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Call for neighbourhood hubs of love


Pro-life advocates in Adelaide church communities are being encouraged to create neighbourhood centres to support women experiencing an unexpected pregnancy and who may be contemplating an abortion.

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Dubbed ‘Hubs of Love’, the pregnancy help centres assist women at the local level by providing the ‘support, information and encouragement’ needed for them to make it through this challenging time.

The centres are the creation of Pregnancy Help Australia (PHA), a charity which aims to inspire and equip communities to ‘create spaces where women can receive hope-filled support throughout pregnancy and beyond’.

PHA president, Lara Malin Wynyard, was in Adelaide last month and spoke of how lay people can get involved in the pro-life movement at the local level.

“Typically, from our experience of working in a centre or working on a phone helpline, we know that the majority of women considering abortion are genuinely in need of support – financial and emotional – and also information,” she told
The Southern Cross.

“If women can find our helpline they can receive emotional support but there needs to be a centre that is local to them, that they can be connected to for ongoing companionship, hospitality, emotional support, plus the material assistance that offsets the financial need.”

Ms Malin Wynyard said the infrastructure already existed between church communities in Australia so it made sense for three or four Christian churches to join forces to create a neighbourhood hub to be manned as needed.

“We can equip people who have that call, who are feeling prompted to do something. We are there to give them some tools and the opportunity to enter the mission,” she said.

“PHA started on the lay level – you don’t have to have huge qualifications as we’re operating outside professional health providers. We will provide a training program on 101 pregnancy help – we call it the love approach!”

Ms Malin Wynyard was one of four guest speakers at the sold-out Gala for Life dinner held in Adelaide on February 21. Other speakers were local pro-life advocate and lawyer, Joanna Howe, Gala for Life founder Bridget Spinks and Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International.

This US-based organisation acts as the ‘leadership supply line’ for the growing pregnancy help movement worldwide by providing its affiliates, including PHA, with accurate information, training resources, leadership development conferences, programs and support.

Mr Godsey spoke of the changing landscape surrounding abortion in the USA following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade and the 1992 Planned Parenthood v Casey. He said during his visit he wanted to inspire hope in the hearts of Australians, “that if Roe v Wade can be overturned in America, the same can happen here too”.

“This dichotomy in our land is actually very familiar if you go back 150 years when we were talking about slave states and free states and now we’re talking about abortion states and life states. That dynamic is all new to the pro-life movement,” he said.

While the number of abortions in the USA had been decreasing for several decades, Mr Godsey said that with the removal of obstacles to chemical abortion there had been an increase in recent years.

“Our figures indicate that 70 per cent of abortions this year will be chemical abortions,” he said, adding that the need for local support centres couldn’t be overstated.

“In the US every local pregnancy help centre is supported by the local community. We have 2800 locations across the USA, these are not just the ones connected to Heartbeat but about 60 per cent of those are our affiliates.

“We don’t want someone forced into an abortion because they can’t find someone to answer their questions.”

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