Finding peace after an abortion

If you’re reading this, chances are you have had an abortion.

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If you had an abortion, you are not alone in your experience. While lots of women have experienced abortions: women of all races, religions and a wide range of ages, education and income. And even through, abortion is one of the most commonly performed gynecological procedures in the US, where conservatively over 1.3 million are performed every year. Women have abortions for a number of different reasons, and while many women’s reasons are similar, each experience, just like each person, is unique.

You may experience a range of feelings after an abortion; this is entirely normal. Women often experience feelings such as sadness, happiness, empowerment, anxiety, grief, relief and/or guilt. There is no “right” way to feel. Feelings are different for everyone and they often change over time.

We know your abortion can be hard to talk about and that finding the right person to talk with can be even harder. If you are looking for ideas about how to talk with your friends or family, take care of yourself, get through this experience or find peace, FREE ME TO LIVE can help. There you can learn about an on-line course called MY HEALING CHOICE!

:: If you’ve just had an abortion, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself, physically and emotionally, after the procedure is over. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat complete meals and do things you enjoy like going to the movies, spending time with friends or taking a walk. MY HEALING CHOICE! can be a part of how you take care of yourself. Be sure to read and follow all the after-care guidelines from your abortion provider.

:: If some time has passed since your abortion, it’s never too late to find a way to express your feelings or talk with someone who listens. Many women have found writing about their experience, whether in a journal or as a letter, a helpful tool for working through their emotions. MY HEALING CHOICE!, praying, cooking, making art, adopting a pet or climbing a mountain have been known to work as well. What’s important is that you find something that works for you, and that fits your life, beliefs and needs.

:: If you have been diagnosed, or have self-diagnosed, as having Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome, we understand that having a name for what you’re feeling and experiencing can feel important. Many women find the experience of identifying with this syndrome as positive and affirming For many women, naming and expressing their emotions, and having the space and support to do so, can be more empowering than being identified as having a disorder. Whether or not you think you have PASS, the most important thing is that you get support for what you’re feeling, not what someone else thinks you should be feeling.

The skewed findings of the American Psychological Association, which has not found a link between feelings that follow an abortion and a psychological condition in need of medical care, does not represent the findings of hundreds of after-abortion recovery support groups that hear from men and women who have been touched by abortion.