Bridges of Mercy for Healing after Abortion

When Darryl* started attending a parish men’s prayer group, he began to feel more connected than ever to his faith. But with his increasing engagement, he began to wonder whether God would really forgive him for encouraging and paying for the abortion of his only child.

Mercy is a “bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.”

—Pope Francis

Darryl is among the tens of millions of Americans whose lives have been directly touched by abortion. Like so many others, they have experienced shame, regret, guilt, and grief. But, as they have also experienced, God’s healing love and mercy are always possible.

While many Catholics want to help women and men heal from past abortions, most don’t know how to begin. Here are a few ways that Catholics of different backgrounds can assist friends, family members, fellow parishioners, clients—or perhaps even themselves:

If you are like Jennifer, who had an abortion, read the words of St. John Paul II to women who have had abortions.** Be assured that it is never too late to seek God’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and that “you can with sure hope entrust your child” to the Father and His mercy (EV 99).

All of us are sinners. Yet Pope Francis calls mercy a “bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness” (MV 2). The Holy Father also reminds us, “As the Father loves, so do his children. Just as he is merciful, so we are called to be merciful to each other” (MV 9). Life is a gift from God and so is his mercy. May we cherish and promote both!

If you or someone you know is suffering after abortion, confidential, non-judgmental help is available. Visit, or call Project Rachel Ministry’s national, toll-free number: 1-888-456-HOPE (4673).

Excerpts from Evangelium vitae, © 1995 and Misericordiae vultus, © 2015 Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Reprinted [Excerpted] from Respect Life Program, copyright © 2018, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
View, download, or order the U.S. bishops’ pro-life materials!

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