While this is certainly not the most important aspect of the process, a technical point may be of interest to some readers. Church teaching identifies some sins as so serious that they excommunicate a person — they separate that person from the communion of the Church. Abortion is considered one of these serious sins. Even though a Church court has not officially imposed it — as it’s likely that no one knows what happened except the parties directly involved — the penalty of excommunication still takes effect. If excommunication is officially imposed, there is an official process to remove it (and sometimes only the pope can do so.) But if it has not been officially imposed, as in this case, a bishop, in sacramental confession, can lift the excommunication, and the person can be reconciled with the Church. Bishops can delegate this power to other priests in their diocese. Today most bishops in the United States have done so, which means that any priest, in reconciliation, can absolve you from the sin of abortion. While for many years a person who has had an abortion would be told to confess to the bishop, today that is no longer necessary. When you are ready, you can seek out any priest with whom you feel comfortable and ask him to hear your confession. I pray that you will find in the sacrament a moment of grace and that you will know God’s boundless mercy and abiding love for you.
Resource: Rachel’s Vineyard is an excellent resource for those who have been affected by abortion.