You’ve had an abortion. Now you may be hurting. Somewhere deep down inside your being you are aching, or perhaps your abortion has left you emotionally distraught. Whatever pain you are experiencing, you are not alone. Millions of women are suffering as you are. This post abortion pain is referred to as Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS), and it is treatable, there is hope
PAS shows up in a number of ways: “Among the most common symptoms experienced by women who seek counseling [for post-abortion trauma] are; low self-esteem, anger, guilt, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, extreme mood swings, a need to compensate for the loss of their child, drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuity, frigidity, numbness of feelings, hatred of self or of men, withdrawal, inability to sustain intimate relationships, unexpected emotional outbursts, suicide attempts [especially of the date her baby was due to be born]. Physical symptoms include nervous itching or hives, headaches, backaches, stomach or abdominal disorders. The crisis point occurs most often between 2-5 years after the abortion. For some women, the crisis may come within months of the abortion—for others repression may last 20-30 years or more…”
-Terry Selby, ACSW, Clinical Director, Counseling Associates of Bemidji, Inc.
Don’t Allow Anyone To Trivialize or Dismiss Your Grief
Your grief is a healthy sign that you are facing realities rather than burying them where they fester. Tears are cathartic. The first step to being healed of emotional wounds is to admit that the wounds exist and to acknowledge the cause of those wounds.
You have a right to grieve. You have lost a child. Many women are surprised to find themselves grieving an aborted child because the abortion was—more or less—a voluntary act. But this added dimension of guilt actually intensifies the grief. Society tells aborted women that they have no right to grieve, after all you were the one who made the decision, a “choice” that is perfectly legal. This frequently leaves women to feel foolish or selfish about their grief. Yet your grief is normal. When a pregnancy occurs, all the hormonal changes designed to change a woman into a mother begin. The body machinery gears up to produce a child; the maternal mindset begins to establish. Any thwarting of this natural process (such as abortion) upsets the body ecology and scars the psyche of the would-be mother. To FAIL to experience a sense of loss, of emptiness, of grief is ABNORMAL.
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
One doctor has stated that ambivalence in early pregnancy is so universal as to be a symptom of pregnancy. You were called upon to make an important life decision at a time when your decision-making abilities were hampered by the hormonal changes going on in your body.
Perhaps others around you were pressuring you to abort, or you felt you needed to keep the pregnancy a secret from parents, your church, school officials, or your boyfriend or husband and abortion was the only way to hide the fact you were sexually active. Perhaps you just felt that the baby would not fit into your “plans” and abortion was a “quick fix” offered by well-meaning friends or advisers.
The “counselors” at the family planning or abortion facility probably didn’t give you adequate or accurate information about your baby’s development, abortion methods and risks—both physical and emotional—so that you could make an informed and intelligent decision. Abortion providers are known to wish facts and words to keep women from choosing to let their babies live and thus lose their profits off of your abortion. They told you your baby was “a clump of cells” or referred to her as “the product of conception.” They never showed you the ultrasound of her jumping and doing somersaults inside your womb. They never offered you any other “choice,” one that would have felt right to you.
Forgive Yourself and Others
It is natural to feel angry and resentful toward yourself and others who had a part in your abortion decision. Many women even feel outraged the moment anyone even mentions the words abortion, pro-life, unborn child, etc. But you cannot heal emotionally while allowing these destructive feelings to exist.
Realize that these others participating in your decision to abort may be just as unsuspecting as yourself. Maybe they didn’t know the facts and the emotional trauma you will face when they recommended or forced you to abort. Maybe they did know, but selfishly gave your bad advice. Either way, you must forgive them. You must also forgive yourself. This will only be possible through divine intervention.
Look to God For Forgiveness and Healing
Many women say they feel unworthy of God’s forgiveness, instead they feel God is judging them. But Jesus came into this world to die a sacrificial death for everyone, no matter how bad the sin is. In God’s eyes, sin is sin, none is worse than another. And Christ died for each one of us, “for all have sinned.” (Romans 3:23) Abortion is sin, and must be confessed to God. But do not fear because “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (John 1:9) God is not angry. He is hurting with you. He loves you and feels your pain. He knows what it feels like to give His Son over to death. You are the reason that Jesus gave His life, that He suffered and died. Jesus demonstrates in a parable how He, like a shepherd, will leave the ninety-nine to seek out the one that is lost. He is waiting for you with open arms. God is able to forgive a multitude of sins. Don’t let our enemy, Satan, deceive you into thinking that you don’t deserve God’s love or forgiveness. God is love. God created you to love you and make you His child. That’s His desire.
Pray to your merciful Father in Heaven this prayer, or one similar:
Dear Father in Heaven, I come to You now, confessing my sins. Lord, seeking my own way and living by my own rules has resulted in death and torment for my child and myself. Forgive me. I thank You that you were willing for Your Son to die to redeem me. I accept His great sacrifice in my behalf. Father, I lay at Your feet all my feelings of guilt, grief, remorse and regret. Cleanse me and heal me by the blood of Your dear Son, Jesus. Today is the first day of my new life, a life I commit to You. Teach me to live according to Your will. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Find a friend, organization or church throw spiritually your Savior. Look under “Abortion Alternative” in the Yellow Pages or on Links Page for pro-life groups and
post-abortion counselors who will love you and guide you through your continued journey of healing.
“...if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are new.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
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