Abortion After-Care: Why Not?


Abortion After-Care: Why Not?
When the word “abortion” appears in news stories, millions of women secretly cringe.

When the word “abortion” appears in news stories, whether it is from a position of advocating for or against, millions of women avoid that news story all together. 

The most recent news story “Arkansas 12-Week Abortion Ban Becomes Law” is an example of how abortion in the news, while promoting the political information, causes women hiding in their secret shame and grief  to push down their emotions.  From the perspective of news agencies there is now way for them to realize what a woman with a choice decision in her past feels when her eyes come face to face with the words “12-week-abortion-ban.”

Avoiding the word abortion, including any news story regarding the legalities of it is a common reaction for women who are hiding their abortion secrets.  No matter how the authors  paint the picture, a trigger or automatic emotional reaction occurs for women who have unprocessed grief from their abortion experience.

Abortion choices create a situation of disenfranchised grief in a woman’s life.  According to Dr. Kenneth Doka, disenfranchised grief is grief experienced by an individual that is not openly acknowledged, socially validated or publically observed. The loss experienced is real, but survivors are not accorded the “right to grieve” by anyone around them.   Disenfranchised grief can be a leading cause of depression.

In cases of choice decisions, the paradigm is even more complicated.  The grieving process is complicated by a woman’s inability to talk about her experience.  Very few women tell anyone they’ve had an abortion.  As a professional, it typically takes my clients nine sessions before they will talk about “the A-word” – an abortion in their past.  There must be a huge level of safety and trust before women will share their abortion secret.

Dr. Christiane Northrup, author of the New York Times bestseller, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom recognizes the need for women to talk about their abortions.  “If every woman who ever had an abortion, or even one-third of them, were willing to speak out about her experience---not in shame, but with honesty about where she was then, what she learned, and where she is now---this whole issue would heal a great deal faster.”

The answer is not to stop the news about the legalities of abortion choices.  The answer is to give women permission to grieve their losses connected to their choice.  If you are one of the thousands of women who avoid abortion news stories all together you can choose to stop running from your abortion grief.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Trudy Johnson


Trudy M. Johnson, M.A., LMFT, CSPII

Helping women process grief after voluntary pregnancy termination without fear.

Bringing abortion after-care into the 21st century by educating professionals.


Location: Buena Vista, CO
Credentials: LMFT, MA, Non-Profit
Specialties: Abortion Issues
Other Articles/News by Trudy Johnson:

"I Had No Clue I'd Be This Sad," Part 2


Last week I talked with a 20-something woman about the grief she was feeling after her voluntary pregnancy termination. In her quest to find relief for her situation, she never dreamed she would be struck with an overwhelming sadness that she couldn't shake. Only a little less shocking than the news of the pregnancy (she was on birth control pills) was ... Read more

"I Had No Clue I'd Be This Sad"


The voice on the other end of the line was hesitant. I could tell this was a woman who wasn't sure she could trust her own instincts, much less trust me. I tried to re-assure her that I am a safe person to talk with about unexpected grief after voluntarily terminating a pregnancy. As we talked, I realized how many times I'd heard this ... Read more

Had An Abortion? 4 Tips For Surviving Mother’s Day


For women who once made the decision to terminate a pregnancy, Mother's Day can be an emotional and difficult day. Particularly, if you never told those closest to you about your abortion. In such cases, you may feel like you have no one to talk to about your sadness because you are afraid of condemnation. Despite the fact that an abortion can weigh ... Read more

See More

Latest Expert Videos
Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Most Popular