Abortion is often viewed strictly as a medical procedure—a clinical option for an undesired pregnancy. At first, a feeling of relief might follow an abortion, but that feeling may gradually spiral into some unexpected emotional side-effects.

One study published in the National Library of Medicine found the following:

  • Abortion is consistently associated with elevated rates of mental illness compared to women without a history of abortion.
  • The abortion experience directly contributes to mental health problems for at least some women.
  • There are risk factors, such as pre-existing mental illness, that identify women at greatest risk of mental health problems after abortion.

Of course, everyone is different, and each person’s abortion experience is unique. However, Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS) is something experienced by many women and men. These negative emotions can set in within days of the abortion or may gradually show up years later.

Are you struggling with any of the following symptoms?

  •  Emotional numbness or withdrawal
  • Guilt and shame
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Relationship problems
  • Flashbacks of the abortion
  • Nightmares or trouble sleeping
  • Anniversary grief
  • Avoiding baby reminders or failing to bond with later children
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Participating in high-risk behaviors such as eating disorders, alcohol and drug use, self-harm, promiscuity

How have you been coping?

Have you tried unsuccessfully to stuff the pain or to “just get over it?”

Below are some suggested healing steps:

  • Acknowledge the uniqueness of your child and the meaning of that pregnancy.
  • Give yourself permission to grieve the loss of your child.
  • Tell your story to a trusted friend, pastor, or counselor…find confidential help at a local Pregnancy Help Center. 
  • Permit yourself to explore your anger, depression, and need for forgiveness.
  • Speak to God about the pain that is in your heart. The healing will come. Abortion pain can be like layers that need to be lifted by God.

Healing and recovery can come! You are not alone. If you need someone to talk to that you can trust, our caring mentors are available. Please set up a free appointment to meet with one of them. We’re here for you.

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