The extreme range of emotions that are involved in the debate concerning abortion can be difficult for the woman in a situation where she must choose. In Milwaukee there exists a program where Catholic women who choose to have an abortion can go for counseling, to accept the sacrement and to enter into the process of reconcialiation after the abortion has been performed. A woman must be referred by a priest but any services and all interactions are confidential. While the Cathiolic church is, basically, opposed to abortion, it also teaches that a person may choose to follow their conscience after consideration, study and prayer. The right to autonomy is recognized by the Church in matters of morality when one considers the Church to be a 'guiding influence' rather than an arbiter of the moral. In this instance, disallowing legal abortions is not the issue. Allowing for free choice and providing moral guidance and support is the issue. The alienation felt by a Catholic woman in this situation involves an element of is self-division. The process of reconciliation is between the individual and God but also reconciliation of the self to itself (Matthewes, 1998). Such a program becomes a valuable resource for the health care provider is able to refer a patient for continued care.
Matthewes, Charles T. (1998, Jan). Pluralism, Otherness, and the Augustinian Tradition. Modern Theology, 83-113.