It is normal to grieve a pregnancy loss, including the loss of a child by abortion. It can form a hole in one’s heart, a hole so deep that sometimes it seems nothing can fill the emptiness.
Women as victims of abortion
I was the only guy in the salon, and the topic turned to abortion. The woman cutting my hair asked,
“What do you think of abortion?”
The salon grew silent. Several pairs of eyes turned my way, waiting my answer.
“It makes me sad,” I answered. “It makes me sad for the children who will not see the light of day, and never add their laughter to our needy world.” “And, it really makes me sad for the women involved, they are silent victims too.”
“You say the women are victims?” “You mean the women having the abortions?” my stylist asked.
“Yes, they are victims,” I said. “On several levels – often women are pressured to lose a child in order to keep a relationship. And, how sad is it that our society defines success in a way that pressures women to destroy a part of themselves?”
“And, then…women end up victims on the other end of abortion, as very few are told the consequences to their bodies and minds.”
“They aren’t told about the cancer risk or Post-Abortion Syndrome…” “They aren’t told about the mental and spiritual trauma, which they end up carrying in their hearts – unseen trauma, real victims.”
“And this makes me sad,” I said.
The silence echoed for awhile in the salon.
The one of the women said, “I wish more men thought like you.”
Another said, “Two of my friends have had abortions, and what you say is true…”
The rest of the women agreed. There was a collective sigh, and some of the tension ran out of the room. There was comfort in the fact that I was for the women, while still being against abortion. They hadn’t heard it expressed like that.
Chances were I was speaking to at least one girl that day that had had an abortion. Everyone there knew someone who had.
It was a moment to share the love of Christ in a way that was true, and yet gave light…offering hope to hurting hearts.
And it brings up the issue of abortion’s silent toll on women.
The pressure of abortion
A study of 252 [abortive] women who suffered psychological sequelae reported that
- 53 percent felt "forced" into the abortion by others;
- 65 percent felt "forced" by their circumstances;
- only 33 percent felt "free" to make their own decisions;
- 83 percent stated they would have kept the pregnancy if they had been encouraged to do so by one or more other persons; and,
- 84 percent would have kept the pregnancy under "better circumstances.”
The self-betrayal of abortion
Many women talk about the internal conflict that takes place in abortion: their maternal instinct wars against the rationalization of abortion, and creates an inner context of dysfunction.
In the vast majority of cases, women seeking abortion feel under intense pressure to do so. Yet at the same time they experience moral qualms about abortion itself, and/or they feel maternal desires to protect their pregnancies. Therefore, for these women, abortion is not a glorious right by which they are able to reclaim control of their lives; instead it is an “evil necessity” to which they submit because they “have no choice.”
Rather than affirming their own values, these women feel forced to compromise their values. Rather than feeling proud of themselves for standing up against difficult situations, they feel ashamed of themselves for being “spineless cowards.”
This feeling of self-betrayal is a devastating blow to the woman's self-image and her feelings of self-worth. She is internally divided by an emotional "war" within and against herself. On one side are her original moral beliefs and maternal desires. On the other side is her abortion experience which represents a choice to act against those feelings. These two sides of herself are irreconcilable. The unresolved feelings which arise from this internal warfare can manifest themselves as a wide variety of psychological illnesses. 
Immediately following an abortion, researchers have found one positive emotion – that of relief. And, this is understandable in light of the pressure that forced the abortion in the first place. However, temporary feelings of relief are frequently followed by what psychiatrists describe as emotional paralysis, or post-abortion numbness. 
Like shell-shocked soldiers, these aborted women are unable to express or even feel their own emotions. Their focus is primarily on having survived the ordeal, and they may be, at least temporarily, out of touch with their feelings.
Studies within the first few weeks after the abortion have found that between 40 and 60 percent of the women questioned reporting at least some negative reactions. In one study of 500 [abortive] women, researchers found that 50 percent expressed negative feelings, and up to 10 percent were classified as having developed “serious psychiatric complications.”
These women develop the symptoms of deep grief, internalizing the trauma. Often it surfaces in intimate relationships to self and others: denial, sexual dysfunction, detachment, desire for another pregnancy, promiscuity, distrust of males, brief reactive psychosis, guilt, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, survival guilt, thoughts of suicide, and psychological numbing.
And this only the psychological aftermath, not mentioning the potential physical risks!
Is it any wonder then, that women are called real victims in abortion?
Truly it is said that women deserve better than abortion. They deserve better than the war against their own personhood, euphemistically called “freedom of choice” by media brokers. They deserve better than being pressured into “solutions” that denigrate the fabric of their own souls. They deserve better than placing their bodies at risk under the advertising of “owning their own bodies.”
There is a holocaust of women taking place in America. 45 million aborted children and counting…and this means 45 million women who are dealing with silent devastation of their personhood and relationships.
There is hope, though. Our Lord still sits by the well at noonday and offers valued personhood and future grace. He still gives water that quenches inner thirst!
Will you love a woman in your life by speaking to her these words of truth and hope?
You may save a life…in more ways than one.
God bless all of you who need this message of hope!
David C. Reardon, “Women at Risk of Post-Abortion Trauma.”
Feminists for Life
Article on Post-Abortion Syndrome
Silent No More Awareness Campaign