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Missouri Abortion Counseling Hotline Goes Nationwide

October 18, 2010

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - When a woman is faced with an unintended pregnancy, she may turn to a crisis counseling hotline as she contemplates her options. Reproductive health advocates say not all hotlines are the same, however.

According to the Rev. Rebecca Turner with Faith Aloud, counseling hotlines should not tell women what decision is best for them. She says the Faith Aloud hotline is unique because, along with spiritual care, women are connected to a counselor of the same denominational background as theirs.

"We have trained clergy from every different conceivable denominational and faith background. Therefore, the woman who calls us will talk to someone of her faith, not someone who's speaking a different religious language."

Involving clergy on the hotline also will reduce the stigma with abortion, Turner hopes.

"The sort of secrecy and shame that is attached to abortion in this country is very difficult for women to deal with."

Anti-choice advocates say the Faith Aloud hotline promotes abortion, but Turner says their counselors don't presume to know what decision is best for each woman. She says they have received calls from women from parts of the country they haven't heard from before since the toll-free hotline went nationwide earlier this month.

More information about the free service is available at www.faithaloud.org.

Heather Claybrook, Public News Service - MO