Post 99

Spring Campaign: Reflections on Financial Support for Expectant and New Mothers

I think anyone reading the last post would see ample ways to support a woman who has decided to keep her baby. One of these is financial.

LifeSiteNews has gotten fund-raising down to a fine art.

I went online just now. I wonder how many days, out of 365, there are where LifeSiteNews is NOT raising money.

Just now I see, on the top banner, “Hurry! Only 3 days left. Donate today. Your donation supports hard-hitting news reporting on life and family issues. Support our Spring campaign today!”


I leave the tab open a little longer. Soon, a big red pop-up appears, big and blocking the middle of the screen. It says, “Hurry! Only 3 days left. Can you donate just $5? $114,843 to go!” I see a bar graph.

Now it’s 5:41 p.m. MST. LifeSiteNews must have gotten some more cash. The number has changed. “$114,503 to go!” So in less than 5 minutes, LifeSite got $843-503 = $340 US dollars. I think.

That’s pretty good. I wonder what the rate is, per minute. The nice thing about an online website is that it can generate cash worldwide, 24 hours per day.


I’m thinking about money. Women who are raising their babies with very little support could use the funds. Rent money and groceries are a first priority.

I wonder if pro-life work should be ever be the basis for a career or even the basis for a vocation.

There’s something wrong with this whole situation.


It seems to me that it wouldn’t be that big a deal to make some sort of a sponsorship program online to raise funds for women who want this kind of support. We do it for those who live in foreign countries.

EfficientOne could build such a website in less than a day. Then it wouldn’t be that big a deal to line up sponsors with women who would like to be sponsored. Instead of donating for reporters to report (a lot of the stories are, well, rather on the useless side if you get right down to it), I’d rather see my funds going directly to the women who are in the trenches themselves.

The body of a pregnant lady works like a LifeSiteNews website, doesn’t it?

24 hours a day, it is alert and working.

Well, I suppose the similarity ends there.

You can’t even compare.

(Inside the body of this pregnant lady, over the space of 24 hours, limbs are being strengthened, a heart is developing, lungs are getting stronger, eyes are getting cute baby eyelashes. Baby’s getting ready for birthday, oh yes.)

[LifeSiteNews says, at 6:03 p.m. MST (“$114,358 to go!”) ]

When I look at the LifeSiteNews website itself, I see that income is being generated by advertising. I don’t know how much, but money is coming in that way as well.

I also see an immodest image of a woman’s full pregnant belly. The image certainly doesn’t encourage me to want to be pregnant anytime soon. It’s just the bare belly, nothing else. No head or face. Not exactly uplifting or beautiful. A disembodied woman is what it is. Show me instead a photo of a fully dressed woman, smiling with the emphasis on her face and eyes. Don’t zoom in on the distended belly button. That’s not, um, well, the image I’d put to represent me on LinkedIn, for example. I’d rather be recognized as a woman who is pregnant, not a pregnancy without a woman, which is what LifeSiteNews has managed to do here.

Anyway, I’m wondering how many people would be left at LifeSiteNews if nobody were collecting any money. How does it work over there anyway? Paycheques? Volunteers? A mix of both?

If I had my way, I’d say to the folks at LifeSiteNews, hey, starting April 21st, we’re going to make this a strictly volunteer organization. Nobody is going to collect a dime.

Would anybody be left?

I think some might stay. And for every person who leaves, I bet you’d be able to find someone who would step forward, if they knew that the website was going to cease being quite so self-serving and begin a useful resource to the women who need help now.

After all, if I am really stuck trying to make ends meet, it will do me little good to know that somewhere, someplace, there’s a reporter out there interviewing so-and-so about such-and-such.

It just seems like a lot of misplaced energy and misplaced money.

I think everyone needs to stop making any money from abortion.

Those who own abortion clinics, if this blog reaches them, should know that others are reading, and that abortion may be under attack in a new way. They might decide that it may be more profitable to sell the clinic in April than in July, and they may want to get out of the business themselves, before they’re looking for some little red heart in the want ads. In other words, if times have changed enough that a wordy and non-flashy blog is actually capable of circulating widely, then it’s time to sit up, take notice, and be ahead of the curve.

Similarly, on the “good” side, people shouldn’t necessarily be putting food on the table with money earned from reporting on a problem when funds could go towards solving that same problem.

Or am I missing something?

[LifeSiteNews says, at 6:36 p.m. MST (“$114,183 to go!”)]

The photo-slider on LifeSiteNews moves between three kinds of images. All of them have to do with Mother Angelica. Yes, I’ve heard of her, but I can’t tell you which religious order she joined.

Tell me which of these key stories are actually going to help my friend who needs to buy a baby car seat in order to do the trip home from the hospital:

1. Someone called Father Pavone has done a moving tribute to someone called Mother Angelica
2. Someone named Mother Angelica died on Easter Sunday
3. Someone named Raymond Arroyo has something nice to say about Mother Angelica

I don’t know much about any of these people. Am I supposed to? Does my lack of knowledge about these must-be-famous folks mean that I’m not a good Catholic or not a good pro-lifer?


Well then, let’s move on.

Was there no other way for me to learn about Mother Angelica’s death and how much some other people want to talk about her, other than via LifeSiteNews? I need LifeSiteNews to be around so that I can learn things like this?

Seems like LifeSiteNews is becoming more than a few steps removed from doing what it’s supposed to be doing.

I’m saying that this is not a good use of pro-life funds. I have contributed to LifeSiteNews in the past, and I was one of the fortunate ones who received a thank-you call to my home for my donation. Perhaps it was Mr. Westen himself. Maybe it was one of the other ones. I can’t remember now, but I remember I recognized the name at the time. We spoke briefly and I fell for it. In other words, I donated even more.

Like I said, these guys know every technique about extracting extra funds from the same group of people.

Why not put that know-how and infrastructure into helping the mothers? But don’t make money from it. I don’t think either side should be raking in the dough.

Those who are willing to stay doing this work without prestige and without profit will be good candidates for staying online as a source of genuine help to women in need. Choose from that pool of people.

Additionally, I suppose local groups could be started.

The truth is, there are people in this world who have life circumstances (independent means of support, a quick brain and the time) to run such a program. Volunteers are everywhere in this world. Many of them are hungry for more responsibility but their time is going to running the beer tent at the local fringe festival.

I wonder how many people would volunteer to take over these LifeSiteNews positions if you were to make them over into volunteer positions.

[LifeSiteNews says, at 7:04 p.m. MST (“$114,008 to go!”) ]

You’d have to rename it, and those who are left who are clever will be in charge of figuring out how to set everything up as a way of sponsoring the women who want it.

It could be a really cool website. Women could upload a photo image (preferably of something they think that looks pretty and uplifting – I think it’d be better not to use an image of themselves or of baby) and the need could be stated.

I’m imagining a fun page with tiles. Click on the tile, and you’ll see the need. Click on “Sort” and the needs will be sorted by cost, date or urgency.

Don’t be cynical. If you’re ready to believe that John Henry-Westen and his gang need $114,000 within three days, then maybe you’ll believe that Lindsay from New Brunswick needs $114 for groceries by Friday. But nobody would be forcing you to believe.

No system is foolproof. I can’t guarantee the system wouldn’t be abused, but by the same token, I can’t tell you what was done with the funds that I’ve sent in, over the years, to LifeSiteNews. (All I can say, is that they seem to be bigger, yet needing more money than ever before.)

In time, I would hope, however, that our culture would change sufficiently that it is considered unthinkable to turn a blind eye to the pregnant lady who might have outstanding and still-unmet needs. I would hope that people would become eager to play an active part in supporting any woman who is expecting, to treating her as a special treasure of society. After all, she is raising the next generation of our nation. She is giving from her very own flesh to do it, 24 hours a day.

Surely we can do something to help her along.

[LifeSiteNews says, at 7:51 p.m. MST (“$113,853 to go!”)]

Well, LifeSite, I’ve been with you for about 2 hours now.

You’ve earned $1,000 USD.

I’ve earned zero.

But hey – on the plus side, that’s Post 99.