“My mother told me about my sister’s abortion before she passed away,” the woman shared. “She needed to confess that she had taken her for her abortion. My sister has been alienated from our family and didn’t even come to the funeral. How do I let her know that I know her abortion truth and share my mother’s regret?”
One of the hardest situations is when you have heard an abortion truth behind the woman’s back and want to help. Post-abortive people often desire to be truthful, particularly when they are grieving an abortion death. They want comfort and peace from loved ones. Sadly, most talk themselves out of sharing this truth due to concerns they could be judged and/or rejected. Many also don’t want their family members to grieve or feel sad.
If you know a loved one who may be maintaining an abortion secret, confronting them directly about this truth may not be God’s best plan. Thankfully, there are many other ways to address an abortion secret indirectly. These steps can help women understand that you are a safe person to talk to about their abortion.
Here are some general ways to offer indirect compassion to those who are maintaining an abortion secret:
Don’t avoid the abortion topic – Since media coverage of abortion remains a constant in our society, particularly with efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, bring up the abortion topic with the wounded individual. For example, you could say, “I heard recently that one third of all American women have made this choice. I rarely hear anyone confess to this choice. It must be a difficult thing to confess. My heart goes out to anyone who made this choice.” Whether they confess or not, you’ve made your compassion known to their hearts.
Learn about Abortion PTSD – Understanding abortion PTSD builds empathy and helps one endure difficult emotional reactions from the potential post-abortive person. Begin to research how abortion impacts women. My personal abortion story and healing journey outline the typical journey of God’s healing after abortion. Watching my story on video can help you understand what your loved one may have experienced in an abortion clinic. You can also visit our online abortion recovery website and/or obtain a copy of Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion to learn about the common issues of post-abortive women and God’s healing process. This video, book and website will then be ready to offer to the post-abortive person when a confession is made.
Beware of abortion gossip – Unless a person shares this truth directly, or you were part of their actual abortion decision, you could be wrong in assuming they had an abortion. The symptoms of abortion PTSD can impact them for other traumatic reasons and still explain their behavior.
Maintain their confidence – Abortion secrets are not to be shared with others. One of the greatest fears of post-abortive women is learning that loved ones are talking behind their backs about their abortion. Do not gossip and share someone’s abortion secret with others, particularly those closest to the woman.
Don’t take their abortion decision personally – Many feel indirect responsibility for a loved one’s abortion choice, even if they didn’t know about their loved one’s unexpected pregnancy. If your loved one had come to you during their decision-making time, you may have been able to talk them out of aborting. Since they did not involve you, their abortion is not your fault. Remind yourself of that fact whenever false guilt comes into your heart.
Whenever you hear someone talking about abortion, offer statements of compassion – Here is a general statement to make whenever abortion is discussed – “There is no sin that God cannot forgive. From what I understand, most post-abortive people struggle to forgive themselves. That must be heartbreaking…” A seed of compassion will be sown with this statement. That love can help them share this truth with you at last.
Open Your Heart to Grief – Abortion decisions impact the whole family. If the aborted child was related to you, understand you could be experiencing a secondary aspect of Abortion PTSD. Emotions of grief are common as someone has been lost from your life. Understand you may need to grieve the aborted child in a private and healthy way, apart from the potential post-abortive person.
Forgive Them – Secondary abortion pain can fester in a family for years and cause underlying rifts and eventual separation. If negative emotions exist in your heart towards a post-abortive person, understand you need to forgive them. They likely did not abort to wound you. Someone once said that holding bitterness and anger against another is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.
Don’t Misjudge Their Silence – Silence about a past abortion does not mean pain isn’t present in these hearts. Post-abortive people are often “practiced” at the art of not reacting or responding when an abortion is discussed.This silence or lack of emotion doesn’t imply they aren’t emotionally impacted by comments about abortion. Women often respond internally versus externally, working to process these comments privately.
Pray for Them – God knows their pain intimately as well as how He can turn abortion pain for His good (Romans 8:28). Praying for wounded loved ones is encouraged, particularly when you cannot discuss their pain directly. It releases the burden for their care into God’s hands and brings peace.
Discover Local Help – Abortion recovery programs are usually offered through local pregnancy centers. Contact the center in your area and ask for more information on their abortion recovery outreach efforts, or any referrals they may have to church-based programs. Visit and support these organizations as they are actively working to help women in unplanned pregnancies make better choices as well as comfort post-abortive hearts.
Don’t Give Up Hope! – God has a plan for every life He creates, even if that life is aborted. Post-abortion dysfunction often deeply impacts extended family members. Continue to offer these wounded hearts your love and compassion, even if they can’t give that back to you.
Thank you for caring for abortion’s wounded. Ramah International exists to help anyone that could be impacted by an abortion decision. We truly appreciate your prayers and financial support as God continues to help us minister to abortion’s wounded hearts.