Abortion Trauma, Grief and Healing

It is argued by some that the politics surrounding abortion have contributed to the lack of consensus in in the literature regarding post-abortion experiences, in particular whether some women’s subsequent mental health struggles were connected to other factors in their lives rather than their experience of having an abortion (see Dawn de Witt, Issue 51 of The Nathaniel Report).

One of the risks of denying post-abortion trauma is that it can add to the shame and stigma women might already experience and it can leave them with unacknowledged grief, a grief they may be told or may feel, is unreal. “At present health professionals are not being trained to diagnose, treat or prevent abortion trauma, and are generally reluctant to investigate when problems arise subsequent to an abortion, offering at best, symptomatic treatment (or worse, further traumatizing and isolating the sufferer). Therapists who are concerned about abortion trauma, not unreasonably fear being professionally attacked or isolated (particularly from those with a ‘personal investment’ in the safety of abortion) if they speak publicly or professionally of their concerns. Consequently, most women and men traumatised by abortion, have no access to the professional help they need”.1 Moreover, as pointed out in the same article “abortion referral agencies and institutions, because of their role in facilitating denial and dehumanising the unborn, have a conflict of interest, and are inappropriate venues for abortion grief therapy”.

Many women are at risk of experiencing long-term emotional, spiritual, psychological, and relationship difficulties post-abortion but the lack of recognition of these experiences means they are unable to access the support they need.

Some agencies that specialise in providing support are listed below.



  1. “Post Abortion Syndrome. The Silent Suffering” available at: https://www.abortiongrief.asn.au/abortion-trauma.php



Project Rachel

Project Rachel is a confidential ministry for anyone who desires healing after being impacted by abortion. This includes the mothers and fathers of children lost to abortion, grandparents and other relatives, health care providers, and many others. Abortion crosses all boundaries of religion, race, age and socio-economic position.

Project Rachel's mission is to provide a confidential and compassionate ministry that offers resources for spiritual, emotional, and psychological healing to anyone who has been impacted by abortion regardless of faith background. We strive to convey God's forgiveness and mercy in order to restore and empower lives.

See: http://www.fli.org.nz/project-rachel

0800 111 811 (free call)
or text/call: 027 299 9815

Pregnancy Help

Practical support and advice to prepare for parenthood te tautoko me te tohutohu awhina mō te mātuatanga.

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Pregnancy Help
PO Box 12000

P.A.T.H.S. Post Abortion Trauma Healing Service

See: http://www.postabortionpaths.org.nz

0800 728 470

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Pregnancy Counselling Services


0800 773 462

Text: 021 289 8727