Bishops support motherhood empowerment symposiums

A series of "radically pro-woman" symposiums aimed at helping women to embrace pregnancy and motherhood is part of the Australian Bishops' strategy to counter abortion.

Project officer Angela Lecomber said one of the key reasons behind one in four pregnancies ending in abortion in Australia is due to women's conflicting feelings.

"We will seek to educate people to help women who are facing an unexpected pregnancy regain control over their lives," Ms Lecomber said.

The symposiums are the first phase of a major new initiative from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference to support women in motherhood, whatever their particular circumstances.

"This is a time where a woman feels uncertain about many aspects of her life - her relationship, finances, housing, study, employment, her own mental resilience and her beliefs," she said.

"So, when a woman finds herself pregnant in complex circumstances, she needs a listening ear, affirmation that she is capable of being a competent mother and non-judgmental advice. If she perceives that she is abandoned and unsupported, abortion may present itself as an attractive option."

Ms Lecomber said research shows women always have particular reasons for undergoing abortion.

"It is not the sole fact that she is pregnant, but the circumstances in which she is pregnant that present her with a dilemma," she said.

Chairman of the Bishops' Commission for Pastoral Life, Bishop Eugene Hurley, said the Walking with Love educational symposiums were a key initiative in the pastoral responses to abortion recommended by a Taskforce set up by the Bishops.

"We are wanting to be faithful to Pope John Paul II's call to the Church to become 'radically pro-woman'", Bishop Hurley said.

"The Church is wanting to be close to women, to provide them with every possible support, both practical and spiritual, in carrying their baby to full term."

The symposiums will be held in Melbourne on 1 December, Sydney 2 February, Perth, 16 February, Brisbane, 5 April, Adelaide, 26 April, Darwin 17 May 17 and Canberra, 24 May.

Empowering women to embrace motherhood the key to new educational strategy (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 26/11/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Walking With Love

Bishop says abortion figures a "national disgrace" (CathNews, 29/04/05)
Vic bishops attack abortion move (CathNews, 25/07/07)
Wilson calls on Amnesty to reverse abortion policy (CathNews, 12/09/07)

28 Nov 2007