Since the Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade in 1973, there have been over 60 million abortions carried out in the United States. That means that there are over 60 million babies who never had the chance to live, and over 60 million mothers and fathers who, whether they knew it or not, chose a path that would lead to suffering, pain, trauma, guilt, and would ultimately need a way to heal.
Father Ben Cameron joined The Inner Life to discuss the process of guiding people through the excruciating journey after having harmed themselves and others through abortion. He admitted that early in his ministry, it was very difficult to help people who came to him bearing large wounds like this. All he could do was to offer words of encouragement.
“Eventually, I discovered Rachel’s Vineyard and went and made a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat in order to learn more about it. So I’ve been involved with Rachel’s Vineyard Post-Abortion Ministry for over 16 years.” Rachel’s Vineyard is an organization that offers retreats for men and women who have been hurt by abortion. Father Cameron runs the Western Kentucky retreats and has helped with others in surrounding states. In those 16 years, he has been able to walk with those harmed by abortion, help them find healing, and guide them to forgiveness, whether it be for others or for themselves.
A woman called into the show to share the story of her abortion, the suffering it caused, and ultimately the way she is continuing to find healing through her Faith. When she was 14, she had an abortion after her mother pressured her into it and for 10 years she suffered through post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and even the thought of committing suicide. But when she was 24, she was able to go to confession, receive Holy Communion, and she experienced a huge step in forgiveness and healing. She is now married, has two children with her husband, has forgiven her mother, and looks forward to making a retreat at Rachel’s Vineyard.
After the call, Father brought up the stigma and pressure that pregnant women undergo, leading to many abortions. “In every child, God created an immortal soul at the moment of conception. Every child is a gift. We’ve got to stop having this stigma of, ‘Oh, well she’s pregnant outside of wedlock.’ That pregnancy isn’t the problem. And once we get that in our minds, ok, can I sit with her? Can I assist her? Does she need to have somebody put their arm around her and say, ‘It’s ok and I’m going to be with you and I’m going to help you with this baby.’ Sometimes, girls just feel like they’re alone.”
Part of Father Cameron’s advice to people dealing with post-abortive suffering is to help them fully realize and accept that they are a child of God, even if they have made mistakes. “We are blind. We are, in a certain way, spiritually dead. We have been living in a state of separation from God and here He comes to bring us that healing.” Father’s work and the mission of Rachel’s Vineyard is to help people find that new life that Christ offers by healing the pain of abortion.
Listen to the full conversation below:
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