Resources for pastors: How to offer post-abortion support
Because of Christ, no one is excluded from grace, freedom, and healing. Of course we know that God’s forgiveness applies to those who have had abortions. However, post-abortive members usually face deep trauma from their choices and experiences, and often stay hidden and isolated within the church.
Did you know that it is estimated that 24% of women in the US have had at least one abortion? And every one of these children had a father and other family members too.
As a pastor, you have a beautiful opportunity to speak to these “hidden members” that are most likely sitting in your church every day. Occasionally you may meet someone who shares about their past abortion(s). Below are some frequent questions from pastors and some resources for you as you share post-abortion support.
There are many additional resources available on the Resources for Priests page:
- How to help post-abortion members in your congregation
- How to address the issue from the pulpit
- Why the church should help those who have had abortions
- Helpful links and recommended books.
On this page:
Frequently Asked Questions
Can non-Catholics attend Rachel’s Vineyard retreats?
Yes, Rachel’s Vineyard Twin Cities retreats are based upon Catholic Christian teachings, with a focus upon Jesus Christ and our relationship with Him, not on denominations. The Catholic Sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation are available to those Catholics who would like to receive.
For the non-Catholic Christian, we offer a weekend steeped in Jesus and the Holy Scriptures. The weekend provides an opportunity for everyone to unburden themselves as the suffering body of Christ.
Those of other faiths or no formal faith are also welcome.
Are you trying to convert people to Catholicism?
No, the weekend is focused on Scripture, prayer, and Christ. People from many faith backgrounds attend. The goal is that they would return to God and their faith as they find healing from their abortion experiences.
How can pastors help those who have had abortions?
Being aware that many, many people have had abortion experiences is the first step. This group includes men (fathers), extended family members, and healthcare professionals, along with the mothers.
Next, acknowledge from the pulpit that you recognize the pain that can come after abortion. Showing that you do not see abortion as a “taboo” topic or unforgivable sin can help your members feel safe to seek more help.
Realize that abortion is very traumatic and healing often requires more than talk therapy. We encourage you to refer people to Rachel’s Vineyard’s retreats so they can get focused help.