Abortion as a Component of Disenfranchised Grief

When looking at the statistics for abortions, or perhaps when trying to figure out how many abortions are performed a year it is very difficult to determine.  Depending on where you search even with the internet; there is no true way of determining how many are performed in a year.  Suffice to say it is probably a lot.

This article focuses on those who are emotionally affected by their abortion experience.  Yes, there are those who are not affected or state the are fine or at least for now they are.  I am not going into the numerous reasons why women decide to get abortions or are forced into it. Often outsiders have no clue what really goes on in our society and would be appalled at what happens to women.

WOW, many women who may have grief related issues and are not able to share this with anyone.  I will concede there are women who have no issues, concerns or worries related to their abortion(s), but this is about the women who in some cases carry a “SECRET” that affects the core of their being; a “SECRET”, which may be held deep in their soul for decades.

How does this loss affect an individual?  When you view grief as affecting an individual mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually an abortion can create havoc. The experience of an abortion can be a traumatic event for the woman and at the same time a “SECRET”.

Women may have to deal with aspects of trauma such as; nightmares, flashbacks, despair, replaying the procedure over and over in their mind and perhaps come to a point where the experience gets buried deep in their heart.  Layers of protection get put around the grief and loss in hopes the experience will be buried forever.

The body has memory and can remember the experience physically.  For some women this is part of the trauma.  The loss experience may get pushed aside, but in some cases, it will surface again decades later as stress, illness, or recurring problem(s) with no understandable meaning that can be seen at the present time.

Counselling and delving into traumatic experiences may help with unravelling the suppressed grief.  Sometimes, grief comes off in layers.  You might say, “I dealt with my loss a long time ago”.  Perhaps you took some layers off and the deep, heavy, raw grief has come to the surface.

Seek help if needed.  All judgement set aside, find someone who cares.

“The loss of a child hurts, no matter how it occurred.”

All my best,

Barbara Gillett Saunders

Grief Counsellor/Thanatologist