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The Ripple Effect of Abortion

The Ripple Effects of Abortion (revised edition) by Alison Dyck B.A., M.A.

 (Original edition published in the Sunparlour Pregnancy Centre Fall 2011 Newsletter)

An abortion may uncover a host of issues already present in a family system.  Abortions occur in the context of a person’s life.  As a person reflects on the pain of their abortion experience, their family system may be explored and a more comprehensive healing sought.

Family trauma and loss, poor parenting, poverty, addictions, child abuse and neglect may impact the ability of a parent to bond to their child.  This may result in a child growing up without the warmth of relationship and healthy boundaries a child needs to feel secure.  As the child becomes a teen, the adolescent may seek relational warmth in their peer group.  The teen may then become vulnerable to seduction and this may lead to pregnancy.  Once pregnant, the teen may be fearful to connect with their parents due to lack of close relationship with the parents.

Sadly, parents may have desired to support their pregnant teen; however, lack of relationship with their teen may mean their teen aborts their grandchild.  The abortion then may grieve the teen and the grandparents of the aborted child.  Siblings may also be affected as they lose a niece or nephew.  The boyfriend’s parents also lose a grandchild. 

Post abortion grief may show itself in the mother and surrounding family with gradual increase in intensity as the years go by.  Initially there may be a sense of relief.  How painful though to later discover one has aborted the only child one was able to conceive.  Others may find they have a decreased ability to bond to previously born or later born children.  The cycle of relational disconnection comes full circle as a new generation seeks emotionally warm relationships in their peer group and become vulnerable to seduction and teen pregnancy.

So, healing the pain of abortion may involve far more than just focusing on the event of the abortion.  Healing may also involve work on a relationally disconnected family system.  At Caringhope Counselling,  a comprehensive group treatment program is available.  Work is done using a thirty session format involving personal homework and group interaction.