U.S. bishops approve first national hire dedicated to post-abortion recovery ministry
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 13, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In the Tuesday morning session of its annual General Assembly, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved the hiring of its first full-time staff member for Project Rachel. The post-abortion support ministry, founded in 1996, will fund the staffer through a grant provided by the Knights of Columbus.
“Over the past several years, diocesan interest in the expansion of post-abortion healing ministries has dramatically increased,” said Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the USCCB. “Through the ongoing generosity of the Knights of Columbus, we have the opportunity to dedicate a portion of our current and longstanding grant from the Knights to fund the staff position dedicated to Project Rachel Ministry…”
Project Rachel, which was founded in 1984, provides prayer, support, and healing for those suffering from abortion. Demand for its services is increasing, said O’Malley, who told the General Assembly that Project Rachel’s website gets “over five million hits per year.”
The staff position was approved in a 225-9 vote.
Numerous studies show that abortion can lead to a wide variety of negative emotional, spiritual and physical effects, including heightened risk of alcoholism, thoughts or commissions of suicide, breast cancer, and even death in future pregnancies.
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One woman named “Brenda” recounts on the Project Rachel website how the organization helped bring her out of alcoholism and depression after she had an abortion in 1987 after being raped at a prom. She says she now knows that her child “is with God.”
“I know that my living children and my husband and I are also with God," she wrote. "We are all together today, in God’s hands. I hold that child and my children in my heart every day.”
Over 1.2 million unborn babies were aborted in 2008 in America alone, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
In 2011, O’Malley was joined by Cardinals Weurl of Washington, D.C. and DiNardo of Galveston-Houston in praising Project Rachel at the General Assembly. DiNardo highlighted Project Rachel’s work with all victims of abortion – the child, both parents, doctors, and their friends, family, and acquaintances.
“Project Rachel Ministry is at the heart of the Church’s mission at this time in her history,” said Cardinal DiNardo at that time.