Should I Tell My Family Members I've Had An Abortion?

Regardless of the person's rationalization for getting an abortion, the ripple-affect of the decision goes far beyond just one or two people making a "choice."

While permanent decisions should never be made during a time of emotional vulnerability, this is what happens when a woman alone, or a woman and a man together, decide to terminate a pregnancy.

"A quick fix" for an overwhelming problem, the abortion choice implies that it can be made in a vacuum, with no consequences. Make the appointment, show up, get it over, and get on with your life.

A nagging question for many of those who have chosen abortion, is when and how to tell family members about an abortion experience in their own lives. Here are some questions a person involved in an abortion might ask and the answers a counselor or pastor might provide:

Telling family members should never be done lightly, "off the cuff" or without putting some thought into it.

How do I know I am ready to share about my abortion?

• A post-abortive person should always examine their motives for telling. The reason for sharing about a past abortion should never be "just because of guilty feelings" about the abortion.

For the most part, a person who has experienced an abortion will know inside when they are ready to tell other family members. They will probably start getting re-occurring reminders and "inner nudges" to do so. Telling others should never be a "forced confession" for the express purposes of relieving your own feelings of guilt about your abortion.

 • Telling those who mean the most to you that you participated in an abortion can be  scary and uncomfortable.

  • Are you still feeling a lot of anger about your abortion? Do you feel like you have truly forgiven all the people involved in the abortion? Is your motive for telling a chance to express your anger or to blame others for your abortion?
  • Are you able to share your story without weeping uncontrollably? A person who cries in anguish for more than a few minutes about their abortion might still need to work through some healing before they tell others. At this stage they are still very vulnerable about the pain they are feeling over their abortion.
  • Telling parents about an abortion can be an emotionally charged situation. Because of the level of their maturity, (hopefully), they will see and feel the impact of an abortion decision in a more personal way.  Parents may invalidate your reasoning for choosing abortion or may be hurt that you did not consult them in the decision.

Bottomline, the decision to tell family members about your abortion should not be taken lightly and should be entered in with a lot of predetermined thought.