Your daughter reveals the dreaded truth, “I had an abortion.”
Your mind reacts with thoughts like, “It cannot be… What? Why? How come my daughter didn’t come to me?”
In the midst of the wondering, a deep seated sense of loss sets in that doesn’t go away. Questions haunt the soul. Pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place. Suddenly, things are clear and you realize the abortion is the source of your daughters dysfunctional behaviors.
People participate in abortion without experiencing it physically. Abortion secrets often cause deep emotional and spiritual pain. Lives can be held “captive” by the long held secret of abortion.
Post-abortion regret at a secondary level depends on the level of involvement in the abortion decision. It is not uncommon for someone to think they were helping in going to the abortion clinic or paying for an abortion. Some may feel like they have gone against their own moral codes and have no way to reconcile what they have done.
Abortion involvement includes these common scenarios:
- Uninvolved – You did not know about the pregnancy and subsequent abortion and learned about it after the fact.
- Neutral – You knew about the pregnancy and subsequent abortion but were not involved or refused to participate in the abortion, allowing the decision to abort to be solely the woman’s choice.
- Prevent – You knew about the abortion and disagreed, or may have actively tried to stop the abortion but had no legal standing to do so.
- Encouraged – You pressured or encouraged the abortion directly. You may not have entertained any other option but abortion. This scenario includes those who accompanied the woman to the abortion clinic and/or helped pay for the abortion.
Secrecy, shame, or fear of being a disappointment to the family is often the motivator for young women/men who abort without parental knowledge. The abortion-minded often state, “If my parents knew I was pregnant, they’d kill me because they’ll realize I’m no longer a virgin! They will be devastated to know I’m no longer their little girl.”
Secrecy about the loss of virginity, pregnancy and/or abortion can have a long lasting impact on a relationship between parents and their daughters and sons. In the post-abortive heart, anger is often unknowingly directed towards the parent for not noticing the pregnancy and/or stopping the abortion. Post-abortive people who are in pain often work to shift the responsibility for the abortion decision onto others, particularly family members.
My mother never knew I was pregnant yet I blamed her completely because she wasn’t “emotionally available” to support me in continuing an unplanned pregnancy. She had once told me, “If you ever get pregnant, I’ll break your arm.” Her words unknowingly encouraged my abortion decision. That simple message she delivered when I was 8 years old allowed me to escape my own guilt by putting responsibility on my mother.
After my abortion, anger against her festered in my heart. Our relationship deteriorated to the point of nearly no contact. At one point in my healing process, God convicted me that I had aborted her grandchild and then hated her for it. That conviction helped me realize and then release my dysfunctional anger against this uninvolved parent! When we finally discussed my abortion, I realized that she was grieving deeply. Her grief broke my heart. I never thought my choice would cause her pain.
Regardless of your involvement in the abortion, once the abortion has become a reality in your life and has impacted you emotionally or spiritually, it carries a level of trauma (Abortion PTSD). This kind of trauma is particularly difficult for parents who find out about the abortion after the fact.
If you are struggling with your daughter’s abortion decision, please realize that you are not alone. Abortion affects every life it touches, whether we know about it or not. Abortion recovery programs, available through pregnancy centers and local churches, can bring the same peace to your heart as well!
To learn more about the pain of abortion at a deeper lever, order a copy of Her Choice to Heal. This book will not only educate you but then be available for your loved one when they are ready to discover God’s miraculous healing!
If you are praying for someone who may not realize you know about their abortion, this blog may be helpful: When She Doesn’t Know you Know: 10 Ways to Offer Indirect Post-Abortion Compassion. As always, Ramah International is here to help!
Sydna Masse is President and Founder of Ramah International and author of the book, Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion. Contact Sydna by writing to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.