Damaging Messages #2: What Not to Say to Post-Abortive People
“I don’t support what you did, but I’m here to support you.”
This comment voices disdain for the individual and reverts the conversation back to you and your heart on the abortion issue. This can be very damaging to the individual who needs unconditional support and love from the listener.
When pain sets in, many of us are just awakening to what is happening in relation to the abortion issue in the world. Over the years we have typically disbursed a great deal of emotional energy in avoiding the “A” word because it can trigger painful memories. It can be a miracle for us to even voice the term. Please let us talk and prayerfully listen to our confessions. If we end up tearful, be patient and allow us to recover so we can continue.
Keep in mind that your perspective on abortion is irrelevant. Listening to our abortion confession is not wrong, even if you don’t like abortion. Comprehending that we may have no political agenda in this discussion is important. We probably have yet to make a decision on where we fit in on this hotly contested issue. We just want to express how we are feeling at last!
Work to put yourself into our shoes in listening as we share our journey through this choice. When the emotional work is finished – which can require many conversations and a good abortion recovery program – we may be willing to address the legality of this choice with you. Please wait for us to bring the subject up with you even then.
What to say instead: If I had been in your shoes, perhaps I might have made a similar choice. (Say it because it’s true! You don’t know what you would have done in a similar unplanned pregnancy situation.)