Support systems for women suffering from post-abortion problems got its worldwide start right here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1976, a group of Milwaukee women reasoned that legalized abortion would lead to significant problems for women who have abortions as abortion is a rejection of a natural motherly instinct. Little did they know how accurate they were.
In 1984, Vicki Thorn took the post-abortion ministry to a new level by founding Project Rachael for the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Thorn was haunted by the agony experienced by a high school friend who had an abortion. “That from what I saw of my friend, it was both a spiritual and a human wound that needed to be addressed, and as a church, with sacraments and the people who populate the church, we can take care of this,” Thorn told the Catholic News Service. Thorn and her colleagues recognize that women who have abortions need to go through a normal grieving process as they have truly lost their children.
On September 18, 2009, 300 people gathered to recognize the initially small Milwaukee project that has flourished for the past 25 years into a worldwide ministry. The profound work involved in helping post-abortion women (and men) to find healing is bittersweet. It wouldn’t be necessary without 1.2 million legal abortions each year in the U.S. alone. But the thousands of women who have been supported know that Project Rachael has changed their lives forever. Kudos and thanks to Vicki Thorn and her colleagues for making this work a reality. I am proud to call Vicki Thorn my friend.