there”. Many cannot even say the word! Sometimes parents, boyfriends, husbands, counselors, and friends are usually part of the decision to abort, often encouraging or even forcing abortions. They too will be reluctant to listen to the suffering individual because of their own unresolved feelings of guilt, which are activated when their loved one is hurting. They will minimize their pain, telling them, “It’s time to move on”, and “You made the right decision”.
And so, those who are hurting shrink even deeper into themselves, funneling grief into private addictions and compulsions, eating disorders, the abuse of drugs and alcohol, promiscuity, anxiety, depression, acting out, and becoming workaholics to provide a shield against feeling their pain or to create a private fortress against future intimacy.
Post abortion trauma can affect anybody, especially teenagers. One study done by the University of Minnesota showed that teenagers are ten times more likely to attempt suicide if they have had an abortion in the last six months, than are teens that have not had an abortion. 1
So where do we start? How can we reach out with love and hope to those wounded by abortion?
Educate yourself about the symptoms and life experiences of those wounded by abortion. A good place to start is to read Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion. You might also consider attending a seminar on post- abortion trauma and healing.
Explore your own involvement in abortion You won’t be able to recognize this issue and address it effectively if you have your own unresolved issues with a previous abortion. It is difficult to give people permission to talk about their grief if you have not done your own work. Perhaps you have lost a child or a member of your own family to abortion, a niece, a nephew, or a grandchild. Dealing with your own emotions first will put you in a much better position to reach out to others. Rachel’s Vineyard Weekend Retreats for Healing after abortion are open to women and men, couples, grandparents, and even siblings of aborted children. The weekends also welcome those who have been involved in the abortion industry.
Listen. As a Christian community, we can’t go off shrugging our shoulders and placing our hands over our ears to the wailing of mothers and fathers who are grieving the loss of millions of children. Remember that the wounds of abortion are imprinted upon the heart and soul, and then quickly sentenced to a secret prison of isolation and grief. They are silenced by shame. They are silenced by the belief that they are alone and that no one can understand their pain. They fear being judged by others. Even more than this,