Companioning life


Let’s think about this.

Being anti-abortion and being pro-life are in effect, not the same thing.

The first is negative and confrontational, while the second is positive and pro-active.

Which is likely to work?

I’m not dismissing the way we feel about the first.

Abortion is always a tragedy.

There may be some women for whom it is convenience, but I have never met such a person.

The women I know who have had an abortion, could not see any other option.

Preaching does not present an option.

Sometimes our ideals do not fit reality.  I think it is important to move from anti-abortion to pro-life.

How do we do that?

First, we can be better informed about changes in society and female development.

It is recognised that approximately three years after the onset of menstruation, a woman’s body is ready for pregnancy. Her hormones are clamouring to have a child even though her body may not be structurally ready.

In my day, girls began menstruation between 14 and 16 years of age, and often were married at 18 or 19.

Today, girls as young as 8 are menstruating. An obstetrician says 8 years is common.

This means that children are getting pregnant.

Why is this happening? Obviously, it is related to our environment and hormones in food. It’s not something we seem unable to change.

If we are truly pro-life, how do we help a pregnant teenager who wants to keep her baby? Sometimes the girl has a partner her own age who slso wants to be a parent.

There are secondary schools in New Zealand that have creches where babies are cared for while young parents continue their education.

Do Catholic secondary schools have such facilities? If not, why not?

And what can we, as pro-life individuals, do?

In the Wairarapa a caring Catholic woman has set up a trust, to provide a one-to-one mentoring programme for pregnant teens.

I was very grateful when asked to be its patron.

It’s a one-to-one mentoring programme providing practical support, encouragement and kindness. There is also emphasis on continuing education.

This kind of programme exists elsewhere but we need to change “elsewhere” to “everywhere.”

Is there a programme for pregnant teens in your area?

If not, do you want to find out more about the Wairarapa programme?

November 6 at the Art and History Museum, 12 Bruce St, Masterton. There will be a talk “Companioning New Life” and luncheon for a cost of $45 per person. Some of that money will go to the trust. 11.45am arrival. Finish 1.30pm.

If you are interested in attending, you can contact Trudy Hullena at Sellar and Sellar, Masterton, phone 06 377 3199 .


I hope to see you there.

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