"The Church's first duty is to approach [those suffering after an abortion] with love and consideration, with caring and motherly attention, to proclaim the merciful closeness of God in Jesus Christ.."
(Pope Benedict XVI, 2008 )
Since abortion was legalized in the United States in 1973, more than 50 million children have died in this way. On average, more than 3,000 abortions are performed each day in the United States; but unborn babies are not the only victims. Mothers, fathers, siblings and extended family members all suffer from this loss. For many, the experience is devastating, causing severe and long-lasting emotional, psychological and spiritual trauma. \
A woman who has experienced an abortion may suffer the symptoms of this trauma such as: guilt and shame; depression and low self-esteem; fear that God will punish her; abortion- related nightmares or flashbacks; deep anger; sexual dysfunction; or alcohol and drug problems. It is not uncommon for the father of the aborted child or other family members to experience similar symptoms.
The Church reaches out in compassion and forgiveness to all those suffering the effects of abortion. Project Rachel is a confidential, post- abortion ministry operated by the Department for Pro-Life Activities in collaboration with Catholic Social Services. Callers are referred to priests and/or counselors who are prepared to respond to the particular needs common to those who have experienced or been involved with an abortion. The Referral Line (215-587-5640) is manned Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All calls are confidential.
For more information on Project Rachel and post-abortion syndrome, visit the Project Rachel website.
Post-abortion healing and help are also available though Rachel's Vineyard Retreats . These weekend retreats are held throughout the year in many locations locally, nationally, and internationally. They provide a safe and caring environment in which participants can process their experiences and feelings with others who understand and share their journey. For more information, a list of sites and dates, or to register for a retreat, visit www.rachelsvineyard.org or call 1-877-HOPE-4-ME.
Help and resources for women experiencing a crisis pregnancy are available free of charge 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This program is administered by Catholic Social Services. Crisis Pregnancy 24-Hour Hotline: 1-800-CARE-002