The sequence of these steps is not fixed. Each woman will
be unique in the way she moves through the process. Some women will have
begun their own therapeutic interventions. Others may need help beginning
their journey to healing.
steps may be helpful for a woman who would like to begin her journey to
Tell your story with all its pain
and anger. You may have to do this more than once. You may be depressed
and may carry a burden of anger that is suppressed. You may feel abandoned
by your loved ones, beginning with the father of the baby and extending
to your own nuclear family. You have permission to explore your anger.
Unresolved anger will impede your healing.
You must bring closure to your
relationship with the aborted child.
We encourage you to grieve the
loss, which may include both the loss of the child and the loss of
You must acknowledge the uniqueness
of the child lost and the meaning of that pregnancy.
Name your baby. If you are Christian,
pray a prayer of commitment to Christ or of Baptism.
Write a letter to your baby, saying
all the things you need to say. This may include asking the baby's
forgiveness, telling him/her what was going on in your life that confused
your thinking. Ritualize your loss, using symbolic objects such as
baby pictures, clothing, or whatever is meaningful to you in making
your baby more concrete. If you'd like, perform a ritual of letting
go, such as a private funeral rite. You may want to purchase something
to keep, such as a locket or a tree to remind you of the child. Writing
songs and poems or producing artwork may also helpful parts of the
healing ritual for some.
According to your faith and belief
system, you may want to establish a spiritual relationship with your
We want to help you understand that
it is necessary to forgive those responsible for and involved in your
abortion if you are to be truly free. In forgiving others you will come
to understand forgiveness for yourself.
You must come to accept God's
forgiveness and know of His great mercy and love. If you are Catholic,
seek the sacrament of Reconciliation. You will be asking God for forgiveness
and at the same time receive the grace that will aid in your healing.
You must come to forgive yourself.
Self-forgiveness is about being able to suspend self-judgment and
walk freely in the forgiveness accorded to you by God.
After experiencing healing, many
women desire to become involved in some activity that allows them
to put life-giving energy back into this world in some way.
The key questions that a woman who is struggling after an abortion has
to resolve are:
Can my child forgive me?
Can God forgive me?
Can I forgive myself?
You must remember that, as part of closure, there will be times when
you will feel sadness when you think of your child. That is normal. It
does not mean that you are not healed. Rather, those tears will be a sign
of your healing. When you are healed, the memory of the abortion and your
child won’t leave you, but, through the grace of God, it will no
longer cause you pain.
Many faith denominations are aware of the grief and hurt caused by abortion.
The Catholic Church is so very aware of the weight of the pain of abortion
that she promotes and implements Project
Rachel Post-abortion healing programs all over the country.
The Catholic Church lovingly offers this help with neither judgment nor
condemnation, offering hope and healing to the hurting.
A Message of Love and Healing
This specific Project Rachel program site is a gift to you from the Belleville
Catholic Diocese, in Belleville, Illinois.