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BY Simcha Fisher
Teenagers make great bellwethers: when you hear one of them, you know there must be a whole crowd behind them. There is safety in numbers, and vocally pro-life teens are making it “safer” to be pro-life.
Everyone has seen true birth stories on TV; everyone knows a pregnant teenager. Ultrasound images are everywhere. For better or worse, the topic of pregnancy and abortion is unavoidable. It’s no longer a taboo subject, and it’s no longer possible for the typical socially conscious teenager to have no opinion about it.
While pro-choicers are laboring to “normalize” abortion, young pro-lifers are reaching out to their peers, in person and online—working to normalize having babies! God help us that we’ve come to a point where such a goal is necessary, but thank God that there are people out there, doing the work.
Laura Peredo is one teenager who is taking advantage of the global conversation that is the internet, and is “reaching out to women before they even get to the [abortion] clinic.” Peredo spends some time each day searching online for women who have questions about abortion and letting them know that they do have a choice.
Recently featured on Timmerie, a pro-life blog for Catholic Youth, Peredo says:
Most of my work has been on Yahoo Answers. I like going there best because I can easily search for questions with the keyword “abortion”, and then narrow my search for recent questions. Once I find a question to answer, I answer it with facts and make sure to communicate the love of God, and the message of hope many women in tough situations need to hear.
I can’t say that I’ve saved hundreds of babies by reaching out to women online, but I have seen a profound appreciation for spreading the message of love and hope. These mothers need just that. They need you to be there for them before they get to the clinic. . .
The other day someone responded to me saying “I wish there were more people like you.” These women, and everyone affected by abortion, just need a hand to reach out to them and tell them they can get through this.
Another teen who is on the front lines takes a more hands-on approach. Allie Sakowicz may not specifically identify herself as pro-life, but her work certainly is: at age 17, she works as a volunteer doula, comforting and supporting teen mothers as they labor and give birth. According to Oprah.com,
[Sakowicz] provides services primarily to Chicago-area teen moms, free of charge. “Some of them might not otherwise have anyone by their side during pregnancy and labor,” she says.
Take, for example, the young woman whose boyfriend dropped her at the hospital’s front doors and drove away on the July evening she was to be induced. Sakowicz spent 40 hours straight with the frightened mom-to-be—massaging her lower back through contractions, keeping a bleary-eyed vigil over monitors, and consoling her through the worst labor pains until a healthy girl emerged. “When the baby comes,” Sakowicz says, “there’s no place else I’d rather be.”
Next, she plans to study to become a childbirth educator; her long-term goal is to learn Spanish and work as an ob-gyn and run a free clinic in the Southwest.
In a TODAYMoms article, Sakowicz says,
I don’t make decisions for the moms, but I help them if they have trouble communicating what they want or don’t want. When you’re a teen mom in labor, your voice can get lost in the process.
How refreshing, how heartening that these girls are using their energy and enthusiasm to give comfort and hope to other young women who haven’t been given a choice or a voice. This is absolutely the best way to further the cause of the pro-life movement: person-to-person, with love and support, letting women know that they are not alone.
Pro-lifers have nothing to fear, and everything to gain, when pregnant women have more of a voice—and have someone to talk to. Peredo and Sakowicz are not only helping pregnant women and their unborn children, but by making their efforts public, they’re making it safer for other teenagers to be public with their pro-life sentiments. They’re making it safe for women, and pro-lifers everywhere, to have a voice.