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BROKEN BRANCHES
 
ANNE LASTMAN

would like to introduce myself and the Australian organization 'Victims of Abortion'.

Victims of Abortion was born out of my involvement in pro-life activities for the past years, specifically my involvement in counselling post aborted men and women.

Victims of Abortion is the result of the hundreds of calls I have received in my role as a counsellor. I have counselled over 70 people (mostly women) one on one, in most cases over long term. For a long time it was mainly believed that only women were traumatized by their abortion experience. I am beginning to suspect that we as a society are harbouring still unacknowledged groups of individuals wounded by the holocaust called 'abortion'. Indeed, in my own experience as a post abortion grief counsellor, fathers of aborted infants, siblings of aborted infants and grandparents of aborted infants are also victims of the abortion experience.

The Post Abortion Syndrome experienced by some women who have aborted their infants is only beginning to be taken seriously and this after twenty-five years of research! Perhaps it will take another twenty-five years before the acknowledgement is made that there are other hidden victims whose life has been depleted, saddened and changed due to that one decision to abort an unwanted pregnancy.

I hope to bring you news on Post Abortion Syndrome studies as they are published, other general news in this area and most especially some personal stories from women who have been helped.

Abortion grief is unique, for two reasons. First, the perception that abortion is a 'minor procedure' and that there will be no ramifications attached to the abortion experience. Therefore, when a deep sadness, a general malaise, depression, weeping, withdrawal, etc., occurs, the individual thinks and believes that these reactions are peculiar to themselves and that something must be wrong with them. 'After all if a lot of people are having abortions, then it must be O.K., so it must be me!' is an often heard comment. This is unacknowledged grief.

Secondly, even though abortion is considered 'minor' and a socially accepted procedre, any negative feelings about this procedure are frowned upon and therefore the woman (or man) is unable to process the experience as one of loss and be supported and accompanited through a journey filled with pain, regret and sorrow.

Indeed what most people who abort a baby feel they have to do is behave as if nothing has happened. This is an absolute fallacy. Again unacknowledged grief. Women are not designed to harm their children; they are designed to protect, to nurture and to love their baby. Had this not been the case humanity would have ceased to exist a long time ago. Harming the baby through abortion always leaves an indelible mark on the being of the man, the woman and society. Irrespective of modern post-civilised thinking, abortion always leaves behind irreperable damage. Indeed abortion always and without exception, demands a reckoning. It is only the time which varies.

Denial of the reality of their feelings leads to behavioural changes in order to accomodate this unacknowledged grief. The once carefree individual becomes morose, losing their joy in life. They become preoccupied with self and self-pleasure in order to alleviate the nagging, persistent ache. Mother Teresa as said that 'abortion is the greatest destroyer of peace' and indeed it is. The persistent heartache will not allow the woman or man to enjoy life to the full. It places an invisible mourning barrier between the individual and all that should be pleasing to the heart and mind.

Over the last two years I have spoken to hundreds of women and counselled many men and women. The single most repeated comment is 'I couldn't speak about my abortion to my family, boyfriend, girlfriend. They kept telling me to forget about it and get on with life. I can't forget it. I can't forget my baby. I can't forget that I caused my baby's death'. And perhaps the saddest comment of all, 'you're the first person who has listened to my whole story'.

Post abortion grief is real. The grief may begin to be experienced prior to the abortion as the decision to abort is being made. It appears that a pervasive sadness can at times overwhelm the woman as she tries to force herself not to think about her baby because of the difficulties in continuing with this pregnancy. It may being in the surgery or clinic as the woman waits her turn and finds she is reflecting on what she is about to do and perhaps even what might have been. I have counselled women who waited, hoped and prayed that their husband, boydfriend, friend, parent, would take them by the hand and tell them not to have the abortion. It may begin immediately following the abortion and her realisation of what she has done or it may begin as a result of some other crisis in her life. Grief following an abortion is real and like any type of grief it must be dealt with before progression to the next stage of living is made. Without dealing with the grief accompanying that loss, the woman (and it appears, men also), cannot and will not give herself permission to move on. this has become very obvious by the punishing lifestyles engaged in following an abortion.

Through education on the reality of post abortion syndrome and the suffering which is attendant to the abortion it is my hope that I will help those wounded by their abortion experience. I hope that by helping them they might become strong voices against this scourge called abortion. Indeed the voices of the men and the women traumatized by abortion should be heard, so that the lie that abortion is 'nothing' may be dispelled.

Anne Lastman,

Link:

Trauma Web Pages


UMILTA WEBSITE || OLIVELEAF WEBSITE || JULIAN OF NORWICH, TEXT AND CONTEXTS, WEBSITE || BIRGITTA OF SWEDEN, REVELATIONES, WEBSITE || CATALOGUE AND PORTFOLIO (HANDCRAFTS, BOOKS ) || BOOK REVIEWS || BIBLIOGRAPHY || FLORIN WEBSITE 1997-2017 JULIA BOLTON HOLLOWAY

Blessed Olive Branch, Kenyan olive-
wood bowl, William Morris Print