The Catholic Times
July 24, 2023
"'God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called.'
These words could describe much of Margaret 'Peggy' Hartshorn’s 50 years in the pro-life and pregnancy help movement.
Hartshorn, who lives in Columbus and serves as chairman of the board of Heartbeat International, a network of pro-life pregnancy resource centers, was among those honored with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) People of Life Award on July 16...
In 1975, she and her husband, Mike, began housing pregnant women. They installed a 24/7 hotline in their bedroom to be available to help women...
'Our calling into pregnancy help started in 1975 when we housed our first girl, and it just kept gradually growing through the ’80s,' she said.
... Heartbeat International now has more than 100 full- and part-time staff members and 3,000 affiliated pregnancy help locations, which include medical clinics with ultrasounds, resource centers, maternity homes and adoption agencies in more than 80 countries worldwide...
'The best alternative to abortion is another person,' Hartshorn said. 'Women are desperate. If you can connect them with someone who will walk with them, most of the time they will choose life.'
Hartshorn recommended that individuals wanting to get involved in the pregnancy help movement utilize Walking with Moms in Need, a program developed by the USCCB Pro-Life Committee.
The program offers resources and leadership materials, available at www.walkingwithmoms.com, that equip parishioners to support mothers who are in need in their parish or neighborhood.
'It’s a way that the Church can collaborate with those already involved in Walking with Moms in Need,' she said. 'Maybe new programs are needed, but maybe what’s really needed is collaborating with programs that already exist.'...
One way parishioners can get involved is by partnering with their local pregnancy centers, Hartshorn said, to host a baby shower or volunteer at the center.
'We need to be there when they think, ‘This is the end of my life as I know it' ... When we can be there, walking with them, walking with moms in need, we can really exercise our Christian duty to be the Good Samaritan and love others as we love the Lord.'"