Professional training offered to heal abortion trauma

January 22, 2021 marks the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The National Right to Life office estimates that, in that time, there have been over 62,500,000 babies lost to abortion1. The tragedy of loss of these children is perhaps equaled only by the trauma that the mothers and the fathers of those children have endured.

In a society focused on the “right” to procure an abortion, often the natural consequences of that choice go unnoticed or even dismissed.  The negative effects of abortion may even be exacerbated when the public discourse becomes more heated, such as in an election year.

Carol Kling, the director of the Rachel’s Vineyard Team in the western Dakotas, remarked “I’ve heard women say, ‘I only wish I felt as much support in choosing motherhood as I felt in choosing abortion.’” She continued, “The consequences I’ve seen these women experience include self-loathing, guilt and grief that left a hole in their heart which later led to alcoholism, drug abuse, depression and even suicidal thoughts.  The ramifications of an abortion decision can be intense, and they can last for decades.”

In an effort to shift the focus back on to healing the hearts and souls of the women and men affected by abortion, Family Life Ministries is collaborating with Catholic Social Services to host a virtual professional training series “Rachel’s Vineyard: Healing the Trauma Wounds of Abortion.”  Rachel’s Vineyard, the largest post abortion ministry in the world, offers a unique sensory based treatment which integrates emotional, psychological and spiritual dimensions.

Carol is excited to bring Dr. Theresa Burke, the founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, to our diocese.  “Theresa has provided an immense amount of personal support and mentorship to me and our team in the evolution of the RV ministry in South Dakota. The number of women who have found peace and healing as a direct result of Theresa’s work is staggering. Our team alone has ministered to hundreds of women in our area since we first brought Rachel’s Vineyard to South Dakota in 1999.”

Dr. Burke has lectured and trained professionals internationally on the subject of post-abortion trauma and healing. Additionally, Theresa has developed healing models for spiritual and psychological trauma wounds from sexual abuse and even wounds suffered by combat veterans.  Her treatment programs are considered an intensive and uninterrupted “therapy for the soul.”

The training will be offered by Zoom, with the first Session February 22, and additional sessions offered every four months for the next two years. Open to anyone, the training will have components geared for medical and mental health professionals, clergy and lay people, including Rachel’s Vineyard Team members. CEU certification is in the process of being secured.

Topics for professionals include “A Crash Course in Trauma,” “Understanding Shame Based Identities” and “Brain Science — How Emotional Trauma Impacts the Brain.” Other topics which might appeal more to laity and clergy include “The Power of Secrets: Breaking Free from Trauma with Truth” and “Understanding Trauma Bonds.”

For more information, contact Amy Julian at or to register visit

1 FS01AbortionintheUS.pdf (