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Background

"My daughter, know that My Heart is mercy itself. From this sea of mercy, graces flow out upon the whole world. No soul that has approached Me has ever gone away unconsoled. All misery gets buried in the depths of My mercy, and every saving and sanctifying grace flows from this fountain…Sooner would heaven and earth turn into nothingness than would My mercy not embrace a trusting soul."(1)

In his 2009 homily on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Benedict XVI soberly cautioned that “without the healing of souls, without the healing of man from within there can be no salvation for humanity.”(2) How essential then to the mission of the Church are the pastoral and apostolic activities that draw women and men burdened by the sin of abortion closer to God’s merciful heart. It is no exaggeration to say that the Church’s ministry of healing and reconciliation after abortion is at the heart of the Church’s mission at this time in her history.

Project Rachel—a network of healing in the heart of the Church—was founded in 1984 by Vicki Thorn, then the diocesan pro-life director for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. As a diocese-based ministry, Project Rachel is a network of specially trained priests, counselors, and laypersons who provide a team response of care for those suffering the aftermath of abortion. Depending on diocesan resources, support groups and retreats may be offered in addition to individualized care. More than 150 dioceses have programs of post-abortion ministry, most often called Project Rachel. The ministry has expanded into Canada, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, and Asia.

  • Nobody knows exactly how many women suffer the after-effects of abortion. What is clear, however, is that the more one searches, the more one finds. More research is necessary in order to bring the public the most reliable information on this critical issue of women's health.(3)

  • Some complications of abortion flow from the inherent dangers of the procedure itself. Others come from the carelessness and callousness with which it is carried out. Some women never survive a legal abortion.(4)(5)(6)

  • If all the abortions in our world stopped tomorrow, the task of healing will have only begun, and will go on for decades. The task of bringing hope, healing, and reconciliation to all who have been involved in abortion will be a more and more dominant aspect of the pro-life mission of the Church.

1Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, 1777

2https://www.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/homilies/2009/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20090629_pallio.html

3https://www.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/homilies/2009/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20090629_pallio.html

4https://www.theunchoice.com/pdf/OnePageFactSheets/PhysicalRisksSheet1.pdf

5https://www.theunchoice.com/pdf/FactSheets/RecentResearch.pdf

6https://www.theunchoice.com/pdf/OnePageFactSheets/PsychologicalRisksSheet1.pdf

Church Documents

Catechism of the Catholic Church

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