The 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion on demand has diminished American society, making it less caring and less welcoming, said George Weigel, a Catholic author and NBC news analyst.
Weigel, the official biographer of St. John Paul II, was the featured speaker at the fundraising gala for Mulier Care, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women in crisis pregnancies carry their babies to term and supporting them as new mothers. The gala was held on Saturday, April 16, at the Cathedral of the Incarnation’s Fleming Center.
“Ever since its beginning, America’s story has been one of hospitality to the stranger,” Weigel said. “From the European settlers arriving here in the 1600s, to immigrants coming to our shores over the past 300 years, to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and everywhere else in between, our story has been about creating an ever-expanding community of common protection and concern.
“When Roe vs. Wade was passed in January 1973, an entire class of human beings was excluded from that community of common protection and concern, and we are a lesser country for it,” Weigel said. “More than 50 million deaths later, America overall has become less welcoming, less caring, and has a lesser concern for the rule of law.”
He noted the changes in how Americans now view the role of government, and how the pursuit of sexual license has become a type of false religion.
“The pro-life cause is the Constitutional cause,” he said. “We view this country the way our founders did, that all Americans have inalienable God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nowadays though, many Americans see human beings as twitching bundles of sexual desires, and government’s role as fulfilling those desires. Many worship the false god of absolute personal autonomy, to the detriment of the most vulnerable among us.”
Weigel is a financial supporter of Mulier Care and a friend of Msgr. Christopher Nalty, a New Orleans pastor and brother of Mathilde Mellon, the founder of Mulier Care.
Catholics should treat abortion-vulnerable women with utmost respect, love, and concern, Weigel said. “Let it not be said that pro-lifers lack compassion,” he said. “We must show ourselves to be the party of compassion and mercy. As Pope Francis has stated, we’re called to be doctors in the field hospital of life. So many of us are the walking wounded, and we need to show wounded souls the truth about life and its beauty.”
Mathilde Mellon is on a mission to provide abortion-minded women with the support they need to carry their unborn children to term. The name of the organization is derived from St. John Paul II’s encyclical “Mulieris Dignitatem,” a discussion of the dignity of women. Mulier is the Latin word for women.
Mellon’s goal for the organization is to raise enough funds to buy a mobile pregnancy help center with an ultrasound machine that can offer free services to women facing unplanned pregnancies. The organization also is dedicated to offering other services to women, including: pregnancy; legal assistance; referrals for women’s shelters, support groups, health insurance coverage, and social services; educational opportunities; translation services; baby clothing and equipment; pregnancy testing; and ultrasounds.
“While other pregnancy resource centers offer wonderful services, Mulier Care develops a more substantial relationship with the woman in a crisis pregnancy, and helps eliminate any factors in the woman’s life that may discourage her decision about parenting her child,” Mellon said. “We walk with a woman throughout her pregnancy to help her become a better mother, as most of the clients we see lack an adequate support system or positive role models. We go to her wherever she is, and offer services that may seemingly be unrelated to a crisis pregnancy, but those that will ultimately make her a better provider, a better mother, and a more dignified woman.”
Mellon is most excited about Mulier’s ultrasound machine, because she knows firsthand that ultrasounds can have a dramatic impact on a woman’s decision to continue her pregnancy. “Once, I was doing sidewalk counseling, and another counselor and I were talking to a woman who was set on having an abortion. We asked if she would indulge us for just a minute. She agreed, and my friend and I told her about the help available at a nearby pregnancy resource center. She decided to go there with us, and we were there when she had the ultrasound and discovered she was expecting twins. I’ll never forget the look on her face when she saw both babies on the screen. You could tell that she had completely changed her mind,” she said. “A month before she had her babies, I was at her baby shower, and she was so excited about becoming a mom. And it was all because of that first ultrasound.”
But for now, Mellon is raising money to purchase the $180,000 bus that will bring Mulier’s services to women in need of them. “Abortion clinics don’t like it when pro-life people are on their property, but that’s OK,” she said. “We’ll find another place to park ourselves. We plan to drive through inner-city neighborhoods where abortions are most likely to happen, and set up shop there. When women see a bus with the words ‘pregnancy help center’ driving through their streets, they’ll know they can come to us if they’re in a difficult situation.”
Highlights of the gala included a showing of a video about Mulier Care and its aims, and an award ceremony recognizing local pro-life activists for their efforts in reaching out to abortion-minded women. The gala drew a crowd of 170 people.
“It was truly heartwarming to see so many pro-life advocates at our gala showing their support for Mulier Care,” Mellon said. “We thank everyone who made this happen: volunteers, donors, benefactors, everyone on the Board of Directors, and especially my mother, who came here to share in this truly amazing event. Every future client of the Pregnancy Help Center and Mulier Care will be grateful for their support.”
To volunteer to staff the Mulier Care bus or donate baby items contact Mellon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who wish to donate funds can visit Mulier Care’s website at www.muliercare.org.