Damaging Messages #1: What Not to Say to Post-Abortive People
Don’t Say – Your abortion experience is in the past. Why bring it up now?
When post-abortive people arrive at the point of being able to discuss a past abortion, they typically know why they need to talk about it. They don’t need the listener to shut them down by telling them that such a topic should NOT be addressed at all. That is a message they’ve been trying to sell to themselves for years – and it hasn’t worked! It also communicates that the listener doesn’t WANT to hear or discuss our emotions.
A large percentage of women (and men) feel clear relief after an abortion because their unplanned pregnancy has been “resolved.” Many go on for decades without even thinking about that choice. For others, that initial peace can be temporary. “Moving on” and forgetting may be impossible. Our emotions can be stuck in our throats and we simply cannot swallow it anymore. In order to find peace, we may need to talk about it with a trusted friend or family member.
Regardless of the reason we are discussing this past choice with you, know that it took a lot of courage for us to do so. Don’t make any assumptions about what we are experiencing. Let us tell you what is on our hearts first and just listen.
If we could have moved on by now, we would have. Some people see their abortion as the loss of their identity, or their child, or their chance in life. Please make no assumptions about why someone is having feelings surrounding their abortion. Listen and then tell us you know how normal we are in what we are experiencing.
What to say instead: While this may have happened a long time ago, sometimes our emotions change over time. It’s completely okay to feel the way you are feeling today…