THE BLOG

Eradicating the Shame of Abortion

02/01/2015 16:20 | Updated 02 March 2015

Abortion - the word is like totally loaded. It touches the hearts of women and society on a global scale. Yet too many professional women are seeking out help to deal with their shame around abortion, and for many women who have undergone abortion are in need of releasing their shame story.

Due to the ideals of the generations before them, women have took on the burden of shame and of guilt surrounding abortion, and in many cases have not told a single soul, not even their best friend or their current partners.

If women were to get together, to share their stories of abortion with a truthful voice, with a reflection-in-love of their experience, it would break the many thousand years of male dominated, social conditioning. From illegal backstreet procedures to modern day outpatient departments, abortion has pricked the consciousness of humanity.

When I was twenty three years old, I was in a controlling relationship and early on, I fell pregnant. I was forced into an abortion under the guise that I would be left alone to rear the child. After only recently escaping a life of sexual abuse at that time, I was co-dependent on my partner, and to be faced with that situation, I believed I had no choice. I decided to have the abortion carried out under general anesthetic at around 8 weeks.

On awakening I remember a nurse slapping my face awake, and I felt an enormous sense of loss and of betrayal and immediately found myself crying hysterically. There was no comfort from anywhere, no offer of counselling or of warmth. Above all, I felt as I had carried the abortion through that I had no rights to talk about it, or to grieve.

It seems that this is a similar story for many of you.

So what can be done to help a woman through the story of abortion?

Women's choice for abortion comes after many factors, most commonly not being ready, not in a relationship, or their partners insisting. For some though it is under forced factors, such as abuse or violence. With these later reasons, the act of abortion itself is a violation in its own right, and the memory can stay living in the woman's cells. The body itself becomes an expression of grief for some women and illnesses such as cervical cancer, endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease have been reported to develop.

My own clients', who have come to me after having an abortion, regularly go through a grieving process. Their sense of loss becomes epic, far more than they could have imagined. Their bodies still naturally going through hormonal changes, some even producing colostrum, their wombs ache and in utter loss they feel they cannot open up with anyone because these things just can't be flaunted under other people's noses. A sense of deep and utter shame ensues, even when the women's choice of abortion was the best one for them.

From Nicki Minaj and Toni Braxton it is helpful to see celebrities sharing their stories, as being role models for all sorts of women, it makes these life experiences less isolating. If you or someone you know who has gone through abortion and are still haunted by the memory, it is useful to ask the following questions:

  • What is the story behind your experience of abortion?
  • How did you feel and how have your feelings changed over time?
  • Can forgiveness be an option? If not why not?
  • What can you do today to nurture yourself?

If this has helped you in anyway or you feel moved to share your own story of abortion, please comment in the box below.