In 1973, abortion on demand became legal in the United States, and the deaths of millions of unborn children followed. Many found this appalling and realized that, more than ever, something had to be done to defend the lives of these children and to provide support to women and teens facing unexpected pregnancies.
One who acted decisively was Thomas Bresler (photo above), a newly ordained deacon at Holy Cross Catholic Church in suburban Deerfield, Illinois. He accepted this challenge as his mission, and in 1977, met with a small but eager group in his living room. On October 6, 1978, Deacon Bresler along with Nancy Corbett, Penny Crowley, Mary Kraychy and Mona Lukas opened Aid for Women, a pregnancy care center in Deerfield, Illinois, to serve the needs of women in the area and to offer alternatives to abortion. In 1981, a second location was opened at 8 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s downtown Loop to confront the abortion facilities opening throughout the city.
Today, with a total of five pregnancy care centers and two residential programs, Aid for Women continues our founder’s legacy by providing compassionate care and practical support to thousands of women who are facing unexpected pregnancies each year.
Sharing our history would not be complete without noting those individuals who have generously offered their time, talent and treasure for the past forty years to support and sustain Aid for Women’s mission of serving God by promoting and defending human life. We are deeply grateful to our pregnancy care center and residential program volunteers, Vitae Corps members, Board members, Auxiliary members, Junior Board members, event volunteers, community partners and the thousands of individuals and parishes who have given their financial support.
Above all, Aid for Women acknowledges the guiding presence of the Lord, who has been with us from our simple beginnings in the Breslers’ living room. With His loving hand leading us, we will continue to maintain our strong pro-life presence in the Chicago area so that women will always know that they can find the help, guidance and unconditional love they need at Aid for Women. — From the Aid for Women 25th Anniversary Dinner Program (September 25, 2003)