes and get to the issue of the pregnancy. For many in this country the issue of abortion is abhorrent and that is the rub. We did not create the baby and yet we don't like the idea of aborting a life because it seems more convenient to handle the unwanted pregnancy.
Most pregnancies are welcomed and happy events in the life of a family. The young parents are elated with the news and the extended family that includes aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins are also overjoyed at the news of the addition of another generation.
Some pregnancies create tension in families because the mother-to-be is often single and doesn't have the financial resources to support herself and the baby. The father of the child, who before helping to create the baby, probably told the girl he loved her and was always going to be there. Once she told him that they had a baby on the way many of those fathers take off. Others stick around but they don't have the resources to help and then the difficult choices begin.
Many of their friends will tell them to abort the pregnancy. They will tell them it is the easy way out. What is the girl to do? Fortunately in our area we have an organization called Helping Hands Pregnancy & Parenting Center and those really special folks are there to assist women caught in the middle of the crisis pregnancy.
Helping Hands offers counseling as well as classes to the mom's to be on child care and nutrition as well as giving the mom's an opportunity to earn and purchase, albeit at really reduced prices, items needed to handle the arrival of the baby. Clothes, diapers and toys along with other necessary items are available.
One thing that Helping Hands doesn't deliver is judgment. The clients are not made to feel ashamed and that is important. The clients are able to get honest answers to their questions about birthing, child-raising and their options.
Some will choose to give the baby up for adoption and others will choose to keep the baby. Again, no judgments. The clients are helped through the pregnancy and this is where we come in.
Most of the work is done by volunteers at Helping Hands. But there are still costs involved. Rent and utilities still come due every month as well as the costs of the small staff, the printing of materials and many of the items gifted to the moms need to be purchased.
This Saturday Helping Hands is conducting their annual Pledge Walk in the Oakhurst Community Park. Volunteers walk and many of us pledge dollars for their efforts. I always pledge to support Madeline Burton's walk. In fact, I actually pledge my donation for her "first step" and once Madeline takes the first one I make the donation. I do this as a symbolic gesture that the "first step" is often the most important step in the healing and helping process.
If you know somebody who will be walking this weekend in support of Helping Hands, make that pledge. Don't wait for them to call you, just pick up the phone and call them. If you want to walk then call Helping Hands and sign on. If you don't know a walker, make a pledge on behalf of Madeline or all the walkers. Make a pledge on behalf of the unborn child that is coming.
The important issue is that we raise dollars to pay the bills and lend a Helping Hand to Helping Hands.
The baby is coming.