As a mother of one struggling to put food on the table, Tee’aira Adams, 30, said when she became pregnant a second time, abortion was “one of the options that I considered taking.”
“You don’t think your child will have everything that they need,” she said. “And that’s why abortion is such a big deal for most families, because you don’t want to bring another life into the earth if you can’t provide for that life.”
But she didn’t follow through with that option. Instead, she gave birth to a set of twins: Emorie and Sabrina, joining their older sister, Jasmine.
What changed for Tee’aira? She attributed it to her connection to Caring Network — a ministry dedicated to serving mothers in need and supported by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Kalamazoo — which she first encountered during her first pregnancy.
When Tee’aira was considering abortion, Caring Network staff told her she had other options if she carried the pregnancy to term, such as adoption.
“With them saying no matter what I choose, I would still have their support, that really helped and it gave me comfort and I decided to keep my children,” she said.
Caring Network is one example of how the Catholic Church, through its social service providers and parish-based ministries, accompanies mothers through pregnancy, birth and parenthood. The Church has a heart for both mother and her baby because all human life is sacred and should be protected from conception to natural death.
That heart for mothers and babies isn’t just talk: Catholics are continually helping mothers in difficult situations. At Caring Network, physical needs — food, clothes, and more — are available to mothers. There’s a shower, bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room free for use, along with a pantry with maternity and children’s clothes, hygienic products, and cleaning supplies.
But support is not limited to material needs. Caring Network offers childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting classes. When Tee’aira walked into Caring Network for her first pregnancy, she said, “I didn’t know what I was going to do … how do you take care of a baby?” But with their support, “I was able to learn, OK, what does it take to be a good mother?”
Many Catholic Charities across Michigan offer direct services to mothers, whether it’s pregnancy counseling, baby supply pantries, or helping place children through adoption.
For Tee’aira, Caring Network has “done everything” to help meet her needs. When they arranged child care so she could complete job training, “I cried, because I was so grateful,” Tee’aira said, who is now in cosmetology school and running her own small business.
With the prospect that the Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade and limit access to abortion in many places — including Michigan — fear and anger has reverberated across the country.
But with safe-delivery laws, adoption, pregnancy resource centers, and assistance from agencies that provide necessities for mom and baby, every pregnant woman should know there is a community of compassion waiting to help her.
While pregnancy can be overwhelming, women never need to face it alone. That’s a commitment the Catholic Church, local Catholic agencies, and pregnancy resource centers offer to mothers.
Note from MCC: This conversation with Tee’aira was part of larger piece on how Catholics in Michigan walk with mothers in need, published by Michigan Catholic Conference in its quarterly FOCUS publication. Click or tap here to read the full publication online.
Jacob Kanclerz is a former reporter with MIRS News. He’s now a Communications Associate for Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.