Regina Napolitano reminds us to honor, love, and choose life. She radiates life, appreciates life, offers life, and faith-based hope – to pregnant girls, their growing babies, their babies’ fathers, prospective parents’ parents, and the future. Her approach is novel, loving, inspired, and effective. As Roe v. Wade looks to be overturned – her vision may define America’s future.
“We help girls with a good listening ear, work to hear what their problems are, what they need, and give them the resources to work through those problems. We encourage them by finding solutions, not just telling them not to abort…We stick with them, through the whole process.”
What does she do? What is the whole process? Since 2004, she has worked to make possible a maternity home called “Breath of Life,” now located in Port Jefferson, New York.
The idea was to mentor, offer hands-on guidance, make possible what many felt impossible – bringing a child to term, learning to parent, finding a new life, helping girls finish school, get a job, make what should happen – really happen. With constancy, love, and faith, she is doing it.
In 2016, she then opened another venue, another channel of hope and understanding, rescuing not just unborn children, but their often-fretful mothers and fathers, to whom these lives are entrusted. That year, she opened “Pathway Pregnancy Services,” a pregnancy center in Islandia, New York.
The goal of these brave efforts? Regina is unhurried, thoughtful, filled with heart and faith. Patiently, she explains. “Women come in with material needs…cribs to diapers, needing childbirth, parenting and motherhood classes…many need help navigating choices, understanding their choices…they need evidence-based knowledge about what is possible, what abortion is, what does to them, to their baby’s bodies…many want to support life, but they have their reasons, they need solutions, and we provide those solutions.”
What is the outcome when love is offered, when her team steps up, provides a new life, helps care for mother and child, assist with education, support to a job, builds independence? “When we are able to do that, show them the future can be bright, we save a baby from abortion…”
How often does that happen? “From 2004, we have had many changes of heart, saved more than 20 or 25 babies, saved the young mothers too … It is about helping the mother, encouraging her, getting her on a new path,” in effect helping her to see all is not dark, to see her own growth, and to help set her on a path to raising her baby, learning how to parent.
Unlike an abortion clinic, which causes women to pay for ending the life of their child, often framing the decision as one that does not involve life, minimizing the reality, and encouraging the abortion, Regina’s approach is to honor the girl’s options, offer her a clear path forward, and give her real support, not just words but something good to hold onto – standing by her.
The concept is so refreshing, so nonjudgmental, so replete with promise, that is seems to almost invite the doubter, the worried, the fearful, the girl who wonders if she is loved, if she can do this thing, if there is a way – or if it is all too much.
To Regina, no problem is too big, no effort too much – to save mother and child. Many times, she says, a girl just wants to be understood, heard, given a way to “navigate” uncertainty, and “help to choose life.” Her pregnancy center and maternity home will do that.
Imagine, she says, concerns a girl has, where she will live, how balance her life wants and baby’s needs, find security and hold what God has given her. She may need formula with empty shelves, diapers, a stand-in family, constancy of love that others do not provide. We let her know, “have no worry, you can come and get it, we are family-minded and here for you, open to listening, spending the time to get things right, helping you get settled, make it all work.”
“A young woman came to us, crying…she had no one. We let her know we were there for her, arms of Jesus, never rejecting anyone for any reason, no judgment, no rejection…” In effect, Regina says she is there for mothers, to help them care for their baby, help them get an education, job, make a new life.” Inspired by faith, her commitment is not to dependence, but independence.“ Ours is not government funded, but relies on churches and donors…”
“Women understand they are getting a life skills scholarship, can live in the maternity home free of charge, give up government dependence, have a second chance at life…They can press reset button and start over, and life in our home is for the duration of pregnancy and a year after – to help the mother and save the baby’s life…”
“We do not kick people out while getting things together, we help them get back on their feet, give them a chance to learn cooking, resume writing, practice job interviews, finish their education, search jobs, and make it work…in the context of having faith…”
“Young women need faith, as well as transportation to doctor’s appointments, job interviews, and a future. We offer what this entails – through pregnancy and infant care, childbirth classes, breastfeeding, proper nutrition, dental hygiene, goal settings, life coaching, the full package…”
In some ways, her mission, and that of her husband who counsels fathers and helps them come along, is the love of a pioneer town or traditional neighborhood, filled with can-do and courage, infusing others with that courage, a faith lived without judging but with endless giving.
“Many of these girls need a fresh start, need tools, and we want to be able to offer those tools to them … give them the presence of a mother, allow them to rest and bond with their baby, learn to be best parents they can be…find comfort and security in job training, becoming part of the community not dependent… We want them to know that the sky is the limit…”
Awed by the magnitude of her undertaking, a vision unfolds of the post-Roe world, one in which young pregnant women have positive options, and these options involve saving their child and saving themselves, lifting themselves from fear and doubt to love and courage.
Does she have recent examples? Yes…“The young woman came in planning to abort, did not have time for a child, last year of college…child not in her plan. She said she had support of parents to keep the child and of the father, but a child was not in her plan.”
“We let her know there was a way, if her parents were willing to care for the child as she finished school, to get her parents resources…they could even take custody, these problems had solutions…”
“She then confided…she had been told she would never conceive, this was a complete surprise, she had not expected to conceive…not supposed to be possible. We talked…and then it swept her, and she cried …”
“’Yes,’ I said, ‘you are about to abort the only chance you may get to bear a child, to have a baby. You are…carrying a miracle.” Regina is filled with love. “She said to me, ‘Thank God I talked with you,’ and crying, we worked it out, her parents’ support, her future, the baby’s health …we saved her baby, she saved her baby…after she realized, she was carrying a miracle…”
That is what Regina is about, why her approach may be the way of the future. If hearts open, if hope gets the chance to blossom, if love and faith surmount fear, and a new way of thinking upends the money poured into abortions, there is new hope – for mothers and babies.
Regina is not without her worries, noting modern America will arrest someone who kills a puppy, but absence of compassion and conscience allows – in places like New York – a human baby to be killed in that baby’s ninth month, utterly horrifying.
As if to counter the goodness in Regina’s approach to life saving and hope around reversal of Roe v. Wade, Democratic legislators are pressing late term abortions, those in California pushing to legalize infanticide.
“Spiritual warfare,” is what she calls it – and one cannot help but nod. The choice is profound –modern dichotomy profoundly disturbing. When we lose our conscience, we lose it all.
Still, there are those like Regina who never give up, who help others see they are “carrying a miracle.” In this, Regina is herself advancing a “miracle.” May her light expand, with it hope, faith, and lives saved. She reminds us to honor love and choose life.
While you’re here, we have a small favor to ask…
Support Breath of Life Center Inc, an AMAC sponsored 501 (C)(3) charity. We believe in the sanctity of human life and wish to help women through education, support, and direction. Help us in our effort to “be a voice for the voiceless”!Donate Now