Healing and Forgiveness After Abortion

Have you had an abortion? You're not alone. There's hope!

   Post-abortion counselors are waiting to take your call. You can reach them Toll-Free at:

1-800-848-5683 or 1-800-593-2273

    Do you want to put those painful feelings and memories behind you? There’s hope! Thousands of women have experienced tremendous healing by talking with counselors who specialize in post-abortion counseling.

    Many of these counselors are women who have had abortions themselves. They want to help you. They’ve been there. They know what you’re experiencing.

    Choosing abortion is never an easy decision for a woman. Often, when a woman finds herself with an unplanned pregnancy, she’s in a crisis. If she chooses abortion, whether by her own decision or because of pressure from others, she has chosen to give a part of herself away. Women often suffer physical, emotional and spiritual damage as a result of their abortion, yet many women (and professional counselors) never make the connection between a past abortion and present emotional pain. However, the good news is that once the abortion has been acknowledged, grieving may begin and healing can take place.

Grieving is natural . . .

    Part of healing often includes a grieving process. Grieving is a normal and healthy response to a major loss through death. It’s a painful process, but one that helps relieve sorrow. After an abortion, women may attempt to bury their grief, turn their emotions off, and run from God. Eventually, most face the fact that abortion ended their preborn baby’s life. The grieving process usually consists of five stages.

Relief: The first stage is relief. You might say, “Thank God I’m not pregnant anymore. My fears and stress are gone. I feel relieved.” But after a short time, the initial feelings of relief can wear off because of frequent memories of the actual abortion.

Denial: Then denial sets in. Coping with the memories of the abortion can be very difficult. Denying the abortion killed your child may temporarily give you a way to cope with the trauma. You may think, “No. I wouldn’t murder a baby. I just terminated a pregnancy. It wasn’t really a baby at that stage, it was just a blob of tissue. “Moving out of denial usually happens over a period of years and is a different process for each woman.

Anger: Many women feel they were exploited and become angry with others and themselves. You may think, “Clinic workers should have told me the truth about fetal development; they should have told me about adoption. My parents should not have been so concerned about what others thought. God should have stopped me.” In this stage, women may dwell on ways others have hurt them and blame them for their own decision to abort. This anger often goes unexpressed and may lead to bitterness that interferes with other areas of their life.

Depression: Another stage of grieving may be depression. The role a woman plays in her baby’s death can fill her with guilt, shame and self-condemnation. In this stage, harmful behavior such as drug and alcohol abuse, or suicidal tendencies, are usually seen. You may think, “I should have listened to my conscience, or I should have at least given my baby life, or I should have stood up to the others around me.” (Women moving out of this stage are no longer angry with themselves. They’ve accepted their mistake and begin surrounding themselves with God’s love and forgiveness.)

Acceptance: The final stage of grieving is acceptance. At this point women have acknowledged their own responsibility, forgiven those who hurt them and accepted God’s forgiveness. They often want to share with others that they have a new understanding of God’s plan for their lives. They’ve accepted this grieving process as part of God’s healing plan and they find joy by focusing on seeking His will in their lives. Many women will then help others by working as crisis pregnancy counselors themselves.

Adapted from Forgiven and Set Freeby Linda Cochrane, Baker Book House. Linda is a Registered Nurse and co-founder of PACE (Post-Abortion Counseling and Education). You may call Linda Toll-Free at 1-800-203-HOPE.

Post-abortion counselors are waiting to take your call. You can reach them Toll-Free at:

1-800-848-5683 or 1-800-593-2273

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