FRANCE, Aug. 9 ( – Controversy continues over the French government’s recommendations to increase access to abortion by allowing teenagers to have their babies killed without first seeking parental consent, and by allowing a longer period after conception 12 weeks instead of 10 during which unborn babies can be legally destroyed.

Instead of dealing with the developments in a strictly academic fashion, a number of Catholics, both bishops and laymen, have decided to take action, providing services for pregnant women in need. The hope is that such practical action will reduce the perception that expanded abortion services are necessary. One example of this action, according to Zenit news, is “Mother of Mercy, an initiative of the ecclesial Community of the Beatitudes, which hopes to support women who are contemplating abortion or who have undergone an abortion, and propose to Christian volunteers the necessity to pray for them.”

The Alliance for the Right of Life has linked the French proposals to the recent population control discussions at the U.N. during the Cairo+5 conference: “One of the objectives of the rich countries consisted in allowing minors access to contraception and abortion without parental consent. A few weeks later, [Labour Minister] Martine Aubry is trying to make this proposal pass into French law.”