an After abortion

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Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Some post-abortion ministry updates

Bethesda Healing, a Catholic post-abortion ministry based in Ohio, has substantially upgraded their website. There's an informative newsletter there now, with good descriptions of their program and comments (some lengthy) from people who have participated in it.

As an inveterate reader-between-the-lines, I notice that Bethesda Healing describes itself several times as "unashamedly Catholic". Since there are by now many different post-abortion ministries and formats, of course I wonder if Bethesda Healing thinks that some of those ministries are ashamedly Catholic.

Hope Rising is a post-abortion ministry based in Boston. Although the website is new, it looks as if this group has been offering abortion recovery for nearly a decade. God bless them.

Ramah International hosted their first post-abortion conference in Kansas at the beginning of July. I understand that approximately 160 people attended, but I haven't heard anything else about how the conference went.

As an aside, the first conferences on post-abortion healing occurred throughout the 1990s under the auspices of the National Organization for Post-Abortion Healing and Reconciliation. These international conferences were called "Healing Visions" and brought together Catholics, evangelicals, therapists, and the laity. I believe the last such conference sponsored by NOPARH occurred in 2000. I never attended one of the NOPARH conferences but from friends of mine who did, they allowed for a vigorous exchange of information and diverse opinions about what helped (and didn't help) women recover from abortion.

My understanding is that Ken Freeman first demonstrated a memorial service for children lost to abortion at one of the NOPARH conferences--perhaps in the early 90s--and that at the time it was controversial in some circles. Now, most abortion recovery programs conclude with a memorial service.

But I digress. Since NOPARH stopped having its conferences, there hasn't been a national conference for anyone interested in post-abortion ministry that covered all the bases. Rather, individual ministries have started hosting their own conferences. Rachel's Vineyard has had national conferences since 2000. Healing Hearts has had national conferences for about three years. Obviously, Ramah has now started offering a national conference, and I believe that some other ministries are considering doing the same.

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