Abortion and Grief

There is so much that is said, in a very negative way, about a woman making a choice and

,., decision making

,., decision making (Photo credit: nerovivo)

deciding how to deal with a pregnancy. When a woman comes to me and tells me she has made this choice, I understand that she is dealing with grief.

Each day we make choices in our life; some good, some bad. Often we don’t realize what this decision will mean in our future. Whether we are young and starting out for the first time as an adult or older and still not quite clear where we are. Obstacles that face us do not come with a map, we must find the road and travel down it on our own. Often others join us on this ride in the form of partners, families and friends. In the end, no one can really come to a decision about their life except the person with the weight on their shoulders.

Once the decision has been made, if those around her do not agree, they will never let her live it down. Even though she may feel that the choice she made was right, it is a heavy burden to carry the weight of ridicule and scorn.

When it comes to the choice of terminating a pregnancy, this is not done lightly. I have never heard anyone say they enjoyed the process.  Often the choice is made when they are alone (without a partner to support them). This does not mean that the partner is absent in some cases either.

In the aftermath, the woman can become traumatized due to regret or the judgement of others. This trauma is a hidden emotional setback that women don’t realize is there. In an attempt to be brave and strong, we often persevere and force our self to not look back. After an abortion, her body takes on this pain and she carries it throughout her life. While sometimes the agonizing decision of having an abortion must occur, I personally do not believe that any woman wants to do this. I have heard many women who are pro-choice say that while they approve of this right for others, they could never do it themselves. However whether you would or wouldn’t when faced with this dilemma and in certain circumstances, it is not easy to know how you would deal with it.

We must follow our instincts and the path set before us. Once we have made a decision, it is done. A loss of any type brings about grief and sadness. The pain of making a controversial decision, taking a stand for what you know is right – for you, is a difficult and horrible process to bare. I urge anyone who has gone through this to consider speaking to a psychotherapist. This should be treated as a loss and dealt with as one. Your life will never be the same and it is important that there is a professional there to help you through this.

**Please take note: I will not be allowing any comments from pro-life activists in regard to this post. Since I approve all comments before they are made public, you will be wasting your energy. This is a psychotherapy weblog written for clients and perspective clients to read and hopefully find some solace. In order to protect these people who might read this article and comments that follow, I will not allow them to be harassed any further. This is meant to be a safe and supportive place, not a debate circle. There are plenty of other venues to take action – it would behoove you to stay there.

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