Vladislav Valakhovich, director of Human Life International’s affiliate in Belarus, is on a mission to end abortion. Armed with a growing network of 70 volunteers, the pro-life leader launched an initiative aimed at saving babies from abortion called ‘Weeks without Abortions.’
The ‘Weeks without Abortions’ team sets up informational exhibits celebrating life inside clinics and hospitals that provide abortions. According to Mr. Valakhovich, many gynecologists in that region actually support the program denying abortion services during that week. The program’s success is gaining momentum as more clinics host the program multiple times.
The pro-life exhibits are working exceedingly well in the nine hospitals and clinics that allow the display. Volunteers also manage more than 30 stands, keeping them filled with pro-life and pro-family educational materials. The program has increased calls for counseling to the HLI affiliate’s crisis pregnancy hotline.
With an estimated 27,000 abortions committed in Belarus in 2012, the initiative dovetails well with legislative changes enacted to restrict abortion in 2013. The restrictions also include limiting late termination of pregnancies for social reasons.
“One of the changes supports the conscience clause which allows gynecologists the opportunity to refuse to commit abortions. They now have additional support to uphold the sanctity of life and family,” said Mr. Valakhovich.
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While ending abortion is the primary focus, Valakhovich spearheads programs that support healthy marriage and families with a complete approach to the pro-life issues. HLI in Belarus not only fights against abortion but promotes traditional family values through many programs: daily prayer at abortion clinics, pro-life messages in advertising, lectures, natural family planning courses and counseling, and hotline counseling. He says it’s an opportunity to share the truth about the dangerous contraceptive mentality which leads to abortion and IVF.
“I pray our initiatives will continue to save babies and families — and change the decades-old abortion mentality in this post-communist country to one that embraces the sacredness of all human life,” he said.
Reprinted with permission from Human Life International.