In January each year, the four Kentucky dioceses collaborate for a state-wide “second collection” in support of Opportunities for Life. With the funds collected, each diocese has made an annual financial contribution to support the statewide operations of Opportunities for Life, which has primarily carried out that mission through the operation of a toll-free telephone hotline. Trained volunteers staffed the hotline 24 hours a day, and were equipped to offer callers support, encouragement, hope and information as well as referrals to local, trusted pregnancy and adoption service providers who provided a variety of pregnancy support services as an alternative to abortion.
After careful consideration, the bishops have determined that operating the OFL hotline is no longer the best stewardship of funds collected in support of the mission to promote a pro-life culture in Kentucky, in the hopes of reducing (if not eliminating) abortions in the Commonwealth.
In 2019, the dioceses will continue to coordinate a statewide January collection in support of Opportunities for Life. However, each diocese will adopt its own plan to use OFL funds collected within the diocese as best will serve the needs of pregnant women in crisis, in light of specific needs and other supports available within that community.
In the 1980s, operating a hotline was a wise, efficient and accessible way to offer support to a woman who found herself dealing with an untimely pregnancy. At that time, pregnant women had fewer options for support, and fewer ways to access information about the resources available to them. Undoubtedly, many lives were changed and indeed saved through the devoted effort of OFL volunteers over the decades.
In recent years, changes in technology have altered the ways in which people choose to communicate and seek out information. Although the OFL ministry has made adaptations to keep up with these changes, by adding a texting option and social media presence, it is increasingly difficult and costly to keep up with changes in technology. Also, over the past three decades, many resources have been established to support women in crisis pregnancy situations, such as several pregnancy resource centers across the state and national pregnancy help hotlines. Now these resources can be easily found through internet searches.
The Opportunities for Life website will continue to be accessible for the foreseeable future to publicize this decision and provide an online directory of Kentucky-based assistance.
Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D.
Archbishop of Louisville
Roger J. Foys, D.D.
Bishop of Covington
John Stowe, OFM Conv., D.D.
Bishop of Lexington
William F. Medley, D.D.
Bishop of Owensboro