Birds fly near a statue of an angel holding a cross, the symbol of the city, at sunset in Stavropol, Russia in this Nov. 2010 file photo. (CNS photo/Eduard Korniyenko, Reuters)
Birds fly near a statue of an angel holding a cross, the symbol of the southwestern city, at sunset in Stavropol, Russia in this Nov. 2010 file photo. Angels in the form of donors, including from the U.S., have saved at least 1,000 babies in Eastern Russia from abortion simply because their mothers lacked medical funds (CNS photo/Eduard Korniyenko, Reuters).

I ran across the following update printed a few weeks ago in the bulletin for St. Henry Parish in Buckeye:

Notes from Vladivostok Mission: 1,000 Babies

Earlier this year [meaning 2012], the pro-life community in Southeast Russia celebrated a significant milestone. It was the birth of a baby boy, Denis Maltsev. What as so important about little Denis? He was the 1,000th baby brought into this world through the efforts of the Adopt-a-Birth program in Vladivostok.

The Adopt-a-Birth program is the brainchild of Fr. Myron Effing, CJD. It allows donors to help cover the basic medical expenses of Russian women who have chosen not to abort their children. The program works through the Church’s network of pro-life centers.

It may take several more years, but center staff will look forward to welcoming the 2,00th baby one day. For info on this program and how you can support is, go to

Here is a very simple page about the Adopt-A-Birth program through the Mary Mother of God Society. It reports that as little as $20 covers delivery of a medication packet (pain medication, antibiotics, sutures, cleansing preparation) for mom and baby.

The Women’s Support Centers page offers a fuller picture including testimony of a mother’s journey. Frs. Myron Effing and Daniel Maurer opened the first center, a novel concept in the Russian Far East, 15 years ago.

Before that, they translated and published the booklet “The Early Church Fathers and Abortion” from the American Life League.  Since then, they have published a variety of Russian-language materials on fetal development and have arranged for training of pro-life counselors.

Their efforts are changing hearts. Aside from the 1,000 babies brought to life outside of the womb, there was a “Doctors Against Abortion” program in 2005 which netted a “no abortion” day and one local gynecologist, after reading the priests’ pro-life literature, announced that she had decided to stop performing abortions altogether.

The mission also operates a Project Guardian Angel program. Donors support parents post-delivery and receive updates on the children’s progress. Some guardian angels help prevent  children from poor families from being sent to an orphanage for their upbringing.