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.