Should I Tell My Children I've Had An Abortion?

By

Should I Tell My Children I've Had An Abortion?
Many women who have had an abortion wonder if they should share their secret with their children.

Should I tell My Children I’ve had an Abortion?

Many women who have voluntarily terminated a pregnancy wonder if they should share their abortion history with their children. There are a few things to consider before you make this decision. Here are a few suggestions to think about.

1).Is there a reason to share this information with your children?


Being motivated to tell your children about a past abortion because it serves a purpose for their life is one thing. If you feel like you need to tell them because you are feeling guilty or sad, then the motivation is to ease your own internal rumblings and is not really a good reason for putting this on your children.

If you are sharing publicly about your abortion and therefore do not want your children to hear this news from someone besides you, then this is motivation for sharing your secret. If this is the case, you want to be as open and as honest as possible with them.

If you are not speaking publicly, you should only share your secret if you are running into a situation where it would be helpful for your children to know. For instance if your teenage daughter is starting to use risky behavior in her own life, this would be a good teaching moment to let her know the consequences of such actions. While it may seem scary to share such a deep, dark secret, children want vulnerability and realness from their parents. This could actually then serve the purpose a wonderful life lesson and/or teachable moment.

2).Sharing your voluntary pregnancy termination should always be age appropriate.
I would not recommend telling small children, as they may not be able to understand on a cognitive level a procedure like this.

3). Even if you decide not to tell your children it is good to give them the message of the importance of them being able to come to you to and communicate in any life situation where they need advice and help.

Sharing with adult children is probably the best format. This gives them the time to have the maturity level for greater understanding. This can also be a time of connection to help them see that you also struggled with difficulties in your own life. This makes you real and again, that is something all of our loved ones need to see in us.
 

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:

"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

"I Had No Clue I'd Be This Sad"

By

The voice on the other end of the line was hesitant. I could tell this was a woman who wasn't sure she could trust her own instincts, much less trust me. I tried to re-assure her that I am a safe person to talk with about unexpected grief after voluntarily terminating a pregnancy. As we talked, I realized how many times I'd heard this ... Read more

Had An Abortion? 4 Tips For Surviving Mother’s Day

By

For women who once made the decision to terminate a pregnancy, Mother's Day can be an emotional and difficult day. Particularly, if you never told those closest to you about your abortion. In such cases, you may feel like you have no one to talk to about your sadness because you are afraid of condemnation. Despite the fact that an abortion can weigh ... Read more

See More

PARTNER POSTS
Latest Expert Videos
Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Most Popular