Post-abortive woman suffers nightmares and flashbacks: counselors denied the cause of her pain

By Sarah Terzo

A woman who had an abortion wrote:

Abortion was the obvious solution. It would get me back to normal, keep me in control, spare me unnecessary pain. But after my abortion, reality parted company with rhetoric. The choice that was supposed to spare me the heartache of parting with my own flesh and blood, tormented me with an overwhelming sense of loss from which there was no escape.

I was haunted by nightmares and flashbacks that were so vivid, so distressing, so out of control that I felt like I was falling apart. At times, I thought suicide might bring welcome relief.

I sought help from counselors and psychologists who denied that my abortion could bring me grief. Now, what about my relationship with my father? My mother? No, I must have got it wrong. Abortion was a solution, not a problem…. My life continued to unravel. I was referred to a psychiatrist, who gave me pills but no answers.

Life went on. I established a career in scientific/medical research (recombinant DNA technology), but I was never the same again. What I gained as a consequence was always tarnished by the cost….

When I realized that other women experienced grief after abortion, I was outraged. Why were women allowed – often encouraged – to proceed without regard for alternatives, or consequences? Why were they uninformed, sometimes lied to, when they were supposed to be making their own choices?….

In the eight years since then, I have learned about and corresponded with grieving post-abortive women from throughout the country. None were prepared for the aftermath.

Phillippa Peck, “The grief of abortion” The Press (Christchurch, NZ), June 13, 2000.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Clinic Quotes and is reposted with permission.