Karin Barbito, Director of Programming and Expansion for Support After Abortion, discusses her personal abortion healing process, how Support After Abortion started, and how the future of Support After Abortion is focused on healing with compassion, collaboration, and building capacity.
After finding out she was pregnant, Karin wanted to protect her relationship. She was in a relationship with the only man she had ever loved and admits to being “pro-me” to maintain this love. After the abortion, this relationship began to break down, and eventually ended. The relationship she tried so desperately to protect with the abortion, was now over, and Karin was suffering multiple losses. She began to grieve the loss of her child, her relationship and the loss of herself. “There is more than one person that dies after an abortion.”
Karin shared that she went on to marry another man, and it was in this relationship she learned she could not have children, and from that moment she began to believe the lie that, “I killed the only baby God had for me. I am never going to be a mom!”
Following the news that she would not be able to have children, Karin used drugs and alcohol to cope with what she had done. It was her ninth time in rehabilitation that she realized she was emotionally exhausted, and wanting more. Through hard work, fortitude and perseverance she, one day at a time, she learned what kind of woman God created her to be, and let that image drive her next decisions, one at a time.
Most importantly she went through her first abortion healing process and found the truth that replaced that awful lie from years before. Karin IS a mother. Her daughter lives in Heaven, and while she has allowed space to be sad for never knowing her daughter, she finds joy in the anticipation to one day be reunited in Heaven.
Karin states, “If we don’t have healing in the forefront of the Pro-Life movement, we are missing the mark.”
How Support After Abortion started to deliver abortion healing by building Capacity
Support After Abortion funded consumer research in 2020 and the researched showed that:
- 9 out 10 women impacted by abortion did not know where to go for abortion healing.
- 5% of women believed Planned Parenthood would provide support after their abortion.
- Only 1% of those impacted by abortion, felt the church could provide healing.
Karin states, “healing is not one size fits all,” and yet the abortion healing offered was one faith-based program during business hours in a small group setting. Consumers need and want healing options. Support After Abortion saw the need to offer groups outside of business hours and in different locations. To have options that include being 1:1, or in a virtual setting. Also, offering programs that are both introduction to healing and faith forward programs. Men and women impacted by abortion sometimes are not ready to speak about God. They eventually return to their church, but we have to meet them where they are first, to give them the opportunity to find their faith again.
As Support After Abortion grew, the organization expanded into offering 1:1 healing options, and over the phone support and the number of those impacted from abortion increased from 10 to 52. Then in 2019, Abby Johnson noticed Support After Abortion’s effort to increase abortion healing capacity, and asked SAA to be a resource for those who needed support after the movie Unplanned was released.
Karin states, “If we don’t have healing in the forefront of the Pro-Life movement, we are missing the mark.” Support After Abortion made it their goal to mobilize a nation, and stare into a future of abortion healing based on compassion and creating change.
Creating a Case for Change with Compassion
The future is bright for those seeking abortion healing with Support After Abortion. Virtual Support Groups have expanded to include those who have suffered from codependency, sexual assault, and miscarriage loss. Support After Abortion will begin to offer weekly support groups for those waiting to start their abortion healing group, and for those who have just finished their group. “People get nervous when their group is about to end,” so they will be maintaining that connection through the weekly support group and other groups, such as Breaking the Drama Cycle. Both groups will promote healthier behaviors, and an increase in coping and communication skills to handle life’s stressful moments.
Support After Abortion has also expanded their healing to include men. Men are negatively impacted by abortion too, and they often grieve and engage in healing differently. Support After Abortion has developed a Mens Task Force. This task force will continue to research the healing that men need, and create a safe space for men to walk alongside other men in their abortion healing process. October 15th-16th, 2021 marks the first Men’s Conference through Support After Abortion. Here, SAA is excited to provide abortion healing support and resources to men, and allow them to come together in to see they too are not alone in this process.
Carolyn Fransden, Program Coordinator for Support After Abortion, experienced what it can be like after you bravely share your story. After Carolyn shared her pain of not being able to hold her son when he was first born, due to the effects of her previous abortion, she was met with hateful comments that included, “you got what you deserved.” Sadly these comments came from those involved in the Pro-Life movement. Instead of this condemnation, the Support After Abortion Virtual Conference will address the need to first think, “I wonder what she went through, I wonder how hard that was for her.” We need to create a case for change and respond with compassion, so that those afraid to come forward for healing, bravely take that step. Support After Abortion is having another free Virtual Conference that will take place on March 26th and 27th of this year. It is here we will start the conversation of creating change with compassion
“Healing can no longer be a band-aid. We need to start cleaning out the wounds of others, so that even though they may have a scar that exists, they are no longer sick.”
If you or someone you know has been impacted by abortion please know you are not alone. Please contact our hopeline at 844-289-HOPE (4673) Contact | Support After Abortion , or visit us https://supportafterabortion.com. If you are interested in being a catalyst for change please register for our Support After Abortion Virtual Conference.