January 22, 2013 is the 40th anniversary of legalized abortion in our nation. While voluntary pregnancy termination (VPT) is not a goal for most women, it is a road that millions have taken in the last four decades.
If you have ever had an abortion, there are four things you should know about your decision:
More from YourTango: Dealing With Abortion Grief: You Are Not Alone
1. You are not alone. After my abortion, I kept my "dirty little secret" for many years. I believed no one else around me had been in such a place. Now I know that abortion touches thousands of women in our nation each year.
Picture every professional football stadium in the U.S. full of women at one time. Keep that picture in your mind, and you will have imagined approximately a million women … all of them having something in common every year: an abortion. So if you've had an abortion, know that you are not alone!
2. Women don't talk. One of my clients once told me, "There is a conspiracy among the sisterhood not to tell each other about the sadness they feel about their abortions. Our society doesn't talk about abortion because it is assumed the abortion provides closure. We are not allowed to grieve our loss because "it is a choice, not a loss."
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, was 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."
More from YourTango: Roe v. Wade Anniversary Day: When You're Mourning A Loss
3. Sadness is normal and may be delayed. Women can be caught off guard by the sadness they feel after abortion. There is a normal, delayed reaction. After the crisis is over, the sense of relief can be so impactful that it overshadows the sadness that can eventually set in. This sadness is unpredictable and can be after one month, one year or even in the case of myself, several years later. Keep reading ...
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