Birthing and Care to Join Catholic Charities as Sanctuaries for Life Program

Move continues to give pregnant women access to comprehensive and affordable prenatal care

March 30, 2011

As it approaches 20 years serving pregnant women who are at-risk of choosing abortion, the Archdiocese of Washington’s Birthing and Care program will be expanding and joining Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington under the name Sanctuaries for Life. The move will be official on Monday, April 18 when the new offices open at the Cardinal McCarrick Center at 12247 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD.

Sanctuaries for Life will continue assisting vulnerable pregnant women to secure affordable prenatal care and labor/delivery care while expanding the range of services available to help with other needs through the 78 programs of Catholic Charities. These services include emergency food and clothing, social service case management, legal assistance, medical and dental clinics, job training among many other supports. Sanctuaries for Life would also be able to assist low income families who are receiving poor prenatal diagnosis access affordable prenatal care, in partnership with the Affirming Life Initiative of the Archdiocese of Washington.

The expansion comes under the guidance of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, to ensure pregnant women, especially those facing financial hardships and other pressures, are fully supported and cared for during and after the pregnancy.

“Sanctuaries for Life represents an expansion of the great work Birthing and Care has been doing for the past 20 years in supporting abortion vulnerable women,” said Ed Orzechowski, president and CEO of Catholic Charities. “There are a myriad of challenges facing expectant mothers, and Sanctuaries for Life will be able to provide material, spiritual and community-based support through a coordinated network of providers to assure each woman is not alone in her journey during pregnancy and after.”

In addition to carrying on the work of Birthing and Care alongside the programs of Catholic Charities, Sanctuaries for Life seeks to play a collaborative role in helping abortion vulnerable women connect with providers who are already serving pregnant women in the region. This involves working with the many service providers, parishes and other concerned groups already serving pregnant women.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington helps individuals and families in need living in Washington, DC, and Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties in Maryland. Annually, more than 100,000 people receive needed support related to housing, food, legal aide, physical and mental health, and other services, regardless of race, nationality and religion. This support is delivered by 78 programs in 53 geographically diverse locations with more than 3,500 staff and volunteers. For more information, visit

Erik Salmi
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
[email protected]