There's a long article in this morning's Chicago Tribune about Rachel's Vineyard and healing after abortion.
Ever since Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court's historic ruling that made abortion legal, most of the discussion on this issue has been loud and divisive.Read the rest.
But Theresa Karminski Burke, a psychologist, leaves the lobbying and legislating to others. Instead, she focuses on women who have terminated an unplanned pregnancy and are grappling with feelings of guilt, anger, shame and being spiritually adrift.
"There are just so many unresolved emotions with abortion," she said. "And because the whole subject has become so politicized, no one talks about it. The pain just stays buried and never gets dealt with."
So she created Rachel's Vineyard Ministries, a retreat where women and men can address those feelings in what she described as a "supportive, nonjudgmental environment" that promotes healing.
What started as one support group in a friend's basement in 1994 has grown to 350 annual confabs held in 11 countries and 45 states. This weekend there are seven around the nation, including one in west suburban Warrenville.
"It's about God's love and reconciliation," Burke said from her ministry headquarters in King of Prussia, Pa.
Burke, a mother of five, said she has never terminated a pregnancy, but she witnessed the emotional fallout from abortion as a graduate student overseeing an eating disorder group. One woman attributed her bingeing and purging to a long-ago abortion, which unleashed a heated debate.
"It was as if a bomb went off," said Burke, who was later reprimanded by her faculty adviser for wading into such politically charged waters.
To Burke, though, it was clear that much self-destructive behavior--whether drugs, alcohol or food--is a symptom, not the cause, of unhappiness.
"If people can't recognize [abortion] as a source of profound grief, I don't know what is," she said.