Evidence of post-abortion trauma is increasingly attested to by psychologists, counselors and those involved in post-abortion ministry. We now know, for example, that women hurt by abortion may have some or many of the following symptoms:
Some, especially young girls, experience symptoms soon after the abortion. Counselors tell us, however, that it is more common for the symptoms to occur over the course of five to twelve years after the abortion before a woman seeks help.
Project Rachel is the name of the Catholic Church's healing ministry to those who have been involved in abortion. Its name comes from Scripture:
In Ramah is heard the sound of moaning,
of bitter weeping!
Rachel mourns her children,
she refuses to be consoled
because her children are no more.
Thus says the LORD:
Cease your cries of mourning,
wipe the tears from your eyes.
The sorrow you have shown shall have its reward...
There is hope for your future.
Project Rachel operates as a network of professional counselors and priests, all trained to provide one-on-one spiritual and psychological care for those who are suffering because of an abortion. Although most dioceses use the name Project Rachel, some programs are named differently. In addition to individualized counseling, some programs include support groups and retreats. Founded in 1984 by Victoria Thorn in Milwaukee, today Project Rachel programs can be found in 140 Catholic dioceses in the United States, as well as in dioceses in other countries.
A single phone call to a Project Rachel program (see map--LINK) puts you in touch with those who can help. Also, the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing (NOPARH) sponsors a nation-wide referral service for those seeking help after abortion. For a referral contact NOPARH at 800.5WE.CARE, or access its website at www.marquette.edu/rachel.
In addition, Rachel's Vineyard is a retreat program which helps those suffering after abortion in a group setting, usually over a weekend. Retreats often are sponsored by local Project Rachel offices, as well as counseling centers and retreat houses. For information or retreat schedules contact www.rachelsvineyard.org or call 1-877-HOPE-4-ME.
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Post-abortion trauma is so very real, yet continues to be pooh-poohed by "experts" (such as Planned Parenthood and their supporters). I've worked with recovering alcoholic women and it's amazing how often a past abortion has strongly contributed to their addiction problems and also kept them so deep in guilt, sorrow and shame that they lost all sense of worth in the eyes of God. Good links to Project Rachel! Maybe someone is out there waiting to hear that.