APILOT POST-ABORTION support group available to Catholic women will be launched next week by the national pro-life charity, LIFE.
"Rachel's Support Group" is the country's first project run by women counsellors who have undergone abortions.
The project, which will be launched next week in the Lancaster district, will offer counselling to women of all denominations on a one4to-one basis. Practical care will be offered to anyone needing help during pregnancy or after birth.
Elaine, a founding member of the group, told the Catholic Herald that "Rachel" aims to "rebuild lives and relationships after abortion for women and their families."
Of particular concern for Catholic women has been the reaction of the clergy to confessions of abortion: "So many of the priests are simply unprepared to deal with your pain and guilt," one woman explained.
Elaine stressed that to date, reaction to the information leaflets announcing "Rachel" and its aims has been "very positive including among the clergy."
Though the idea for a post-abortion support group originated three to four years ago, the three founding members of "Rachel" have only begun to operate their counselling centre as of last November.
Already, Life, their umbrella organisation, predicts that demand for such counselling will force the centre to be copied throughout the country.
Elaine stressed that the benefit of "Rachel", which takes its name from that of an aborted child, lies in its "offering hope" to women suffering from post-abortion trauma: "They know we have been through it, and understand."