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'Roe V. Wade' Anniversary: 4 Facts About Abortion


lots of women in white shirts
According to Planned Parenthood, 1.2 million women have abortions every year.
The landmark Supreme Court decision celebrates its 40th anniversary this month.

4. The abortion isn't always the closure; processing the grief is. Professional therapists know to assess for unprocessed grief when clients present them with emotional problems like depression, anger or anxiety. Grief after abortion is an example of disenfranchised grief. Disenfranchised grief as defined by Dr. Kenneth Doka, an expert in this area, as: "...a loss that cannot be openly acknowledged, socially validated or publically mourned." Disenfranchised grief, whether connected to the loss of an ex-spouse, a gay partner, a pet or even an abortion, can have a profound effect on an individual. 

If you've had an abortion, you are not alone. You should find a safe place to share and perhaps even let your guard down enough to examine your heart for sadness. A lovely woman from Ireland says it best when she affirmed the message that disenfranchised grief after abortion is real and needs to be dealt with in the lives of women of choice:

More from YourTango: Understanding Disenfranchised Grief and Abortion - Step Three

"The term disenfranchised grief has totally changed my life by giving me the key to unlock the anger that I have carried all these years and the anger that was hiding the pain and grief I felt. Through the book, CPR: Choice Processing and Resolution [written by the author of this article], and a wonderful therapist beside me, I have been able to work through and dig deep into my soul to bare the pain and re-emerge from the darkness. I can't thank Ms. Johnson enough for writing the book to help people like me."

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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:

Staying Safe Processing Grief After Abortion - Step Five


Staying safe in the process of working through grief after abortion can be very difficult.  Safety is very important though.  Everyone grieves differently.  Anne Morrow Lindbergh (who lost a child to kidnapping) once said, “Grief can’t be shared.  Everyone shares it alone, his own burden, his own way.”  Know that other ... Read more

How VPT Grief Might Impact Your Daily Life - Step Four


Knowing you are not alone,knowing that feeling a deep loss after abortion is normal and knowing that grief after abortion is greatly misunderstood by those who haven’t walked the journey, are important pieces in reaching a place of closure after your voluntary pregnancy termination.   Processing points of grief in one’s life are important ... Read more

Understanding Disenfranchised Grief and Abortion - Step Three


Voluntary pregnancy termination or abortion is such an isolating event that it is hard to find our way in the processing.  If you are harboring an abortion secret, I hope you will have the courage to move out of  the safe place of denial of the grief you may feel, to a place of peace and hope. I have personally  walked the “abortion ... Read more

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