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Illinois Federation

For Right to Life

Daily News

Friday, September 05, 2008

Knights Sponsor Chicago Conference on Abortion's Effects on Men


Panel of experts to address more than 150 participants on this important issue


The Knights of Columbus and the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for Evangelization are co-sponsoring a national conference to focus on the effects of abortion on men whose children have been aborted in Chicago on Sept. 8 and 9.


Featuring an international panel of speakers and participants, the "Reclaiming Fatherhood" conference will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Oak Brook, IL.


The Milwaukee-based National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation, headed by Vicki Thorn, is organizing the conference, which seeks to bring to light what Thorn describes as the "invisible" issue in our society and even in the Church: the profound effect that abortion has on fathers whose children are aborted.


"As an organization of lay men that has a strong history and commitment to life, we think it is very important to highlight the issues faced by those fathers whose children are aborted," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "There are three victims of every abortion, the child and both of his or her parents, and it is our hope that this conference will be the beginning of a ministry within the Church to these fathers, who grieve the death of their unborn child in isolation and silence."


Thorn has been working nationally and internationally -- primarily with women -- who have had abortions since 1984 through the Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Project Rachel, the Catholic Church's post-abortion healing ministry.


Experts, including several therapists -- as well as several fathers who have lost children to abortion -- will cover topics including men's healing process after abortion; abortion's effects on men's spirituality and mental health; fatherhood and abortion; and why men who have been involved in abortion come for help.


More than 150 attendees have already registered from as far away as Nigeria and Poland. The conference has been heavily advertised in print and on television in the Chicago area. The commercial can be viewed at


Anderson and Thorn believe the "Reclaiming Fatherhood" conference could help men deal with their difficult post-abortion reality the way Project Rachel -- the Catholic post-abortion healing ministry Thorn founded -- has helped women who have undergone abortions deal with their emotional and spiritual scars.


In 2007, the Knights and the Archdiocese of San Francisco co-sponsored a similar conference -- also organized by the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing. That conference was the first of its kind in the United States to deal with effects of abortion on men. More than 175 people from nine countries attended the San Francisco Reclaiming Fatherhood conference.


Details of the conference and speakers are available at


Contact: Andrew Walther

Source: Knights of Columbus

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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.   Click here to learn more about the IFRL.