Be Not Afraid

To Parents Given a Poor Prenatal Diagnosis
Elizabeth Ministers say, “Be Not Afraid.”
A prenatal diagnosis revealing the existence of a fetal defect should not be equivalent to a death sentence. 80% of the time, however, pregnancies complicated with a poor prenatal diagnosis end in abortion. It may be the detection of a heart defect, kidneys that are too small for gestation, or evidence of spina bifida or Down Syndrome, but whatever the specifics, shocked and grief-stricken parents have lost the pregnancy and the baby they had anticipated. Lacking adequate information and resources that would support carrying to term, most terminate the pregnancy.

In an effort to better encourage and support parents carrying to term following a PPD, Elizabeth Ministers in the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte are initiating a new peer service called Be Not Afraid (BNA). The primary focus of this new outreach will be to connect parents currently carrying to term with others who have done so previously. Specialized resource materials and varied types of assistance will also be provided as well as referrals to other community services and church-based ministries.  BNA will serve parents within the diocese without regard for religious background. The service will also provide information and referral for those looking for support outside of the diocese.
The availability of specialized programs of support at the time a PPD is given often extends beyond just those who decide to carry to term on their own. Parents who might otherwise choose to terminate will consider carrying to term when offered services like BNA. As such, the BNA service will provide a viable, pro-life alternative to abortion following a PPD in the diocese.
For more information regarding BNA, contact Sandy Buck at 704.948.4587 or by email at
Baby viewed in SonogramFor more information regarding other Elizabeth Ministry services, and ministry development please contact the Regional Perinatal Bereavement Coordinator, Tracy Winsor, at 704.543.4780. 
Elizabeth Ministry is an international outreach ministry designed to support women and their families during the joys and sorrows of the childbearing years. Its mission is to promote the sanctity of life, to encourage families and to build community by offering peer support in times of need. EM is based on the story of the visitation of Mary and Elizabeth which provides a profound scriptural example of faith sharing. Elizabeth Ministers serve as volunteer representatives of the faith community offering support, resources, prayers and understanding through personal contact and visits.