What If There Were Alternatives to Abortion?

Of course, there are alternatives to abortion. But what if they were promoted instead of the more profitable choice? What if Planned Parenthood, instead of hiding their true profit center with the offer of free pregnancy tests, something available at every crisis pregnancy center, instead offered free maternity clothes to women in need? What if, instead of emphasizing the cost of having a baby, the National Abortion Foundation offered baby food and clothes, or even shelter, to new mothers? What if, instead of covering birth control and abortions free of charge (as many have started doing under Obamacare), insurance companies fully covered birthing costs and treatments? Wouldn’t this make the alternatives to abortion much more attainable?


This is the mission of HLI’s Romanian affiliate’s new Mater Misericordia house, which welcomed Maria Anastasia into the world on July 6th. Maria Anastasia is the third child to be born at Mater Misericordia since they opened their doors in January to pregnant women seeking shelter.

Real Alternatives to Abortion

HLI Romania started in 2003 as a prayer vigil group outside of the abortion clinic in Timisoara. The group was called Asociatia Darul Vietii (Gift of Life Association). With Gerda Chisarau and Father Ioan as directors, Darul Vietii soon began counseling on the sidewalks in front of the clinic. As they suspected, many women wanted alternatives to abortion but could not afford to give birth to a child, much less feed and clothe one.

Darul Vietii’s mission expanded due to demand. They began to offer women maternity and baby clothes, food, diapers, medicine, treatment, and even firewood. When a single mother of six came to them in danger of losing her house, Darul Vietii took on her rent.

A Home for Mothers

Two years ago, Gerda Chisarau, executive director of HLI Romania, was collaborating with a similar group in Switzerland that has been supportive of Darul Vietii. The Swiss group “Yes to Life” asked Gerda what HLI Romania does to help pregnant women with nowhere to live. Gerda replied that, although Darul Vietii had solutions to many problems, providing housing was not one of them. Yes to Life suggested building a house for mothers, where women could stay safely and free of charge if they had no other option. With the help of Yes to Life, Darul Vietii bought Mater Misericordia house.

The house welcomed its first mother in January 2016. In March, she gave birth to twins. Several women have passed through Mater Misericordia this year, and the house is becoming busier as the word gets out. Mothers are welcome to stay as long as they need to. The staff at Mater Misericordia participates at each birth with great joy, thanking God for the opportunity to save another life.

Funding for Darul Vietii’s Work

Such great work, of course, requires financial backing. The Swiss foundation provides the house with some funding, but HLI Romania relies on God for the rest.

And God is very good. Darul Vietii successfully provides about 15 to 20 women with care and supplies each month, and Mater Misericordia houses anyone who comes to them. By the grace of God, HLI Romania will continue to provide women with alternatives to abortion for as long as they possibly can.


About HLI Staff

HLI staff writers bring you stories from the mission field and the latest information on life and family issues. All HLI articles are true to Catholic teaching.


  1. Deacon Wayne Lickteig on November 21, 2016 at 12:57 PM

    It is a shame that young people, both young men and women fall for the propaganda of Planned Parenthood that they should be able to have sex whenever they want and should use contraceptives to avoid a pregnancy. Since contraceptives often fail, a pregnancy occurs, then follows the usual abortion. The only solution to this is that young people should practice chastity until marriage and this teaching should be done by parents.

    • Betsy on December 13, 2016 at 10:56 AM

      I agree 100%. I went to a Catholic high school in the early 2000’s. The education we received on sexuality and reproduction consisted of watching a birth video. They rarely tapped into the abstinence conversation. There was one occasion in the ninth grade where they brought in a speaker who told us that sex gave us diseases but never told us about other repercussions. No whatever had a conversation linking sexual activity and teenage pregnancy and abortion and the emotional pain that all of it causes. Parents weren’t really talking about it either because a lot of them were using contraception anyway. So as you can imagine about 70% of that high school was sexually active as teenagers. Sadly no one ever made connections for us. It was as if everyone who was an adult around us assume that someone else was going to teach us about it. Unfortunately that teacher ended up being movies and pornography and other teenagers who wanted to be sexual. I’m raising my children in the Church always taken the stance that complete abstinence until marriage is the only appropriate way to use sexuality. I feel sad for some of the outcome of the people I graduated high school with. when you’re not in line with Christ’s teachings you’re in for misery!

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