Frequently Asked Questions
Will I always feel this way?
Abortion is unlike any other experience in your life. It is something that affects you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And, to overcome its effects in your life, it is important to tap into everything that gives you strength. Time may mask some of the feelings, but a complete healing often requires some additional steps. We can point you toward the best resources for you.
My abortion was recent. I don’t feel bad now, but I’m worried I might feel bad later. What should I do?
You are right to be concerned. Every woman’s experience is different. The fact that you are looking for some help now means that you might benefit from someone to talk to, even if you don’t think you feel bad.
It’s been so many years. I’m scared to open up.
It is not uncommon for women to keep their abortion secret for many years, even from their husbands or children. There is guilt and shame surrounding the topic. It can also be a very difficult topic to bring up after so many years of silence. The good news is that once you share your story, you will be free from the secret. We can help you find the words and ease your fears, no matter how long it’s been.
Should I tell my fiancé or spouse about my abortion?
The secret of abortion can act like a cancer in a relationship. Abortion is different from every other experience in your life. Not sharing it can lead to distrust and guilt and ultimately cause relationships to split. We know how difficult it can be to share this secret. We can help you find the words and offer you courage.
Who can I trust with this secret?
Keeping the secret of abortion is difficult. It can seem like such a weight on your heart. But, telling it carries the risk of losing friends or breaking relationships. Do you have a trusted friend who can help you carry this weight? We would like to hear your story. And we can help you identify others in your life who will offer support.
Does anyone else feel this way?
Every woman experiences abortion differently. What you are feeling is perfectly normal for you. Your life story, your personal values, even your health play a role in how you feel following abortion. The good news is that you don’t have to keep feeling the way you do, and chances are there are many others who share the same feelings. You are not alone. We can help. byyoursidela.org/connect
Why is everybody judging me?
Abortion is an incredibly personal experience, but it is also a political issue. Sometimes people judge a person’s situation based on their political opinions rather than taking the time to understand the person herself. We understand and want to offer you a safe space to share your story, free of judgment.
What if my body is damaged?
Abortion can leave scars on our hearts and in our minds, but it can also cause physical damage. If you have symptoms of bleeding, fever or vomiting following abortion, seek medical help immediately. If you aren’t sure whether you have physical damage following an abortion, visit your doctor and be sure to share about your abortion so she can do a thorough examination.
What kinds of things might help me?
Your journey will be different from that of every other person. You may benefit from a support group, meditation, one-on-one discussion, or something else. We can help you discover what works best for you. Give us a call.
Do I need therapy?
Some women benefit greatly from therapy following abortion. But, it is not always necessary. The best first step is to give us a call so we can talk about what you are feeling and what concerns you might have. If you think you would benefit from a professional, we can offer resources to help you find someone that is right for you.
Can I heal on my own?
You may not exhibit any adverse symptoms following abortion. But if you are experiencing negative feelings, we are here to help. You may benefit greatly from a single phone conversation. Or you might find that you want additional resources. We can help you. The first step is to call.
How long will it take for me to feel normal again?
Each person is unique. You won’t know until you begin. Once you are on the journey toward wholeness, you will be happy that you are moving forward, and the length of the journey will be less important than the end result.
What if my pain/fear/anger/depression keep coming back?
Some women experience pain/fear/anger/depression in a cycle. Maybe it returns every year around the date of the abortion or your due date. Maybe it surfaces every time you are in a new relationship. If you are experiencing recurring negative effects of abortion, it is possible that you need more time to heal and a bit more help to achieve wholeness. Give us a call and we will help you.
How will I know when I have fully healed?
Each person is unique and healing looks different in every person. Most importantly, you will come to accept the abortion but find that it no longer brings you down. You will experience freedom from a pain that no longer binds you. There are numerous resources to help you keep journeying, and we can help you continue along your path.
I have completed a retreat/support group. What’s next?
Mentors through each program will help you identify whether you have completed your journey or whether a next step could be helpful to you. Many women like to give back after they have been through the healing process. If you feel called to do that, let us know. We will be happy to point you in a direction you feel is right for you.
I have grown deeper in my faith through post-abortion healing. Where can I learn more?
Many women find their faith strengthened as a result of post-abortion healing. Whether you were active in a faith tradition before you began your journey or not, you may want to become more involved now. We have many resources to share and can help you find a house of worship or prayer/ministry groups.
I’d like to continue being part of a community of women who have healed from abortion. Is there a way to do that?
Often, women make friendships through healing with others who have shared similar experiences. Friendships can continue, and often take the form of working together for a cause. When you are ready, we can offer suggestions on ways to give give back through helping others.