Crisis Pregnancy

She is 16 and at a friend’s party when she meets the boy. He says he loves her and there is no risk, guaranteed one hundred per cent. But he is wrong.

When she tells him she’s pregnant, he panics. He says it’s not his. Everyone knows she sleeps around. She must get rid of it.

She is angry, confused and most of all, scared. Really scared. The changes in her body tell her that this is not just an “it.” A baby is growing inside her. What will she do? She’s still a kid herself and her parents are very strict.

Versions of this story are as old as humanity, as are the reactions to a young, unmarried mother. We can well imagine the looks and comments given to Mary as her body swelled with Jesus.

Pregnant by the Holy Spirit? That’s a likely story!

We realise the Son of God became flesh this way, so that from conception Jesus was a champion of the poor. Given the culture of the day, his pre-natal life was certainly at risk. His mother could have been stoned to death.

The Church has always been aware of Mary in its pro-life teaching. Protection of mother and child is paramount in Catholic works of compassion.

While support services in New Zealand, are too many to list in detail, we can select one example, the Crisis Pregnancy work of Joseph and Cushla Hassan in Nelson.

Cushla and Joseph are actively committed to the sacredness of life.

The young woman in the first paragraph is in a highly emotional state when she visits Dr Joseph Hassan. In this initial consultation he is a calming influence. He listens to her fears and makes her aware of the life-affirming options available.  She leaves his surgery much calmer, aware that she is not alone.

She is offered to see Joseph’s wife Cushla, a nurse or one of the pregnancy support team, who offer practical, non-judgmental care.

The world is no longer seen as a hostile place. The teenager meets other pregnant teenagers plus some with babies, and she comes to a different understanding of her new status.

The Hassans are dedicated to a consistent ethic of life. They also teach the Billings Ovulation Method of family planning, proved to be 99% effective.

Now they’re extending their support of young mothers, with the proposed MA’s Place in Nelson.

MA stands for patron Mother Aubert. There are plans to turn the old presbytery of St Mary’s church into a meeting place where young mothers can come together with their babies, learn budgeting and cooking skills, and generally indulge in the pleasure of maternal pride.

If you would like more details about MA’s Place or other aspects of the Hassan’s work, you can make contact:

Dr Joseph and Cushla Hassan, St Luke’s Health Centre, Crisis Pregnancy Support / Hapai Taumaha Hapūtanga

Billings Life — Alicia Reeve,

Mother Aubert House – Carol Marshall,, 105 Waimea Rd, Nelson 7010, 035481858

  • Joy Cowley is a wife, mother. grandmother, great-grandmother and retreat facilitator.
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