Post-Abortion Outreach Effort Goes National
Springfield, IL (February 24, 2000)– How would you help a loved one who struggles with grief over a past abortion?
Until recently, post-abortion ministries, many of which were founded by post-abortive women seeking to help each other, have been little known and hard to find. After rapid growth during the last five years, however, many post-abortion ministries are now embarking on massive public education efforts.
This Sunday (Feb. 27th) alone, nearly one and a half million copies of Hope and Healing, an educational insert on post-abortion grief and healing developed by the Springfield-based Elliot Institute, are being inserted as paid advertising in The Washington Post and four community newspapers in California, Florida, North Carolina, and Illinois.
“In the last 18 months we have distributed just over 700,000 copies of Hope and Healing, mostly through college and small town newspapers,” said David Reardon, Ph.D., director of the Elliot Institute. “This week we will nearly triple our total circulation through these new insertion projects.”
The distribution of Hope and Healing in The Washington Post is being subsidized by the Archdiocese of Washington to supplement its Project Rachel program. Since the beginning of February, Project Rachel has been airing 200 radio advertisements per week and has posted nearly a thousand bus and subway placards and eight billboards in Washington, D.C., Alexandria, and Baltimore to promote their post-abortion ministry.
While the Project Rachel campaign is separate from the Elliot Institute’s nondenominational Hope and Healing project, Reardon said they convey a similar message: “We’re not here to judge or condemn those who have had abortions. Instead, we understand the troubles that drive people to choose abortion and the feelings of hurt and alienation that follow. For many women and men, abortion involves a devastating loss. If you or your loved ones are experiencing grief or guilt, you’re not alone. We can help.”
In the months to come, Project Rachel’s outreach materials will be used by other dioceses around the country as part of the Catholic Church’s major Jubilee Year effort to promote post-abortion healing. Reardon believes the Project Rachel campaign will also encourage more investment in post-abortion outreach efforts by other Christian denominations. “Many churches have already begun to pay greater attention to the need to minister to women and men who feel excluded or hurt because of a past abortion,” he said. “Project Rachel has set a new standard for such outreach efforts. We hope other denominations will expand their programs, too.”
A web-based version of Hope and Healing, along with additional information on post-abortion issues, is posted at the Elliot Institute’s web site.
Information on Project Rachel is available at www.hopeafterabortion.com.