38 NZ women choose the bishop's money over abortion
38 women have accepted financial and other aid from Auckland Bishop Patrick Dunn in return for choosing against having an abortion.
The NZ Catholic reports that help has included short and long term accommodation for almost 30 women at Bethlehem House, occasional help with bill payment, and assistance with university fees.
The bishop's pledge "to any woman regardless of creed or circumstances, and without any conditions attached" was made last year in cooperation with Family Life International's Family Life Pregnancy Centre, which offers practical help in crisis pregnancy.
Thousands of phone calls followed and hundreds of women have used the centre's services in Auckland since the media publicity.
"It was the hardest choice of my life and also the best," one mother said of her decision to give birth to her child.
Another, not a Catholic, said her son will always have "Aunty Sisters", referring to the Missionaries of Charity who have been working with the centre.
Commenting on the response to his pledge, Bishop Dunn said FLI was "a tremendously important apostolate in the Auckland diocese, helping us to uphold the sanctity of human life from womb to tomb".