Building the culture of life

Column: Healing, hope available to those regretting abortions

by Ron Kelsey 

Hurting continues after the abortion . . . hurting for the mother . . . hurting for the father . . . hurting for the family and friends.

Perhaps the pain is most intense for those who chose, forced or encouraged the abortion. Perhaps some can bury the pain below the surface for a period of time. But it most likely will manifest itself in some manner.

Often those involved will experience low self-esteem and a sense of unworthiness — even of God’s love. They may perceive that they cannot be forgiven. These feelings can lead to a variety of hurts, such as a history of broken relationships, sadness and depression, drunkenness, sexual promiscuity, suicidal tendencies and other maladies. 

Because we are social by nature, these hurts weave their way into the fabric of society. 

Consider the pervasiveness of these hurts due to the 50 million abortions since 1973 and the well over one million abortions occurring each year. So much pain.

How do we deal positively with this pain so as to heal society? Christ is the way, the truth and the life, and it is through his mercy that we have hope and healing. He offers forgiveness for each of our sins, including the sin of abortion, if we seek this.

The Catholic Church offers a special ministry to those who have chosen abortion. It is called Project Rachel.

Through Project Rachel, women and men are offered assistance to find the forgiveness, hope and healing offered by Jesus. It is typically very difficult for individuals to seek this assistance. Feelings of shame and unworthiness can make this a very difficult step.

Such individuals need the encouragement and support of their family and friends to take this first step of contacting Project Rachel for confidential, nonjudgmental services. There are individual or group sessions. The Bible is incorporated into these healing sessions, and the eight to ten meetings conclude with the sacrament of reconciliation and Mass. Project Rachel is offered to both Catholics and non-Catholics.

The archdiocese has been conducting a Project Rachel awareness campaign in order to help more people become conscious of this important ministry. To date, this campaign has included development of a logo, a Web site, brochures, billboards, and fundraising, among other things. This awareness campaign will continue to help spread the use of this ministry. Please help heal our broken society by encouraging, with the gentleness of Jesus, individuals to contact Project Rachel.

More detailed information about Project Rachel may be found at This site is specifically designed for those who are hurting from abortion. Individuals may also call Project Rachel at (913) 621-2199 or (888) 246-1504.

Mary, Mother of Life, pray for us.

About the author

Ron Kelsey

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