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Help us rescue with love Kansas moms in need

Debra Niesen is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office.

by Debra Niesen

With Valentine’s Day just behind us, love is still in the air!

The 1,500 students and adults who attended IGNITE for Life in Topeka last month are likely still thinking about the stories of love we heard. “Rescue with Love” was the theme, and each speaker shared how they were rescued with love in different ways. Hear their stories online and how they’re paying it forward at:

IGNITE for Life is a pro-life and pro-love educational rally and Mass that proclaims the beautiful “Gospel of Life” message. The “Gospel of Life” is the ultimate love story — each of us was created by a God who loves and willed us into being and that every person, no matter what we look like or what we can do, has infinite value and worth, so much so that Jesus died on the cross for us.

This message inspires us to love and defend all life, and in January, we specifically prayed for vulnerable unborn children and women at risk of being harmed by abortion.

Sadly, the number of abortions is skyrocketing in Kansas — from 6,916 in 2019 to an estimated 20,000 abortions in 2023 according to the We Count Report from Oct. 16, 2023.

Instead of responding with a shrug, we must respond with love!  It sounds clichéd, but it’s really the only way we can change those numbers, since in Kansas, we can now do little to protect through laws.

We should look at last year’s abortions as 20,000 cries for help.  We know the majority of women who “choose” abortion don’t actually want one, but feel they have no choice due to lack of support, pressure or other challenging circumstances.

So what can we do?  We can do what people boldly and courageously did for our three IGNITE speakers to love them toward life:

• Melissa Ohden shared her unique story as someone who survived an abortion as a preborn child.

• Maddie Martinez faced an unplanned pregnancy as a young, single woman. The encouragement and support Maddie received changed her life forever and led her to choose life for her baby.

• John O’Leary nearly died from a fire explosion at age 9, and now possesses one of the greatest gifts of all ­— perspective. His powerful testimony teaches that life is a precious gift to be used for good.

Incredibly, during the IGNITE event, our Gabriel Project pregnancy ministry was working hard to help a local, homeless pregnant woman in need. After covering two nights in a hotel, they helped with an Uber to an affordable apartment appointment, and by the end of the night, had delivered blankets, a mattress, food, gift cards and other basic supplies for this grateful woman.

This is Walking With Moms in Need . . . with love.

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Debra Niesen

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