By Michael Gresham
The Texas Catholic
Pro-life advocates in the Diocese of Dallas say that while they are celebrating the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on abortion, their work is not done.
“God has richly blessed us with the overturning of Roe. It is a huge step for life, and we are celebrating it,” said Geralyn Kaminsky, executive director of the Catholic Pro-Life Community, the Respect Life Ministry for the Diocese of Dallas. “But our mission is nowhere near complete and we must continue to do His work.”
In a 5-4 vote on June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, which established a constitutional right to abortion nationwide in 1973. The court’s ruling in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization emphasized that there is no constitutional right to abortion in the United States. The Dobbs case focused on Jackson Women’s Health Organization, an abortion clinic in Mississippi that challenged the state’s law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Kaminsky said the pro-life community already has seen intensified narrative efforts from abortion supporters as well as attacks on organizations that help women such as pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes and churches.
“We have to continue to push out the truth to change minds and hearts – to make abortion not only illegal, but unthinkable,” Kaminsky said.
In Texas, a trigger law goes into effect in the coming weeks that bans all abortions except in rare cases. Texas is one of 13 states that had trigger laws in place in anticipation of Roe v. Wade being overturned.
“We’re lucky in Texas to live in a pro-life state with pro-life laws that have made abortion illegal, but there are many states that continue to offer abortion,” Kaminsky said.
The CPLC executive director explained the growing use of chemical abortions remains a challenge as women can obtain abortion pills online and them receive via the mail.
“Women are not hearing how very dangerous this is, not only because the woman aborts her baby at home — which is traumatic in itself — but in many cases the woman has not seen a doctor,” she said. “If there are complications, like an ectopic pregnancy, it can be fatal. That is the reality, but women don’t hear that message.”
‘God is working’
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision, Kaminsky said the Catholic Pro-Life Community’s work will remain much the same.
“We’ll pray, knowing that as we pray, God is working,” she said. “We also support moms in unexpected pregnancies and walk with them until they are in a stable place.”
Through its ministries and programs, Kaminsky said CPLC also will spread the Gospel of Life through its Speakers Bureau and its Youth for Life ministries as well as continue to teach the “worth and dignity” of every human being at all stages of life.
“Ministries like Project Gabriel and Walking With Moms In Need are essential to showing moms that when they accept the life within them, they can improve their own lives,” Kaminsky said.
Project Gabriel is an outreach to women facing unexpected pregnancies. The ministry provides emotional, material, financial, educational and spiritual support to these women and helps them find stability in their lives and the lives of their children. Project Gabriel also provides a mentor, called a Gabriel Angel, to walk with women in need, listen to them, guide them and love them. Gabriel Education Ministry and Support, or GEMS, provides classes for mothers. Those completing the two-year curriculum receive a scholarship to continue their education.
Meanwhile Walking with Moms in Need is a national initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to help parishes better support and accompany pregnant and parenting women. Its goal is to connect Catholic faith communities with those in need to provide pathways to necessary support and resources. As part of the USCCB initiative, CPLC, Catholic Charities Dallas and the Diocese of Dallas have compiled a resource list for mothers and families who need assistance. It can be found at prolifedallas.org.
Focus also will be placed on healing.
“Heal those suffering,” Kaminsky said. “After almost 50 years of legal abortion, millions of women, men and siblings have an abortion in their past, and they continue to fill our healing retreats in search of God’s mercy.”
To accomplish its goal of helping pregnant and parenting women in need, the Catholic Pro-Life Community works with many organizations throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex to support both mother and child. This support starts with diagnostic and maternity care, baby goods and supplies, medical and dental care as well as providing opportunities for housing, personal counseling, education, employment counseling and financial assistance. If a mother chooses adoption, Kaminsky said CPLC connects the mother with Catholic Charities Dallas to help place the baby in a new home.
“We work closely with Birth Choice and White Rose pregnancy resource centers, and maternity homes Bella House, In My Shoes, Mater Filius, and Missionaries of Charity,” Kaminsky said. “They provide invaluable help to moms who need support and love.”
All diocesan pro-life apostolates meet quarterly to discuss issues, service needs, programs, challenges and successes.
Ingrid Meyer, director of ministries for CPLC, said one of the biggest challenges people face after the Supreme Court’s decision is confusion.
“People don’t really know what to do,” Meyer said. “They are confused.”
Meyer added that since the May leak of the possible court decision, CPLC has seen not only an increase in mothers coming to them, but also mothers who are coming earlier in their pregnancies.
“As soon as they are finding out, they are reaching out to us,” Meyer said. “That is why it is so important for us to let them know what opportunities they have and that we are here for them.”
Women in need can reach out to the Catholic Pro-Life Community for assistance in a number of ways, including texting “OPTIONS” or “OPCIONES” to 24365, calling 469-602-4357 (HELP), or visiting projectgabrieldallas.org.
Ready to help
Dave Woodyard, chief executive officer of Catholic Charities Dallas, said that with the reversal of Roe the agency’s services will be up to meeting the needs of those impacted.
“Catholic Charities Dallas will continue to offer and expand our services to mothers and families in need as we do today,” Woodyard said.
In Dallas, Catholic Charities currently offers educational classes for mothers and fathers of all ages. The classes are also open to grandparents and other relatives who have legal custody of the child. In addition, CCD offers early learning evaluation and limited diaper, food and other types of assistance.
“We also provide counseling for pregnant moms and dads of all ages, which can be provided in either a one-on-one setting or together,” Woodyard said. “This service is also available to extended family members and friends supporting someone trying to decide if parenting or adoption is best for them and their child.”
Woodyard said Catholic Charities Dallas also provides adoptive services for anyone wishing to place their baby outside their home, noting that the agency encourages open adoptions.
“When the needs of mother or family surpass our offerings,” Woodyard added, “we refer to other pro-life sources that can assist them.”
Those seeking assistance or to learn more about Catholic Charities Dallas’s programs, can visit www.ccdallas.org/services/children-family-senior-services/pregnancy-adoption/. Woodyard said volunteers are always needed and those wishing to donate may do so by visiting www.CCDallas.org/donate.
With the court’s ruling, Kaminsky said CPLC has already seen an uptick in needs for service. She expects those needs will only grow, which creates a need for more mentors and volunteers.
“We need you…more than ever,” she said. “The need for English and bilingual speakers, Gabriel Angels, prayer partners, youth chaperones, office workers, and other volunteers has always been great, but that need is growing exponentially.”
Those interested in joining CPLC’s mission can visit prolifedallas.org to review volunteer opportunities or Kaminsky invites them to give her a call directly. .
“We are called to evangelize and pro-life is such a perfect way to become involved in evangelization,” she said. “I invite you to get off the sidelines and come join us.”