With almost 60 million abortions completed since the procedure became legal in the U.S. in 1973, many people are suffering with guilt and grief from a past abortion experience. Caring Network offers an opportunity to process and heal through Restore, an individual or group program that helps both women and men deal with grief and forgive themselves and others for a past abortion.
Many people are surprised by their reaction to abortion. Some experience relief at first, then struggle with grief, guilt, anger, or regret. The intensity of post-abortion stress can vary from sadness to suicidal feelings, but common reactions include nightmares, flashbacks, low self-esteem, problems with intimacy, and substance abuse. Sometimes symptoms are delayed for many years and are triggered by other associations or experiences.
Extensive research about post-abortion symptoms reveals a high number of negative reactions and mental health problems. The Elliot Institute for Social Sciences Research indicates that post-abortive women are at a highly increased risk for:
- clinical depression
- alcohol or drug abuse
Additionally, studies show that abortion is linked to:
- suicidal thoughts
- suicide attempts
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- difficulties in parenting
- other emotional & mental health issues
Restore provides free, confidential post-abortion support to men and women in DuPage County and surrounding communities. If you are interested in partnering with a Restore group, visit Restore After Abortion, or call 630.599.0043.
Stories of Wounded Hearts with Post-Abortion Stress
It is common for women to experience post-abortion stress, even long after the procedure. Below are a few examples in which women share their story and how they felt after following through with an abortion.
“After the births of each of my living children, I experienced nightmares where I was frantically searching the bed for my “lost” baby. My fear was not for my new baby, because I knew that child was safe. It was for the other child that I was searching. The one I would never find. The one that I was never told I might miss someday.”
“It’s been 11 years since my abortion. Trying to get pregnant has been one of the greatest heartaches for me. I continually think of the abortion and feel enormous guilt. Each period pulls me into a depression and fear of being punished. I feel my husband would leave me if I ever shared this secret from my past. So, I continue to carry on… alone.”
“Next to the pain of my abortion was the fact that I couldn’t grieve with my husband. He just couldn’t face it. When he would start to consider the horror of it all, he would stop short and “tune out.” It was just too depressing for him to contemplate. I felt completely alone. I grieved alone and I hated him for that. It impacted every area of our marriage, until I felt so much anger it was impossible to be close to him.”
“I felt that if I didn’t marry my aborted baby’s father, no one else would want me because of what I’d done. My sense of unworthiness increased, and I questioned my ability to raise a child. My husband was abusive, but I actually felt he was treating me as I deserved. My abortion made me feel like dirt.”
But there is hope and healing, even after an abortion. Just like these women, so many describe feeling trapped in emotional darkness. Recently, a client shared her experience of going through a Restore group and how she found the “light at the end of the tunnel” of emotional pain.
“Before Restore, I was in a very dark place emotionally and spiritually. I knew I could not continue my life in this much pain. Meeting other women who went through a similar experience was very helpful for me, to realize I am not alone and hear how others have healed from a painful abortion. Restore pushed me emotionally and spiritually to a place where I found light at the end of the tunnel. Now I feel much better about myself and have experienced healing.”
Post-Abortion Stress Recovery with Caring Network
As long as abortion clinics continue to provide procedures and the abortion pill, Caring Network will continue our fight. We have adapted our services so that we can continue to skillfully assist women who are navigating an unplanned pregnancy, while maintaining the health and safety of our staff and clients. If you are suffering from post-abortion stress and want to begin your road to recovery, contact us at Care@RestoreAfterAbortion.com or 630.599.0043.
Our medical staff continues to provide ultrasound services in a safe, sanitary environment, where women can encounter their babies for the first time. A high level of communication is maintained through the entire process, ensuring the women seeking our services feel heard and cared for.
If you wish to promote the cause of life, Caring Network is a great place to start! There are many ways to partner with us as we fulfill the mission of reaching more women facing unplanned pregnancy and ultimately impacting more lives.
Volunteer, pray, donate, host a baby shower, share our work on social media—there are many ways to get involved! If you’d like to learn more about how you can participate in promoting life, reach out to us today!