About thirty years ago, Jennifer* was separated from her husband. Her mother had just died, and she had never felt so alone. Then she found out she was pregnant. Roe v. Wade had just been decided by the Supreme Court, and abortion was now a legal option. With no one to help her, she believed that her only solution to the pregnancy was to get an abortion. Feeling desperate, she entered a clinic in California and went through with the procedure. What she didn’t know then was the many ways that a woman might struggle after an abortion. Recent studies have confirmed what women have experienced:
- Women who have had an abortion experience an 81% increased risk of mental health problems
- Women who had an abortion report increased feelings of loneliness
- After an abortion, 20-30% of women report psychological difficulties, including anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression, sleep disturbances and substance use or abuse.
Unfortunately, just like Jennifer, many women don’t know that this could be their story and are surprised to discover that an abortion impacted their health and relationships. Sometimes they don’t even know a connection exists between the ways they’re struggling and a past abortion. Feeling alone, guilty, confused and/or ashamed, they often don’t seek or find the help they need. For thirty years, Jennifer struggled with depression and couldn’t even celebrate Mother’s Day with the children she had.
Because of Selah, her story changed. Jennifer was invited to one of our after-abortion support groups. In that compassionate, non-judgmental setting, she began to experience hope for the first time in more than three decades. She discovered that her emotions were common to many other women who had abortion experiences. She interacted with trained, caring staff who helped her to process her feelings and find peace. For the first time, she was free to enjoy her family in ways she thought would be impossible for her. Her future was full of hope.
If you’ve had an abortion and were caught off guard by physical or emotional symptoms; if you didn’t expect to regret your decision and have found that you do; if you feel alone and don’t have anyone to talk to about your abortion experience, Selah is here for you, too. Let us help you rediscover the beauty of your life.
*not her actual name