I just finished working with a grieving widow. Her husband of 28 years died an untimely death from an unfortunate accident. His was 52 years old. As she went through her list of regrets, something came to mind that really surprised her. Early on in her marriage, they had shared an abortion together. They were struggling college students and "this" was not the time to go through a pregnancy. She was amazed that they had never talked. Now it was too late. "I thought about it many times, " she said. "I wanted to talk about it, but we just never did."
This is not unusual. I find that most women I work with have never told anyone their abortion secret. I think of the woman who had aborted three of her pregnancies while married to her husband. Even he didn't know. On average, it takes nine hours in the counseling room before a client will talk about an abortion in their past.
Women don't talk about abortions for fear they will be misunderstood. One of two things will happen. They will be condemned and admonished for their choice so they will feel further guilt and shame. They will be assured that their choice was perfectly legal and normal and therefore there is no reason to talk about it.
Neither answer hits on why women would like to talk about their abortions. Neither answer validates the possible sadness they may feel. Women who've had abortion face a lifetime of disenfranchisement concerning the grief they often feel afterwards. Yes, it is better to put on a happy face and keep on going with life.
Alone we cry or have triggering moments of sadness. And to our graves we go, having never talked about a very important decision in our past lives.