It’s Not Wrong If You Are Hurting After Abortion

By Theresa Bonopartis

Every month, I get at least 15 new women and men looking for help regarding a past abortion. It is heart breaking to hear the anguish they are going through, but I know there is hope of healing, and so we connect them with people and places that will be able to help them get through this very real trauma.

There is something about participating in the death of your own child, that touches the deepest recesses of your soul. Some people claim it does not bother them at all. I would NEVER want to be one of them if that is true, but chances are, they are burying it. Often women of 80 and even 90 years of age come forward for healing. It catches up with you sooner or later.

That is why posts like this, “How Will I feel After Abortion“, make me so angry. The  repeated attempts to blame the emotions and dynamics of abortion on other life events is unjust and a down right lie, and they continue to feed it to women in a manipulative way.

“Serious, long-term emotional problems after abortion are as unusual as they are after giving birth. They are more likely to occur for certain reasons, for instance, if a woman has a past history of psychological troubles prior to the abortion, if she does not have supportive individuals in her life, or if she has to terminate a wanted pregnancy since her wellness or the health and wellness of the unborn child is at risk.

Eventually, most women feel alleviation after an abortion. Women tend to really feel a whole lot better after abortion if they could chat with encouraging people in their lives.”

The message to women is clear. “If your abortion is bothering you long term,  you must have had psychological problems before, or lack of support, because most people feel alleviated.” In other words, something is wrong with you if you are suffering from your abortion, as if taking the life of your baby is not a reason to be suffering! Of course, no problem, you can call the abortion clinic to help you get to the point of denial by allowing them to help you get over it!

Sadly, many women fall for this deceit and spend years struggling silently (with really no support as after the abortion most people who know do not even want to deal with you) with the loss of their child and the emotions surrounding it. My hope is that women who have gotten real help are speaking to other women who are suffering, and that they are able to find places to go to who acknowledge their feelings without making them feel like something is wrong with them, because there isn’t!!!! Women are not programed to take part in killing their children and that is enough reason to feel the way they do. Still, there is hope and there is healing…I know and so do countless other women because we have been there!

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Theresa Bonopartis is the founder of Lumina, which offers healing retreats for women, men and siblings impacted by abortion and those who aborted because of an adverse diagnosis. In addition, Lumina provides training for clergy members and mental health professionals on post abortion stress. 

Find Help
Help During Pregnancy
Help After Abortion
Center Against Forced Abortions

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Personal Stories About Abortion and Healing
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To Those Who Mourn
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For Teens: No One Told Me I Could Cry
Yes, There is Help & Healing After Abortion


Comments

It’s Not Wrong If You Are Hurting After Abortion — 8 Comments

    • Randee, are you talking to anyone or getting counseling? You should really have some support in place to help you work through your grief and pain and help you heal. You can read about this process and find links to organizations offering support on our healing page. You can also reach out to Rachel’s Vineyard through email if you aren’t ready to call someone yet. Even if you are fearful about taking this step, please do — I think this is the best thing you can do for your mental and emotional health.

      If you do have support in place but are still feeling bad, know that this is very common. When you are in the middle of grieving you will often feel worse before you feel better, because you are dealing with the pain and not trying to cover it up or push it away. Healing is a journey and sometimes you will have periods where you feel like you are going backwards, but with the right help you will get through this.

    • Randee, you also might want to read this chapter from the book “Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion,” by Dr. Theresa Burke of Rachel’s Vineyard. She talks about what the healing process is like and I think it may give you some helpful information on dealing with this.

  1. 4.5years ago i had an abortion, it was fully my decision and at the time i was fine with it no one could change my mind. for the 3 years following i would regularly breakdown seeing babies being around pregnant friends and family etc but asides from those moments i felt numb/blank to everything and i mean everything. i thought i was doing good after that i had made changes in life i had spoken a lil to some supportive friends and although generally i dont have an issue from time to time it still eats me up inside n i just start crying, not only did i choose to kill my baby (at the time it felt like i had an evil thing in me that had to be removed) but since the son that i already had has asked me for a bro or sister and it kiils me to know that he had that and i took it away from him. i have been single this whole time and would like to move forward with life but feel i need to deal with/ get past these feelings before i can move on with life. im not sure what i can do to help me do this so any help/ideas would be awesome thanks

    • Melz, thank you for posting here. It often happens that a woman will feel fine after the abortion, or not feel much distress, only to have pain and grief hit weeks, months or even years later. Often that distress is triggered by later events that happen in her life, especially those related to children. So please know that you aren’t alone in going through something like this.

      The good news is that moving forward is possible and you don’t have to stay trapped in your pain. I’m so glad that you’ve had some supportive friends to talk with, but more help is available. If you haven’t already done so, you should visit our healing page and reach out to a group that offers support and counseling for women who have had abortions. There are a number of these groups in the U.S. (if you are outside the U.S., contact me here or by email at elliotinsitute@gmail.com and I’ll try to put you in touch with someone). The support is free and confidential — they won’t judge you but will offer a listening ear, talk with you and help you work through the issues you are facing.

      If you aren’t ready to talk with someone in person, you can also contact Rachel’s Vineyard for support by email. I would also suggest visiting their site and reading some of the healing stories, the Q&A section (where you can also post any questions you have for them), and other information that might be helpful.

      I hope this helps. Please feel free to contact us again, but I would definitely encourage you to reach out to a support group as they can be very helpful.

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