Mental Health Awareness Week is ending. After-abortion suffering is not.

Mental Health Awareness Week is ending. After-abortion suffering is not.

“Women and men deserve healing after abortion now and all year,” said CEO Lisa Rowe

NORTH PORT, FLORIDA–As Mental Health Awareness Week ends, Support After Abortion is urging the mental health community, elected officials, and religious and community leaders to support people who face grief, anxiety, and other mental health challenges after abortion.

“Acknowledgement is one of the most powerful antidotes to mental health struggles, and people suffering after abortions are no exception,” said Support After Abortion CEO Lisa Rowe, a licensed therapist and social worker. “The politics of abortion often hide human suffering, and those in positions of power and influence can be voices of change to overcome stigma, isolation, and shame. Women and men deserve healing after abortion now and all year.”

In 2022 and 2023, Support After Abortion released first-of-its-kind research on the impact of abortion on women and men. One in three women reported adverse mental health symptoms like grief, loneliness, and depression after medication abortions, and 71% of men reported emotional harm after a partner’s abortion experience. Nearly 80% of men and 55% of women who identify as pro-choice either sought help or could have used someone to talk to after abortion experiences.

“One of the most heartbreaking discoveries of our research was that the majority of both women and men surveyed said they either sought help or wished they had someone to talk to about their emotional struggles,” said Greg Mayo, head of Support After Abortion’s National Men’s Task Force. “Clergy, elected officials, and mental health professionals already provide many of these resources to other struggling demographics, and can help overcome mental health stigma by raising their voices in support of the humans behind abortion suffering.”

Support After Abortion provides many data-driven resources to help women and men find healing and hope after abortion. They include, but are not limited to:

Support After Abortion: Acknowledge abortion as pregnancy loss this month

Support After Abortion: Acknowledge abortion as pregnancy loss this month

NORTH PORT, FL–As the 36th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month begins October 1, the research and education group Support After Abortion is urging the mental health community to recognize that pregnancy loss also includes abortion loss.

“Nearly one million women experience abortion each year,” said Support After Abortion CEO Lisa Rowe, a licensed therapist and social worker. “Yet many suffer its adverse issues silently, unable to fully acknowledge and work through their loss because abortion is too often viewed as a political or religious issue instead of appropriately as pregnancy loss.”

Support After Abortion’s nationally representative research shows that one-third of women who experienced medication abortion and 71% of men who experienced abortion through a partner’s termination suffer grief, loneliness, anger, and other issues. This included 78% of men and 55% of women who identified as pro-choice. Yet just 18% of women and men know that after-abortion healing resources exist.

Rowe said acknowledgements of pregnancy and infant loss help families feel supported – which makes the absence of abortion mentions even more conspicuous. “Our culture needs an entire shift,” she said. “Popular medical websites, federal agencies, and elected officials acknowledge the tragedy of pregnancy loss, as well as the emotional difficulties women may face after losses such as miscarriage or stillbirth. But that acknowledgement is missing for people who suffer after abortion experiences, which causes women and men to unhealthily suppress their pain.”

Support After Abortion provides a number of anonymous, professional resources to assist women and men who experience pregnancy loss through abortion:

“Support after pregnancy loss is really about meeting hurting parents where they are and letting them know they’re not alone,” concluded Rowe. “But healing is much harder when people feel ignored, condemned, or stigmatized.”

About Support After Abortion

Support After Abortion is an abortion-healing organization that promotes compassion, collaboration, and capacity to create gold-standard care for women and men suffering from abortion’s adverse impacts.

Support After Abortion’s back-to-school message: Support struggling parents

Support After Abortion’s back-to-school message: Support struggling parents

NORTH PORT, FL—As more than 50 million children prepare for the excitement of the new school year, mental health therapist and Support After Abortion CEO Lisa Rowe called on communities to show compassion to parents who have experienced pregnancy loss.

“Back-to-school messages are everywhere, from store fronts to ads and social media,” said Rowe, a licensed therapist and social worker. “For most people, the coming school year will be exciting, stressful, or both. But women and men who have experienced miscarriage, abortion, or the loss of a child may find themselves struggling from the feeling that something is missing.”

Rowe encourages friends and communities to show love and compassion to women and men who have experienced pregnancy loss. “Silence may seem like the polite approach, but it often creates isolation. If your friend or loved one seems ready to talk, consider offering support in the short-term during the back-to-school season, or even longer if you are able.”

She also urged parents to give themselves space to understand their feelings. “It might feel inappropriate to celebrate one child’s future while being sad about the past – or disrespectful to a deceased child to celebrate a living child’s success. Grief, guilt, anger, and other emotions are common and natural responses to loss, which is why it’s very important to take the time to process what you’re feeling and – if necessary – seek professional help to heal from past traumas.”

Parents struggling after abortion may contact Support After Abortion to seek healing. Available resources include:

  • Anonymous after-abortion helpline for referral to one-on-one or group support.
  • national directory of providers familiar with Support After Abortion’s philosophy of care.
  • Online and in-person support groups for women and men impacted by abortion.
Support After Abortion: Wisconsin abortion debate a reminder of changing cultures

Support After Abortion: Wisconsin abortion debate a reminder of changing cultures

Support After Abortion released the following statement after a judge allowed a lawsuit to proceed against Wisconsin’s 173-year-old abortion ban:

America’s view of life, family, and women’s rights has changed a lot since the mid-19th century. So has our knowledge of mental health. One of the biggest changes in recent years is the surge in women who choose medication abortion over surgical methods – and, as a result, experience their abortion isolated at home, instead of anesthetized in a clinic. Not knowing where to turn for support ultimately compounds that trauma for many women.

We see real people suffering after abortion because the political maneuvering often fails to take the human element into account. Millions of vulnerable women say they feel judged by pro-life advocates, while others feel disenfranchised by the failure of abortion advocates to acknowledge that after-abortion suffering is real.

Meeting people where they are, which is a principle of trauma-informed care, is the first way we can show compassion and support. Instead of looking at abortion as solely a political or legal issue, people should be able to agree that helping those hurting after abortion find healing is a necessary human issue for which we need to grow access.

Support After Abortion’s nationally representative survey of women who experienced medication abortion found that nearly two thirds of women either sought help or wished they had someone to talk to. Additionally, over a third of women surveyed reported adverse impacts after a medication abortion, yet less than one in five said they knew where to seek help.

Support After Abortion’s research-based after-abortion training for therapists, counselors, and other providers is a blueprint for elevating healing and compassion for women and men seeking mental health support after experiencing an abortion. Some of Support After Abortion’s best practices include:

  • Anonymous after-abortion helpline for referral to one-on-one or group support, including therapy.

  • A national directory of providers familiar with Support After Abortion’s philosophy of care.

  • Online and in-person support groups, for women and men impacted by abortion and for those impacted by someone else’s abortion.

Support After Abortion: Abortion is about people, not politics

Support After Abortion: Abortion is about people, not politics

Media Contact:
Dustin Siggins
media@supportafterabortion.com

Lawmakers should prioritize mental health, says Support After Abortion

NORTH PORT, FLORIDA—Support After Abortion has released the following statement leading up to the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision.

“The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade sent abortion laws back to the states. This was an opportunity for both sides to put aside traditional barriers on abortion to prioritize mental health resources. Support After Abortion’s nationally representative surveys make clear that women and men suffer after abortion, impacting their mental health, view of self, and relationships with loved ones.

Abortion-related mental health issues could have brought both sides to the negotiating table. State funding of long-term mental health resources can help people address the roots of trauma which often lead to the relationship and financial challenges that are frequent precursors to an abortion experience.

Instead, politics continues to hide the suffering behind abortion. As a result, millions of women and men don’t get the pre-abortion and after-abortion “help they want.”

Founded in 2020, Support After Abortion provides gold-standard research and support for women and men after abortion. Standing away from the politics of abortion to put people first, Support After Abortion’s mission is to elevate abortion healing in the eyes of all Americans. Its work includes:

·        An after-abortion help line which refers people to healing resources, including licensed therapists.

·        The first after-abortion healing provider directory for men and women to independently find healing resources and for those serving them to make referrals.

·        Nationally representative research to capture how many women and men suffer after abortion – and what can help them heal.

·        Workshops and webinars which equip therapists, pregnancy resource centers, social workers, and others understand how to address after-abortion suffering.

About Support After Abortion

Support After Abortion provides gold-standard research and education that promote compassion, collaboration, and capacity to create high-quality care for men and women suffering from abortion’s adverse impacts. Its free resources include an After Abortion Help Line, a national therapist and counseling directory, and an introductory abortion healing program.

Helping men navigate lost fatherhood on Father’s Day

Helping men navigate lost fatherhood on Father’s Day

“Be prepared that the day – or parts of it – may be difficult,” said Support After Abortion’s Greg Mayo

Media Contact:
Dustin Siggins
media@supportafterabortion.com

NORTH PORT, FLORIDA—Men who have lost children to abortion can find Father’s Day celebrations challenging, said after-abortion healing expert Greg Mayo, who lost two children to abortion and leads Support After Abortion’s National Men’s Task Force.

“Men’s emotions and grief around abortion are often ignored or dismissed,” continued Mayo, who recently authored a white paper which included statistics from Support After Abortion’s national survey of men who experienced abortion through a partner’s termination. “But their pain and feelings are real, and Father’s Day can be challenging as their thoughts go to their missing children, perhaps even while celebrating the joy of the day with their living children.”

The Support After Abortion study found that 71% of men experience adverse change after abortion, regardless of their position on abortion or their involvement in the abortion decision.

Support After Abortion CEO Lisa Rowe, a licensed mental health therapist and social worker, encouraged families, friends, and communities to be sensitive during culturally celebratory times like Father’s Day.

One in four men experience a home without a father, and others may have had difficult relationships with their fathers. Men may be approaching Father’s Day with fatherhood wounds from childhood, with their own lost fatherhood, and perhaps with pains from their own parenting of other children.

Grief is a common and natural response to loss. It varies for everyone, and grief after abortion is no different. It’s important to acknowledge the very real emotions that some men experience after their partners have abortions.

Just like women on Mother’s Day, men who have experienced reproductive loss including abortion should give themselves permission to grieve during Father’s Day. Releasing emotions in a healthy way – from doing yard work to talking to a trusted friend to going hiking – can bring a measure of peace and allow men to participate in the rest of the day, especially if they have living children who want to honor them as a father.

“Be prepared that the day – or parts of it – may be difficult,” advised Mayo. “This Father’s Day, if a man among your family, friends, or community is hurting after abortion, respect his grief, make space for his emotions, and ask how he would like to be recognized.”

Men and women who are struggling after abortion may contact the Support After Abortion team for confidential, anonymous support here.