Priests for LifeAbortifacients...The Other Forbidden Grief
By Janet Morana and Theresa Burke, Ph.D.

We've learned a good deal about the emotional and spiritual pain of abortion. Aside from surgical procedures, the Pill, the IUD, and other hormonal "contraceptives" such as the morning after pill, Depo-Provera and Norplant can also cause an abortion of human life.

Ovulation is not always suppressed by oral contraceptives. In these cases, the egg is fertilized, conception takes place, and a new human being begins to develop. These abortifacients interfere with the pregnancy by changing the lining of the uterus so that a newly conceived child cannot implant in the womb. This hostile environment causes the child to die.

Janet Morana, Associate Director of Priests for Life and co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, shares her personal story:

"Three months before my wedding date I started taking birth control pills. I continued taking the pill for two years until it seemed like it was time to start a family... Eventually, I had a tubal ligation.

"As I began to study the teachings of the Church I learned about God's beautiful plan for marriage, including what NFP was all about.

"My grief finally hit me as I watched a video about the wonder of life and I realized completely what taking the birth control pills really meant: aborting new life. I came to grips with the fact that I had not only shut myself off to life, but had also destroyed an unknown number of children. At the end of that video I began to sob uncontrollably. I was overwhelmed with sudden feelings of grief and remorse. I was able to come to grips with these feelings of grief and loss recently at a Rachel's Vineyard Retreat. It was a first step in having my feelings validated, and I began to deal with my loss in a new light."

The Church has always asserted that the method by which a child is killed, or the age at which the killing occurs, do not make an abortion any less real or wrong. The Church can therefore serve at the forefront in ministry to the countless hearts wounded by abortifacients. Our church continues to be a prophetic guide in a new movement to re-claim inner voices that have been silenced, paralyzed and obscured by the demands of a contraceptive and abortive culture.

Priests for Life invites all who have experienced the grief of abortion to share your testimony. Contact:

To find out more information about attending a Rachel's Vineyard Retreats for healing after abortion, visit: or please take the literature or contact cards that can be found in the St. Isidore Right to Life brochure holders in the Vestibule of the Church.

Janet Morana (Assoc. Dir. of Priests for Life and co-founder of Silent No More)
and Theresa Burke, Ph.D., (founder of Rachel's Vineyard Retreats)
PO Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314
July 2004, reprinted with permission