Women choose abortion for different reasons. It could be the fear of others finding out about an unplanned pregnancy, financial worries, or a lack of physical and emotional support for the children a woman already has. Whatever your reason for choosing abortion, your feelings are real.
You’re Not Alone
The abortion industry would like us to think there aren’t any emotional side effects associated with abortion. That’s simply not true. The grief you’re feeling is valid and should never be dismissed.
Trudy Johnson, a licensed marriage and family therapist, described her clients that have had past abortions in Counseling Today. She says, “It’s kind of like a phantom pain. It’s there, but you don’t know why.”
For her clients that have “unprocessed emotions,” they struggle with:
- Depression and anxiety
- Complicated grief
- Shame and guilt (especially shame that is undefined or has no apparent cause)
- Self-loathing and self-esteem issues
- Relationship issues (including destructive relationships)
- Destructive behaviors (including substance abuse)
Do any of these sound familiar? In the same article, Catherine Beckett, a faculty member at Oregon State University, says the emotions women feel after an abortion are influenced by the spiritual, political, and ethical values and beliefs of those around them. They color how a woman processes her abortion and how much she’s able to reach out and get support.
Your Post-Abortion Grief
To put it simply, Beckett is saying you may not be reaching out to get the support you need because of those people currently in your life. You’re affected by the spiritual and political beliefs of others around you. If your family members or friends close to you believe abortion is wrong or a sin, you probably haven’t processed your feelings fully. Conversely, if the people around you say ‘it’s no big deal’ and ‘you just need to move on’, you probably feel that you don’t have a right to have any feelings about it. In both cases, you are the one who continues to suffer, day after day, year after year.
Hope After Abortion
The good news is that healing is possible. That first step can be a bit scary. But know that the compassionate team at Project Rachel is available to share with you how you can receive support and resources for your abortion recovery. We want you to know you’re not alone.
You can begin your healing journey through one-on-one counseling or group meetings. You’ll find comfort in knowing there are others who feel the same way you do. There’s never pressure to share your story. We simply want you to experience freedom, maybe for the first time since your abortion.
Contact Project Rachel to learn more about our healing opportunities. You don’t need to take this journey alone. We’re here to listen and support you.