Crisis pregnancy centre opens in Argentina shanty town

Crisis pregnancy centre opens in Argentina shanty town Opponents of a measure to expand legal abortions hold a banner with a message that reads in Spanish: "Yes To Life", during a demonstration outside Congress, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in August.

A new crisis pregnancy centre in Buenos Aires will welcome women facing difficult pregnancies, offering resources, counselling, and medical support.

The ‘Home of the Motherly Embrace’ is being opened in response to a July proposal by a group of priests who work in the poorest areas of the cities. The goal is to meet the needs of pregnant women living in shanty towns without basic utilities such as electricity or running water.

Creators of the home hope to show the Church’s committed response to defend both the mother and the unborn child. They hope to open up additional homes in the future.

The Home of the Motherly Embrace is located in the former catechetical centre of the Sacred Heart of Jesus parish and in the Don Orione Neighbourhood. Women will be offered food, healthcare, psychological support, legal aid and counselling during their pregnancy and their babies’ first years, up to the start of early childhood education.

The home will also seek to facilitate access to government maternity policies and programmes and if needed, the process of adoption through the legal system.

The plan for the crisis pregnancy centre arose amid a legislative push to legalise on-demand abortion up to 14 weeks gestation, and through the ninth month of pregnancy on the grounds of rape, if doctors deem the mother’s life or health to be endangered, or if the baby receives a diagnosis of non-viability.

Although the bill was ultimately rejected by the nation’s senate, the fierce debate surrounding it divided Argentinian society and highlighted the need to offer additional resources to women facing difficult pregnancies.