Dear Abbie,

You don’t know me, but I want to say that I am so sorry.

After reading your public disclosure of recent abortion and the heartache you’ve endured, I felt compelled to reach out.

I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss and the impact it’s had on your life.

I’m deeply sorry for the sensitivity you feel now when you see a pregnant woman, or when people ask if you’d like to have children of your own one day.

I’m sorry that your partner was such a brute at the time of the abortion and that you had to go it alone. How devastating it must have been to see him choose a night out with his mates instead of supporting you, to see him shirk his responsibility as the father of this child. And then to hear him say that you’re not “fun anymore” in the midst of crippling depression following that abortion.

Can I just say, your grief is real. It’s OK to grieve after abortion. It’s OK to acknowledge the child you gave up.

I’m not saying this to judge or guilt-trip you. That’s the last thing I want to do. Rather, I say it to propel you to a journey of healing.

Post abortion grief is real, and I saw it written in your sobs, in the anger at television producers for prodding your wound, in the guilt you said you felt when seeing the bulge of a pregnant woman’s belly; her glowing skin and the excited chatter of baby plans.

Did you know that post abortion grief or trauma has been likened to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Sometimes it has a delayed onset of months or years that is often precipitated by a triggering event. Sadly, many women suppress their feelings, robbing them of the release they can experience if they choose a path of healing instead.

One of the first steps to healing is simply acknowledging your child. Have you considered giving him or her a name?

I have lost two babies to miscarriage and found it so very comforting to name them. I’d love to share their names with you someday. Maybe we could talk about the tomorrows we wish we could clutch back. About the indelible mark they have left on our hearts.

There are other really practical ways to address your pain too, and to find hope, wholeness and joy once more. For that, I’d suggest you get in touch with a professional, someone uniquely trained to counsel people experiencing grief following abortion. It’s different to other trauma. They will walk you through things like overcoming isolation, finding value in yourself, humanising your baby, forgiveness and moving forward.

Abbie, you’re a person with great value leading a life of great meaning.

My hope is that this abortion, this excruciatingly difficult thing you’ve gone through, will shape you. That you will emerge with a greater understanding of the innate value of your life – of all life – so that you can live in joy and freedom.

Healing and wholeness,
one woman to another,
Claire van Ryn.

Post Abortion Support

Abortion Grief Australia

Victims of Abortion

Photo source: Instagram @abbiechatfield

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