After an Abortion: Steps Toward Healing

After an Abortion: Steps Toward Healing

1. Recognize that the road to full recovery can take time and effort. While God is always near to you, sorting out your life and your feelings, overcoming the ever-present temptation to give in again to despair and doubt–these take time.

2. Recognize that it is normal and good to mourn the loss of a loved one. Just as mourning the loss of a parent or spouse takes time, so does mourning the loss of an aborted child. In the case of abortion, the mourning process is often cut short and never completed because of denial or feelings of guilt which block the mourning process. You must courageously allow the mourning process to get back on track. Accept your grief as normal rather than something which must covered up or pushed away. Recognize that the pain of your loss will fade as your healing progresses.

3. Recognize that you are not alone. Others have been through the same experience and the same trials. Their experiences and understanding can help you. They want to help you, just as you may want to help others after you have finished going through the healing process. Finding a post-abortion counselor or support group through our list of Post-Abortion Healing Resources may be very helpful to you.

4. Admit your personal responsibility but also recognize that others, too, were involved. Pray for God’s forgiveness for both yourself and everyone else who either encouraged the abortion or failed to help you avoid the abortion.

5. Forgive yourself. God does not want you to live a lifetime in mourning. Your sin has been forgiven. You have been made new in Christ. Rejoice in the knowledge that one day you will be with your child in the arms of the Lord.

6. Forgive others. Recognize that they, too, acted out of ignorance, fear, or petty human selfishness. If possible, let them know that you forgive them. Forgive even the abortion providers.

7. Give your childen over to the care of God, their Heavenly Father, and the true Parent of us all. Know that they are loved, happy, and well cared for. They, too, desire your joy and happiness. They miss you, but they do not resent or condemn you, because they live in the love and mercy of Christ. Do not try to hold onto them by prolonging your grief; hold onto them by sharing their happiness in heaven.

Copyright 1998 Elliot Institute


After an Abortion: Steps Toward Healing — 6 Comments

  1. this is a load of bs. telling people they have sinned is not the right path nor does everyone worship your christian god or share your beliefs. for being on of the only resources i have found i am throughly disappointed. i understand its a process that will take time and a deep inner delving to understand why i feel the way i do and how it has effected me. but for someone to create such an inpersonal website that tells you you have done something wrong just seems blasphemous. we all have our reasons and there was an infinite amount of deep consideration put into. but it is still a horrible experience and then to be told i have sinned after finally coming to terms with it just makes me laugh with a supressed anger. i think you guys should really reevaluate what your doing and why this has became an option for those in america. no one wants todo it. but why spawn another child to be adopted in an over populated world or bring a child into a horrible life where he cant be supported propely. in the long run we prevented a very unhapppy life. and i will never be irresponsible again with my love life. but how can you try an force god down someones throat when all they are really looking for is a glimpse and some insight into their psyche to start their own healing process. if anyone has sinned it is you for not considering how your site might effect others.

    • Dear Anon,

      Our article was not meant to point fingers or accuse you of sin. Instead, it is primarily addressed to the general population of American women who have had an abortion, most of whom were raised within a Christian worldview and who do believe in God and are already accusing themselves of sin. Sometimes their Christian worldview is nominal, but there enough to cause distress. Sometimes their Christian worldview is very strong, and the self-blame and sense of guilt is very profound and even crippling.

      While I understand that there are women like yourself who do not believe in the same things, I hope you can understand that for those women who do, and who are often deeply afraid that they have committed an “unforgivable sin,” our advice must directly address that fear . . . using the very terms they identify with (“sin,” “Christ,” “forgive”). We couldn’t help them by offering just “forget about it” advice. It needs to be directly addressed in the very terms that they are tormented, “How can I be forgiven of this sin? Even if God forgives me, can I forgive myself?”

      If you step back a moment and consider from the perspective of the majority of women who have had abortions and do consider it a sin (not your own perspective, but from theirs), you will begin to understand that the moral issue must be addressed in the terms they already believe in and understand . . . otherwise we would be ignoring a major issue in both their spiritual and psychological makeup. For these women, psychological recovery can only be developed after addressing their spiritual concerns.

      Whether or not you believe in God or sin does not change the fact that others believe in God and sin. Nor does it change the fact that these others benefit from the advice we give which is consistent with their worldview.

      I understand that you have a different worldview.

      You have every right, of course, to draw you own conclusions. You also have every right to try to find peace of mind within that worldview. In our experience, however, it may be very difficult to find healing…as opposed to just rationalizations…in a worldview that denies any moral values or spiritual truths and realities outside the laws of physics and the natural world.

      I don’t know if that is your worldview or not. But in the case of extreme atheism, everything is essentially meaningless and therefore there is no cure for emotional upsets other than to try to more deeply accept the “fact” that life is meaningless and that concepts like truth, and beauty, and honor are just illusions of a material brain trying to invent meaning in a universe that is essentially a meaningless, transitory, accident.

      You say that you were just looking for a “glimpse and some insight” into the human psyche to start your healing process. I appreciate that interest. But I have to answer that even that interest brings us to the clash between worldviews. If there is no God, no spiritual reality, then the human psyche is defined by the laws of physics and chemistry and any attempts to think your way through a healing process is really just one of grasping at rationalizations which may or may not soothe a chemical imbalance or neurotic focus of your brain on an event that “shouldn’t” be upsetting but somehow was.

      If there is a God, or spiritual reality, then that is an overarching truth which may well provide important clues to understanding the human psyche and the healing process–which is your goal. So, I would encourage you to at least consider the testimonies of literally millions of women who have at least claimed to have found emotional and spiritual healing after an abortion and thereby consider the possibility that healing may involve, or even require, addressing the whole experience from a wider world view than one which simply reduces every experience to the laws of physics.

      Though I’m a bit afraid that this last statement will offend you (which is not my intent), I pray you will find the help and healing you are seeking and deserve.

  2. I also had a hard time reading the Steps towards recovery. I’m not sure what I believe in or how much God plays a role in our everyday life. To hear I need to ask for forgiveness makes me a bit angry. I tried to get pregnant. I wanted nothing more than to be pregnant and then @ 21 weeks was told Adrian had a fatal birth defect(Anencephaly= no brain) I feel like why should I have to ask for forgiveness for choosing to induce a pregnancy that would have ended in death regardless. No matter how long I carried this much wanted and much loved baby boy there would be nothing I could do to save him. I prayed, begged, pleaded,for his life. I didn’t want to lose him. I didn’t even ask he be perfect just be able to live a happy life. Losing Adrian has shaken the ground of belief that I had. Instead of finding peace and comfort in God afterwards I have found anger and resentment. I guess you have to believe in something/someone to be angry. I don’t know…. But I would like to say that your respond to the PP was so far the least attacking response from someone who does believe in God.You didn’t tell her if she doesn’t pray to GOD she would go to hell nor did you try and change her view/belief. I am grateful for that. You were very sympathetic and respective to her point of view while stating that you are reaching out to those who do believe and are blaming themselves not that you are saying they have sinned.I wished all Christians/People in general thought like that.

    Anon I am sorry you are struggling or finding the aftermath of the abortion difficult to deal with. Weather it be a mistake in judgment one night or birth control failing or whatever the reason may be, I think a sense of sadness will come with it. Not that you done anything wrong other than make a mistake by getting pregnant,(I hope that statement makes sense and isn’t misunderstood)I think you are sad that you were put in that place to have to make a choice. Having an abortion for whatever reason is not something any woman take lightly. I hope that you are able to find whatever it is that you are looking for and that you are able to heal. Much love to you.

  3. i have had three and i was kind of ok until the third on e it had me thinking about hurting myself and thinking i could never have a child i wouldnt feel right being a mother cause of what i did to three innocent children. hopefully i can heal from this very soon cause its starting to take over me.

    • Thank you for your comment; I’m so sorry for what you have been through. Having more than one abortion is more common than a lot of people think, so please know you are not alone. If you haven’t gotten in touch with a counselor or support group already to help you heal, you can visit our healing page for information on how to find help: Anyone from these groups would be very happy to talk with you; its free and confidential. I hope this helps.

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