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OPINION

It's Our Job to Support Mothers and Save Lives

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Alex Brandon

“That’s not my job.”

 A few months ago, I traveled from Tampa to LAX. If you’re at all familiar with the airport in Los Angeles, you know it’s pretty crowded, and if you’ve ever traveled with a baby before, you know it can be stressful.

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 After a 5-hour flight, we got off the plane and waited for the baby’s stroller to be brought to the jetway. After standing on the tarmac for almost forty-five minutes with our carry-on luggage, a tired baby in my arms, and no end in sight, I finally asked for help. You won’t believe the answer I was given.

“That’s not my job.” 

As I stood there, clearly struggling with my daughter, he said again “Sorry, that’s not my job.”

In fact - he went on to say that he had seen the stroller on the ground outside and chose to leave it there, because it wasn’t his job to bring it up. Then, he walked away. At that moment, I felt overlooked, overwhelmed, and alone.

Before 2020, I worked a typical 9-5 climbing the corporate ladder – rushing my older kids off to daycare by 8 am and being the last to pick them up at 6 pm. Now, like many other working mothers, my office is at home, allowing me to attend children’s activities in a way I couldn’t have before. By far the best perk of my current role is the ability to travel cross-country alongside my youngest child.

Although it may sound challenging, the experience has been life-changing and fulfilling in a way I could have never imagined. The greatest lesson I’ve learned is that I need to accept help. Everyone does. And we all must be willing to provide it.

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My experience at LAX was nothing more than an inconvenience. The encounter prompted me to reflect on the tremendous pressures mothers face every day as they raise their children. Unfortunately, feeling alone and overwhelmed is a common thread in our communities for mothers, whether they’re raising a family, or facing an unplanned pregnancy. That’s why so many mothers see abortion as their only option. It begs the question: will we make it our job to help mothers in need?

This past Mother’s Day, tear-jerking commercials boasted how special moms are and how much they do. But outside of one day per year - do we really reach out to help them? Though we’re highly capable, all mothers need help - both during pregnancy and after a child is born – and can’t be overlooked. They must not feel alone in their role.

This is our job – to willingly help these women. We owe it to them and their babies to go out of our way to offer loving, generous, and unending support.

Many may not realize this, but most communities have pregnancy centers that help millions of mothers with care, many of them at no charge. In just one year, U.S. pregnancy centers alone provided ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, diapers, clothing, and car seats, among other supplies and services, at an estimated value of nearly $270 million dollars. They also serve mothers by offering free counseling services, life management classes, temporary housing, and so on. What’s more inspiring? They save lives. It has been reported that over a five-year period, more than 800,000 lives were saved as a result of women’s visits to pregnancy centers operating nationwide.

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They're doing their job… now we need to do ours.

We can no longer be ambivalent, such as the airline worker I encountered. We can’t just pass mothers by. Instead, by loving both the mother and her child, we can truly show them that they are not alone and that they are, in fact, surrounded by support and encouragement.

Donate items, be a mentor to a young mom, or personally volunteer at a life-affirming pregnancy resource center. Be there to listen and empathize with their daily struggles. Offer to babysit, provide transportation assistance, or invite them over to join your family for the holidays. Even bringing over a simple home-cooked meal or running a 5-minute errand for a single mom could mean the world. By loving them both, we can overwhelm our culture with love for mothers, fathers, and children.

It is my job. And it is your job.

Back at LAX, I was finally able to get my daughter’s stroller. Guess who went and got it for me?

The pilot. 

He took off his navy blue and gold hat, put on an orange vest, and went down to bring it up for me. Then, he smiled and played with my little one while I got us settled. It certainly wasn’t his job to do that, but he did it anyway – lovingly, and with a willing heart. 

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We can no longer pass by these women and children who need us the most. We must not overlook them. We must lovingly and willingly support them. Let’s make it our job, and we can start right here today.  Every one of us can think of a mother who needs our help. Make it your job to reach out today.

Kimberly Bird is the Vice President of External Relations of Live Action - a national human rights organization dedicated to ending abortion and building a culture of life. 

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