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Woman's New Life Clinic

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Woman Scared | You’ve Had an Abortion

April 24, 2019

3 Ways You May Be Feeling if You’ve Had an Abortion

If you’ve had an abortion, you’re not alone. You’re also not alone if you have some complicated and conflicting feelings about your abortion experience. Each woman’s feelings about her past abortion are unique to her, and yet there can be common experiences.

1. You may be confused about how to feel.

An unplanned pregnancy does not always mean an unwanted pregnancy. Many women will share that it is not that they did not want the baby, but they felt that they had no choice but to have an abortion. Because women are under a time constraint, they often make a decision to abort quickly.

Often they feel pressured to do so because they don’t want the baby to grow too much before having the abortion, they feel pressured by the time limits of the different types of abortion procedures, or they feel anxious to gain relief from the stress of the pregnancy as quickly as possible. Thus, a decision is often made quickly.

2. You may be relying on defense mechanisms to cope with your experience.

Defense mechanisms are tactics that we might use to protect ourselves from the reality of a painful event. We may not even realize we are doing so. Some common defense mechanisms are denial, repression, rationalization and intellectualization.

A woman might already be using these defenses—again, often without realizing it—during the decision-making process when considering an abortion. Often, they are continued beyond the abortion as well.

When someone is attempting to process an abortion or loss, she may subconsciously be trying to defend herself from feeling the difficult emotions that accompany her decision.

3. You may be denying your need to grieve.

Before one can grieve, there needs to be a recognition of the loss of someone or something. Because the decision of having an abortion is often protected by defense mechanisms, it can be difficult to see or acknowledge that a loss has occurred.

For example, if the defense mechanism of intellectualization has been used, one’s emotions may not be accessible. Rather than confront the intense distress and sadness that you feel, you may focus on the “logical” reasons for the decision to abort.

Dr. Kenneth Doka, a professor of gerontology at the Graduate School of New Rochelle coined the term Disenfranchised Grief (©1993-2015 Grief Recovery Institute®). Disenfranchised Grief is a grief that is often ignored and denied the public support it deserves on three levels:

  • Grief that is not acknowledged
  • Loss that is not recognized
  • Grievers who are not acknowledged

It is so important that women know that they have the right to grieve their loss.

We provide the support to help someone through the grieving process. Woman’s New Life Clinic offers individual counseling with a licensed professional who safeguards confidentiality and provides treatment that is individualized to each client.

Plus, this counseling is available to you for free.

Call us today to schedule an appointment.
In New Orleans: 504.831.311
In Baton Rouge: 225.663.6470