"How is AOC meant to work? This is what held me up in deciding how to display the flag."
A friend/reader asked that question, and in case others wonder the same, we did so below, and also ...UPDATE 2/21/06... "Americans On Call" updates answers to emailers' FAQs this week in two new sections of their website, the news page above, and the FAQ section.
Also, two kinds of bumper stickers, pins and two kinds of T-shirts are now available (same page, scroll down, later to be added to an online ordering "merch" page). It seems they don't have the black-background symbol T-shirts or stickers for us post-abortive folk yet, but the pins are available in both. They're still working on PayPal, but one can still mail them a check.
AOC works as described on their website: "Familiarize yourself with local resources and make a list to share with other Americans on Call--family members, local churches, local schools and other organizations."
Even if they're not AOCs yet, they effectively already are, since they're providing this kind of support already and would LOVE to get the word out to more and more people who will refer those in need to finding their support.
In the above link, I gave the html code for people's sidebars that will link the symbol directly to Americans On Call's examples page, another good answer to that question.
The key is: before posting the symbol, one MUST have a list of contact groups, phone #s, email addies, etc. with which to refer any woman seeking you out for help, pre or post-abortive.
There are several lists you'll need:
1. CRISIS PREGNANCY: You can get this from a national list I put together (it's the link at the top of my personal blog, just under the symbol, entitled "PREGNANT? UPSET? SCARED? 4,800 confidential groups helping now."
2. POST-ABORTIVE: The Silent No More Awareness Campaign also has an excellent, comprehensive Post-Abortive Resource list.
If you can "view" the source code on almost any blog, you can just copy it and use it yourself. (View is on your browser toolbar, choose Source in the dropdown menu).
3. One REALLY MUST do your own research to come up with a list of resources IN YOUR OWN STATE. As I did for Connecticut.
It isn't too hard to do. Find ONE LOCAL CPC and ONE LOCAL postabortive group, and ask them who else is doing that in your state. Chances are they have such a list. Call Catholic Charities. Call your state's Right to Life group for their list. "Sign them all up" as AOCs, while you're at it!
EVEN IF YOU ONLY GET A COUPLE OF EACH IN YOUR STATE, it's better than nothing.
A priest I know suggested having the teens in the youth group program the local CPC numbers into all their cell phones. Adults can do the same, and add the local post-abortive hotlines too.
A few years ago, I'd even had "business cards" printed up to give to women out at the abortion clinic's sidewalks.
They were two sided. One side reads:
Pregnant? Upset? Scared?On the reverse side (if you can afford it):
For confidential and free pregnancy tests and help:
CALL 1-800-203-HOPE. Hopeline Stratford/Bpt.:
203-383-4385. Shelton: 203-925-WAIT. NewMlfrd:
860-350-HOPE; Danbury: 203-207-HOPE;
firstname.lastname@example.org . Outside CT: 1-800-395-HELP
Feeling sad about an abortion?This article has some other good advice on how to prepare (contact with the CPCs for example, can even be over the phone).
Call confidentially: 1-877-HOPE-4-ME
In CT: Annie – (my cell number) (my email addy)
Rachel’s Vineyard: 203-372-4301 (x314)
Also, for churches, two very similar support-provision mechanisms are:
a) The Gabriel Project, like these two churches do (not limited to Catholic churches, though some might think so), and
b) for equipping Baptist churches specifically.