Did you know that April is Abortion Healing Recovery Month? You may be wondering why a month has been dedicated to healing from a fairly common decision in our country. Or you may be breathing a sigh of relief that you’re not alone in feeling like you need healing from your abortion experience(s). Either way, Support After Abortion can help walk those who desire support through some of the more common emotions following abortion. Let’s discuss why people may need healing and how to go about finding the healing that so many people desire. 

THE NEED FOR HEALING AFTER ABORTION

Thankfully, mental health is taken seriously in our culture and people are often encouraged to get the help they need. 

But sometimes, the grief, anger, regret, or other emotional challenges that follow abortion for some women and men aren’t as easily discussed publicly. This can make people who have gone through those emotions or who are currently battling them, feel alone. We are here for you and you don’t have to go through any of this alone. 

Abortion is experienced by about 25% of women and 20% of men (through a partner’s termination of pregnancy) by the time they reach their 45th birthday. In our research, 34% of women and 71% of men reported negative experiences afterwards like depression, sadness, and grief. Our studies also showed that only 18% of women and men knew where to go for help. Support After Abortion estimates that about 100,000 people, at the most, receive healing worldwide per year. That leaves millions of people desiring after-abortion support but having no idea where to turn. 

There are certainly people who feel fine after their abortion experiences or, if they do experience some negative emotions, they are able to move on with their lives. And others have a harder time doing so. 

COMMON EMOTIONS FOLLOWING ABORTION EXPERIENCES

There are a wide variety of emotions that can follow abortion experiences. Sometimes these show up right away and other times, they take weeks, months, or years to appear. 

Some emotions that our clients and research participants commonly name include grief, depression, regret, anger, sadness, guilt, and loneliness. Sometimes these emotions can lead to damaging behaviors like substance abuse, anger issues, and more severe depression. 

– I’m struggling mentally. I’m so stressed out and feel really depressed. I’m having nightmares, trouble sleeping, and anxiety. I keep getting flashbacks. And I have so much guilt and anger. I would love to get help, someone I could talk to. – Client

– I need emotional support. It’s been really rough since my abortion. I have no motivation to get out of bed. I’m sad, anxious, and cry a lot. – Client

– I don’t regret my decision to terminate. But I’m experiencing guilt, conflicting emotions, and loneliness. And I feel like I can’t talk about it since it was my decision. – Client

– It’s the 20th anniversary of my abortion, and it’s been hard. I feel so sad about it and don’t have anyone to talk to. Everyone says it was the right choice and I should move on. I just wish someone would understand or acknowledge how awful I feel about it. Do others feel this way? Is it common to have these feelings so long afterwards? – Client

Many share that they feel stuck emotionally. This is common, and it’s ok to ask for help. 

OTHERS WHO ARE IMPACTED BY ABORTION

The ripple effect of abortion can extend beyond the woman and man involved. This can impact family and friends, as well. 

GRANDPARENTS AND ABORTION 

Grandparents can also struggle when their son or daughter is impacted by abortion, such as these clients: 

– I’m not sure where to get support. My grandchild was aborted yesterday, and we’re absolutely shattered. My son and we begged to support her and the baby or to raise the child. I don’t know if my son will ever be okay. Please tell me what to do for him and for us. – Grandmother

– My son is suffering from depression and anxiety after his then-girlfriend had an abortion. The decision was mutual, but he’s suffering pretty badly. He asked me to help him find a therapist he can talk to. – Grandfather

– Our whole family has been impacted by this, and it has been very difficult and relationships are very strained. I don’t know how to help my daughter since her abortion or what to do to deal with all this. – Grandmother

Grandparents are often concerned when they see their son or daughter struggling after an abortion and want to know where to go for help. 

HOW TO HEAL EMOTIONALLY AFTER ABORTION

Support After Abortion offers several free resources for anyone – women, men, parents, siblings, grandparents, friends – affected by abortion and desiring support. Reach out to our After Abortion Line by online chat, phone, text, email, or messaging on Facebook or Instagram. We offer free, confidential, compassionate support. We can connect you to the healing resource that best meets your preferences. Check out our website!

Keys to Hope and Healing, which is an introductory abortion healing resource available for women and men, in English and Spanish, religious and secular versions. Resources include booklets, journals, facilitator’s guide, training videos, and self-guided healing for women and men.

DO YOU – OR WOULD YOU LIKE TO – PROVIDE AFTER-ABORTION SUPPORT?

Explore our Provider Training Center and attend our free monthly Abortion Healing Provider webinars, Men’s Healing Matters webinars, and Quarterly Facilitator Trainings.

© Support After Abortion