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Grief After Abortion? 5 Things To Do That Will Help

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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.

More from YourTango: Staying Safe Processing Grief After Abortion - Step Five

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.

More from YourTango: How VPT Grief Might Impact Your Daily Life - Step Four

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.

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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:

Staying Safe Processing Grief After Abortion - Step Five

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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

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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

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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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