September 5, 2021

September 3, 2021: Holding space for women in Texas

We're holding space to process all angles of the new Texas ruling.

Everyone is talking about Texas. We're processing how to talk about this new ruling with friends, family, and colleagues.

With your prolife aunt...
She's over the moon and saying we've been waiting years for this - "So many babies will be saved!" You know that having a baby is just the beginning, though. Moms need prenatal care, safe housing, and food... let's not even get started on affordable childcare.

In between FOX news segments, share a personal experience you have had or heard about. Maybe it's a podcast you listened to or the story of a roommate's cousin who chose not to have an abortion. You can emphasize the specific needs you know women in this situation are experiencing and say, "What can we do to support moms who would consider abortion?" Whether it's today or someday in the future, you can begin planting seeds to turn the discussion towards moms and what lawmakers need to do to support women during and after pregnancy.

With your prochoice coworker...
Your coworker doesn't usually text you about politics but this time is an exception. "Can you BELIEVE this?" She's shocked and angry that it's 2021 and women's equality is under attack. But there is still an important feminist debate about whether women's equality is best hinged on access to abortion.

Stay focused on values you share: women's equality, freedom, and overall well-being. You can reiterate, "It's so important to support women; pregnancy is such a vulnerable and life-altering thing."  Then lean into this as a chance to get to know her better — what experiences with abortion does she have? Why is this issue important to her? Use this moment to deepen your relationship as friends, don't force a discussion on politics until it comes up in a natural, safe way.

With your friend who had an abortion...
She may be feeling a whole host of things. You know her best, so trust your gut and if you feel prompted to check in on her, do it. One gentle approach would be to text her something funny and then say, "I feel like everything in the news has been really heavy lately and this made me laugh. How are you doing?" If she does want to talk, remind her she's not alone in her experiences and that she deserves to heal from anything causing her pain.

Here's a mantra for you
"Do not accept love without truth, or truth without love. One without the other is a destructive lie," said St. Pope John Paul II, quoting feminist Edith Stein. It's hard to hold space for both women and their babies, both the reality of abortion and the reality of what unplanned pregnancy means for women. But changing the narrative starts with each one of us, holding space together.

Here are a few other top picks for the week...

WATCH: Learning to Love the F-word: Embracing Prolife Feminism
At the FemCatholic Conference, whole-life advocate and founder of Rehumanize International, Aimee Murphy, explores why authentic feminism is pro-life feminism.

READ: How to Respond to Women Considering an Abortion
We asked women about their experiences with abortion so we could listen learn how we can better support women facing unexpected or challenging pregnancies.

SUPPORT: Pro-Life Organizations You Should Know About
All of the groups listed here are nonpartisan, womb-to-tomb advocacy organizations. Their whole-life approach reflects the consistent life ethic that lies at the heart of Catholic social teaching.

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