Grief After Abortion? 5 Things To Do That Will Help

By

Grief After Abortion? 5 Things To Do That Will Help
Sadness after abortion can catch you by surprise. Here are some tips for closure.

Dr. Christiane Northrup, a noted author and gynecologist, speaks about the topic of grief after abortion in her revised edition of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom (2010). A former abortion doctor herself, Northrup takes the bold step of agreeing that women need a chance to grieve a voluntary pregnancy termination.

She writes, “Since the first edition of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, many women have written to me expressing their gratitude that I have addressed this issue [processing abortion grief]. And they have written about how their willingness to tell the truth about their abortion experience has healed them.” She goes on to say that during the many years she performed abortions, she observed that “not having fully grieved a pregnancy termination can be a setup for pregnancy problems in the future” because of the unresolved feelings surrounding the choice.

 

What I am seeing from my clients is the existence of an intense loyalty to the abortion secret that is driven by an incredible sense of fear of disclosure. With decades of guilt and shame as an emotional backdrop, many women never adequately process the deep grief aspects of abortion. As long as the cloak of shame surrounds this issue in the hearts of women, they will stay loyal to their “dirty little secret.”  

If you have an abortion secret from your past, you should be encouraged to know that you are not alone!  There are resources available to help you walk through and resolve your choice decision.  Staying in your self-imposed prison of silence doesn’t help.  Here are some suggestions to help you move out of your abortion grief without fear.

Find a safe place to talk.  If you do not have a close, trustworthy friend, spouse or partner, you can always make an appointment with a professional therapist.  There is a cutting edge resource, called Choice Processing and Resolution Therapy specially developed for the professional setting you can let your therapist know about.  The two of you can walk this journey together.  Professional therapists can be a good place because you are assured 100% confidentiality.

Again you have to make sure your source for sharing is safe.  Personally, when I was looking for resources to help me I ended up having even more angst.  Sometimes going to a good friend or unqualified source only brings you more invalidation.  I went to three professionals who did not understand my situation.  Two validated my choice but not my grief. One condemned my choice and completely invalidated my grief.  So make sure you go towards safety and caring and compassionate people who understand abortion grief.

This article was originally published at PsychCentral. Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Trudy Johnson

Author

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.

www.missingpieces.org

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

The Painful And Surprising Secret Many Couples With Children Keep

By

For couples dealing with infertility or pregnancy loss, the news of an unexpected pregnancy can be thrilling. But when handling an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy, that news can be downright devastating to couples who already have their family established with two, three or more kids if the wife, husband (or both) feel entirely against having ... Read more

Early Age Abortion? Growing Up Doesn't Mean Getting Over It

By

The tears were flowing for this middle-aged woman with the perfect life. "I never realized how much pain and grief I was feeling over my abortion when I was 14 years old. I guess I just blocked things out and never looked back." I am amazed at women in their late 40's, 50's and even sixties experiencing the need to re-visit a time in their ... Read more

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

By

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

See More

 
PARTNER POSTS
Latest Expert Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Most Popular