The recent high-profile Supreme Court case of Young vs. UPS—which promises to help define the reach of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act—involves a pregnant woman who was placed on unpaid leave by her employer. Her case highlights the struggles many mothers face in the workplace. This is particularly true of those who are poor, widowed, abandoned, or divorced. I believe Scripture is clear that the Church is to care for these women. As we proclaim the pro-life message, we need to be sure we are doing everything we can to support mothers.
When we think of the Church to taking up the cause of the poor and vulnerable (Ps. 82:3-4), we often imagine programs housed in and administrated by local churches. But what if Christians simply loved their neighbors as Christ commands? When Christians are actively involved in the lives of their friends and neighbors, they are able to help meet their needs without institutional initiatives.
Many mothers must work multiple jobs to make ends meet and are unable to spend much time with their children. To love them means to make sure that their needs and the needs of their children are met. To love them means that we do not wait for them to become desperate, but we think more strategically so we are not simply reacting to a crisis. To love is to plan and to think ahead.
A friend of mine saves part of his family’s income and sets it aside in a separate account so that when they encounter someone in need they are prepared to help. Another friend rallied support for a single mom who struggled after her children’s father was deported. This is what can happen when the Church looks for opportunities to love and serve those in need.
Pro-lifers are often unfairly accused of caring only about babies. Let’s continue to demonstrate to the world that we do care for pregnant women and their children. Jesus tells us that the world will know we are His disciples if we love one another (Jn 13:34-35). Instead of focusing on why single mothers are in their current situation, let’s focus on loving them and giving them an opportunity to change their situation. And as the world watches, the Church will again be known by our love.