With almost 60 million abortions since it 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 women and men deal with grief, and forgive themselves and others for a past abortion. Contact us at Care@RestoreAfterAbortion.com or 630.599.0043.
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 on the subject of post-abortion symptoms reveals a high instance of negative reactions and mental health problems. The Elliot Institute for Social Sciences Research indicates that post-abortive women are:
- 65% more likely to experience clinical depression
- 5 times more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs.
- 60% report suicidal thoughts
- 28% attempt suicide
- 14% suffer post traumatic stress disorder
- 65% report symptoms of PTSD
- 64% felt pressured by others to have the abortion.
Restore provides free, confidential post-abortion support to men and women in DuPage County and surrounding communities. Visit Restore After Abortion here, or call 630.599.0043.
Stories of Wounded Hearts
“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. There is healing. 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 that “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.”
Visit Restore After Abortion here, or call 630.599.0043.