Support After Abortion Brings Hope and Healing to Those Who Need It Most

By Nancy Flory Published on October 10, 2022

She didn’t want an abortion, but she ended up flushing her baby down the toilet. She had instant regret. That regret festered and she became depressed. She couldn’t eat. Or work. Or watch her kids. “I felt like I didn’t deserve to be a mom,” the 32-year-old woman said in an interview for a white paper by Support After Abortion — a nonprofit that is dedicated to helping women and men heal after abortions. 

The woman felt pressured to have an abortion by her partner, someone she’d known for years. “When I got pregnant, he told me he wanted me to get an abortion and I felt pressured. The instant the abortion pills were inserted, I instantly regretted it.” 

She desperately needed help. She found it through Support After Abortion. But Support After Abortion didn’t pressure her to listen to Bible verses. “Support After Abortion gave me help without preaching about religion to me. They understood that I needed to mourn my loss and supported me through the grieving process.”

She’s learned a lot, too. “I put me and my [other] children first and live my life so I am never going to be in that place again.”

The woman identifies as pro-choice. But the healing power of Jesus helped her after her abortion, through Support After Abortion. 

How It Began

During a Luncheons for Life about 10 years ago, Janine Marrone heard a woman tell the story of her abortion. It made Janine realize that women, and men, needed to be healed after an abortion, and there were scant resources available. She began working with Pregnancy Solutions in Florida to reach those in need with Support After Abortions programs. After seeing tremendous growth after partnering with the 2019 movie Unplanned, the decision was made to split Support After Abortion off into a stand-alone organization. 

Support After Abortion isn’t just a help line. They offer curriculum that helps post-abortive women and men work through the healing process. They also leverage resources from partnering pregnancy centers, churches and secular licensed clinical therapists. Support After Abortion’s mission is to “provide healing for the purposes of ending the demand for abortion.”

Women Do Suffer After Abortion

The nonprofit released a ground-breaking new study Monday, October 3, that confirms that women who had a medication abortion suffer adverse emotional and psychological effects. The research and a related white paper can be read here.

Another woman who wished to remain anonymous reached out to Support After Abortion following her abortion. She made it clear to Karin in the pregnancy center that she didn’t have a religion. “We try to meet people where they are,” explained Janine. “One day Karin prayed and the woman didn’t say anything. … Karin prayed in a couple of other sessions they had, but one day Karin didn’t pray. And the woman said, ‘Karin, aren’t you going to pray?’ And the process goes on.”

The woman stated that she was Catholic and ended up returning to her church and became involved in Project Rachel, a ministry in the Catholic church that helps women after abortion. Through that program, she had a service for her aborted baby and committed the child back to God. “And she called Karin and invited Karin to that service.” Janine said it’s her favorite story of healing because Support After Abortion meets the individual where they are and doesn’t judge them.

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Men struggle after abortion, too. Support After Abortion formed a “men’s task force” to help men who’ve suffered after an abortion. They brought in clergy to help. “And what we found is men are hurting, too.” Their research indicated that men who did not want an abortion are angry and suffer regret, remorse and shame. Men didn’t feel that they were part of the decision. “Allowing men and women to grieve over a loss is as important as anything that we can do in our culture today. Especially in abortion loss.”

How the Church Can Help

The church has a role to play, too, Janine explained. The church needs to understand that a woman doesn’t wake up and set a goal or objective to have an abortion. That understanding is missing in the church. Janine said that when she realized that, she was stunned by her own lack of empathy. “One of the best things that we can do to help grow church is to embrace … mercy and compassion of meeting men and women where they are, even if they’ve had an abortion, especially if they’ve had an abortion.”

“Jesus does heal. God is the Healer, but we don’t always lead with that. [H]ow we can introduce a Gospel-led message into the message is meeting people where they are and providing them with an option on how they want to heal. … Something that we know to be true [is] men and women do heal. Their engagement in the healing process also furthers their own healing.”

 

Nancy Flory, Ph.D., is a senior editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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