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Project Rachel, a Ministry of Hope After the Pain, Loss of Abortion

In recent months we have heard in the media about the case now pending in the U.S. Supreme Court, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. It is the most significant challenge to legalized abortion in generations and could overturn Roe v. Wade.

The justices have heard the arguments in this case, and their decision is expected in late spring or early summer. The highest court in the land must decide whether the Mississippi ban on abortion after 15 weeks is unconstitutional, and whether all pre-viability bans on elective abortions are legal.

It is a case that directly threatens the legality of Roe v. Wade, which in 1973 made abortion legal in all 50 states. There are many questions surrounding this case; therefore, it is important we as Catholics understand church teaching and continue walking with men and women in crisis.

The Catholic Church has led the pro-life movement since the tragic decision of Roe v. Wade. The church continues to be a consistent voice to the voiceless and the most vulnerable in our society. It is our hope that when people realize the compassion the church has for a woman contemplating an abortion or in a crisis pregnancy, they will change their understanding on Catholic teachings, instead of thinking about the church as cold and rigid, who doesn’t care for women who are poor or violated or who are going through difficult moments.

The church is in favor of women having the ability to make decisions for themselves, but we know there are decisions based on the “right to choose” that in the long run only bring years of pain and suffering. Abortion is one of these decisions that will change a woman or a man forever. We know that it is not an easy decision to make and that the woman is often forced to do so by the pressure of society or sometimes because of the lack of knowledge of the love of Christ.

We also know that women suffer in silence from this decision. The pain is one that only a person who has gone through it can describe. The pains keeps her trapped by a secret that is embedded deep within her being.

To those who are suffering the pain of abortion, please know that you are not alone. You do not have to go through life carrying the consequences of that decision. The church is here to embrace you with open arms. The church as a mother wants to care for her children who are suffering, and she wants to teach the infinite mercy that God has for each one of us – no matter our faults or sins. The church gives us the sacraments, holy tools for salvation and healing through which we experience the abundance of love, compassion and mercy of God.

Project Rachel is a ministry that offers a safe and confidential space to walk with those experiencing the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual consequences of abortion. Through Project Rachel, men and women find the peace that their hearts are longing for. This program is designed to accompany those who suffer in silence.

No matter the reason for an abortion, Project Rachel offers women and men a space to open their hearts without fear of judgement and a place to explore the words Christ gives us, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light” (Mt 11:28-30).

To those who have gone through this experience please do not be afraid to reach out to the church and the Project Rachel ministry for help. Now is the time to rest your sorrows in the hands of your Creator. Nothing you have done in your life will change the immense love that God has for you. God’s mercy and the plan he has in store for you await you. You are not alone!

For more information about Project Rachel, call 1-877-We-Care-2 (1-877-932-2732).

Luisa de Poo is the director of Life, Marriage and Family for the Diocese of Austin. Contact her at or (512) 949-2487.