As someone who chose abortion in my teen years, I understand the various emotions that many experience immediately after abortion. At that time, there were no resources to help me understand the emotions that followed that choice. My hope is that this blog can enlighten you to the common issues some may encounter immediately after an abortion decision so you can understand what you may encounter.
Please understand that I am not a physician or professional counselor. My expertise in abortion recovery is based on assisting women spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and physically after abortion. While working with tens of thousands of post-abortive people over the last twenty-four years, I’ve learned that some experiences are very common.
Understand that your hormones are in the process of shifting back to a non-pregnant state. Having unbalanced hormones leads many to experience emotional ups and downs. When you feel overwhelmed, remind yourself that your body is changing and be patient.
Be sure to schedule a follow-up exam by a physician that does not perform or refer for abortion procedures. Very few states have adopted health-code regulations to regulate the general sanitation of abortion clinics. It makes good sense to have a physician uninvolved in the abortion industry ensure that your healthcare in this procedure was appropriate and safe.
Know that it is normal to be angry after an abortion experience. Anger is the most typical emotion endured immediately after this procedure. This is particularly true if you were pressured by others to abort. The hormonal imbalances can impact all emotional reactions, particular related to anger.
Give yourself permission to grieve this pregnancy loss. You have experienced a pregnancy loss, regardless of the fact that it was your choice. Loss often involves a level of grief. If needed, find a private place to express this grief. You deserve that opportunity. Abortion recovery programs can also help.
Feeling “relieved” is also a very common emotion after abortion. The “crisis” is over and the situation has been resolved for many women after abortion. Perhaps the people that were pressuring you to make this decision have backed down. Things seemed to have smoothed out in your life. This “relief” can be temporary. Other emotions can find their way into your heart as the days, months and years pass. If feelings of relief are replaced with other emotions (i.e., depression, grief, etc.), understand you may be impacted by Abortion PTSD.
Some post-abortive women feel an urgency to become pregnant again as soon as possible. Some mothers seek to “replace” the lost child with another baby. Many who successfully become pregnant again may find themselves facing the same pressure and lack of support from those around them. They can very easily abort again and again. A second or third abortion can be more difficult emotionally than the initial one, particularly if the woman worked to conceive again. Multiple abortions trigger the memories of previous procedures, which can make additional abortions more emotionally agonizing.
When you hear the word abortion in conversation or media coverage, understand that it can trigger emotional pain. It is impossible to avoid this term in American society. If anxiety or pain comes over you at the mention of this term, you may need some help in addressing this past choice.
Know that there is help if you are overwhelmed with any emotions related to this choice. Planned Parenthood, the world’s largest abortion provider, outlines that 33% of all American women will experience abortion. If abortion is such a common American experience, why is it that you rarely hear anyone talk about their past choice? Abortion is a difficult choice to admit at a public level due to the broad political spectrum of emotions related to this topic. Abortion recovery programs are available to help you.
If you are experiencing any of the emotions or issues outlined above, please review an outline of Abortion PTSD available – HERE. When I read this listing eleven years after my abortion, I could see myself in many of the symptoms. This list helped me connect my pain to my abortion. I had no clue that my abortion experience was at the root of my emotional issues. I found a wonderfully compassionate abortion recovery program offered through a pregnancy center that helped me heal. It transformed my life. It can do the same for you!
Reading Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion (David C. Cook Publishing) can help you understand the emotions you may be experiencing and begin your own private healing process. To find a local abortion recovery program that can help at a confidential level, visit: Help in Your Area.