If you have recently had an abortion, and you are beginning to feel any of the stresses associated with it (such as guilt, depression, loneliness, an overall pain in your soul, a general feeling of heavy sadness, remorse, feeling like crying too often, a compulsion to be busy all the time, the need to escape, the drive to make up for what you did or put it right, the need for atonement and forgiveness, etc) you may find it helpful to visit one of the sites listed below from Rachel’s Vineyard Ministry or Fr. Frank Pavone’s Silent No More Ministry.
Also, a good booklet to acquire is Abortion Survivors by Philip G. Ney, M.D. and Marie A. Peeters. Booklet available from Human Life Intl. ($2.00) from the USCCB, at. Other great resources are listed there http://www.usccb.org/pro life/programs/rlp/97rlpprg.shtml
Rachel’s Vineyard Ministry
Following is a list of typical symptoms listed at the Rachel’s Vineyard site;
- Bouts of crying
- Inability to forgive yourself
- Intense grief / sadness
- Anger / rage
- Emotional numbness
- Sexual problems or promiscuity
- Eating disorders
- Lowered self esteem
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Nightmares and sleep disturbances
- Suicidal urges
- Difficulty with relationships
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Multiple abortions
- Pattern of repeat crisis pregnancy
- Discomfort around babies or pregnant women
- Fear / ambivalence of pregnancy
If you have had an abortion, and are experiencing any of the above symptoms, or anything that is similar, you may also need help to become fully healed.
The resources given below for CT, NY and NJ have many methods to help you with access to many resources.
Call them. Generally, they will invite you to a retreat weekend, where you will meet others like yourself. You will all begin to receive loving help, healings and peace. Retreat weekends are held regularly, and you can go to a retreat in your state or another state. The weekends are open to women and men, couples, grandparents and those who have been involved in the abortion industry. They also offer ways for women to help each other and stay in touch through online yahoo and e-groups. At the below sites, there are telephone numbers to call to receive the help you need. .
A new program of online communities will be launched this fall.
Rachel's Vineyard Ministries main office includes a professional staff (877 HOPE 4 ME, www.rachelsvineyard.org/media/media.htm) They train professional and volunteer facilitators and coordinate their efforts.
Here is a letter from Clarissa thanking her team for helping to create a wonderful retreat and sharing something about those who participated:
Dear Friends of the Vineyard,
What an awesome God we have! The 21st Rachel's Vineyard Retreat in the Diocese of Bridgeport was another huge success! Eleven retreatants attended, nine of whom have had abortions and two for training to be on other Rachel's Vineyard teams. Out of the nine, two were couples - one married and one not. Thirteen babies were memorialized.
This retreat was a little different in the fact that as intense as it was, it was very low-keyed. Things ran so smoothly that we were able to have two breaks on Saturday - which we are usually fortunate to get one. The retreatants were in bed much earlier than usual. We had so many obstacles before the retreat and even when we got there - that I kept thinking how much Satan is just trying to discourage us. But, the amazing thing was that this retreat was so peaceful - and all of the team was so calm...we knew that the Spirit was present with us.
There were many stories of growing up with alcoholism and of course, dysfunction in their homes. Most of the retreatants said they grew-up with religious parents and they (the retreatants) considered themselves to be religious and pro-life - that was until they found themselves in a crisis pregnancy. Some of them said they were judgmental of women who had abortions prior to they themselves getting pregnant and facing the situations they did. Lack of support was the main reasons for their choices.
Again, I cannot thank each and every one of you enough. Your encouragement and support of this ministry gives me the strength to go on - you are all guardian angels for me. From your financial donations, to baked goods, to meals, to physical help and mostly, your prayers...this would never happen without you. Thank you so much for being a part of their healing.
I'm including an e-mail I received last night so you can hear what one woman experienced. Thanks to you, these women and men become free again and can live in their relationships more fully - especially in their relationships with God:
I wanted to thank you for all you do and this wonderful ministry that you lead. It was an amazing weekend, and I truly feel like I have a new lease on life. I came home and gave my children and my husband lots of extra hugs. I think I can be there more fully for them now. It feels so good not feeling the shame. I want to say thank you so much for everything and thanks to all those wonderful people who help you with this ministry. I feel like a brand-new woman with a brand-new lease on life.
So, thanks to all of you from the bottom of my heart. Please know that you are all in my daily prayers of thanksgiving.
In His Name and Service,
Rachel's Vineyard Director
Diocese of Bridgeport
Here are the names of the babies memorialized:
Emily Suzanne, Sophia, Eric, Margaret Ann Srobhan, William Taylor, Elizabeth, John, Therese, Johanna Maria, Alexander James, Luke, Grace Elizabeth, Benjamin Robert
It’s Never Too Late:
Peace can be yours and it is never too late.
I heard a story the other date, from Clarissa Cincotta, Director to the Rachel’s vineyard, Bridgeport, CT who told me that an 80 year old woman called her, and said she wanted to do an abortion healing retreat before she died.
In one of the Gospel of Life Society meetings, Clarissa and Rachel Torres O’Leary shared their stories of abortion and the psychological and spiritual pain it inflicted. A 70-year old man raised his hand and said he felt compelled by the courage of these two ladies to tell his story too. He had been involved in an abortion when he was 24, and he has felt guilty ever since. "But", he said, “You are right. Men suffer differently – they suffer with the same regrets, but they generally keep their feelings to themselves and do not seek help.” He said he felt better after witnessing. At the end of the meeting, the men there gathered around him to offer comfort and invite him to work on projects. He has become one of the group's greater supporters.
Silent No More
Silent No More is another outstanding Resource http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/
“The Silent No More campaign gives a voice to women who have too long been ignored. Pro-life and pro-choice can agree: abortion is a tragedy, and women deserve better choices." Author and Feminist Frederica Mathewes-Green
Silent No More has an extensive awareness. “We believe that abortion should be unnecessary and unthinkable….The Silent No More Awareness Campaign addresses abortion by personal testimony that touches hearts”. They help those who have had abortions with the sharing of evidence of the damage that abortion does to women as well as men, their future children, families and those who love them. They work together to help persuade the rest of our society that women in an unexpected pregnancy deserve better help than abortion.
Silent No More generally ministers in public and private intimate group gatherings:
- Individuals share their testimony in personal, friendly and warm settings.
- Gatherings in public places nationwide where they share their testimonies of pain, regret and healings after their abortions.
- At Churches where women and men share their stories.
Hear some stories
Jennifer O’Neill - http://www.pfltv.com/testimony5110/ - Was thrilled with pregnancy – but told by boyfriend “No, have abortion” – she begged – then threats over 2 weeks (says 80% of pregnancy females are threatened) – mom also said “No” – was in denial - received many lies - believed the lies then but now says “your baby is not a blob of tissue” and “this it is not a ‘quick’ fix” – she tells of her 9 miscarriages afterward – says we were not designed to have abortions – shares her many healings from Jesus.). If you are thinking of an abortion, you might want to see the ultrasounds on this site showing that even at 8 weeks it is a baby and not a blob of tissue. Imagine, it can be born at just 21 weeks and live. See the section “Thinking of Abortion” and the posted news release on little Amillia Taylor born at 21 weeks – and doing fine!
Jonathan Flora – http://www.pfltv.com/testimony5114/ - (Talks about the excuses he made to decide on abortion – ending the relationship after the abortion (which is typical) – guilt of murder he felt afterward - trauma he experienced - and when he married and his wife had difficulty carrying the thoughts he had that God was now punishing him. Later his wife did have two lovely children.
Chuck and Linda, MO - http://www.pfltv.com/testimony5118/ - Told it was just a blob of tissue and not to worry – her mother promoted the abortion decision – how she will never forget the experience of suctioning the child out of her or bleeding that went on afterward – afterward she suffered great depression – every year mourned her babies death – through Rachel’s Vineyard she learned God would forgive her – that why she is available to tell others. Her husband offered a similar testimony – he guilt over the loss of his unborn son – and shame that he did not protect the mother of his unborn child. He regrets the fear he had and the surreal acceptance of this horrific abortion – of a baby – not just cells.
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