By Emily Drooby
WINDSOR TERRACE — Pro-life organization Expectant Mother Care is preparing for a potential baby boom as couples are spending increasing amounts of time together at home.
Its founder, Chris Slattery, has been sorting through donations for moms and newborns that are facing a financial strain due to the mounting job losses caused by the pandemic.
“We’re providing many more alternatives and much more help than we have normally given,” Slattery said.
“There might be an increase in birth rates — it’s great, that’s wonderful, the church is happy that it is alive and growing with little ones,” explained, Christian Rada, the Director of Marriage, Family Formation, and Respect Life Education for the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Rada says support is essential to help women choose life, especially during unstable times.
“Families are wondering, ‘how can I support another person, another mouth to feed when I’m struggling to support myself?’ ” Rada added.
In NYC, the unemployment rate could reach 22 percent according to a report by City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who estimates another 900,000 could lose their jobs by the end of June.
If a baby boom is coming because of the pandemic, women would need immediate help, not just nine months from now, as they would either already be pregnant or will be very soon.
“What we are actually concerned about is maybe when the pregnancies are towards the early signs, like 12 weeks. That’s pretty soon now,” said Sister Magdalene Theresa of the Sisters of Life. “We are really around the corner, so we just want to be able to support those women right away.”
The Sisters of Life have been expanding their efforts to keep up with the increased need caused by the financial strains of the pandemic — delivering essentials to those in need and setting up an extensive baby registry on Amazon.
Like the Sisters of Life, Expectant Mother Care has been doing all they can to help. For months, they have gathered and distributed everything from diapers to bikes.
“It offers the essential hope because people feel, when a boyfriend abandons them, out of work fathers don’t come through, someone has to substitute, be there as their family, show there are people who care about them,” Slattery said.
Slattery estimates they’ll give out about one million dollars in goods over the next three months and says the need is greater than ever.
“We have seen a dramatic number of calls with interest in getting an abortion,” he added.
Slattery said that he could be seeing more calls because some abortion facilities have closed for the pandemic, showing just how important it is to step up for mothers during this time and help them choose life.
To read the latest updates regarding coronavirus concerns in the Brooklyn Diocese, go to https://thetablet.org/coronavirus.