Public billboard campaign highlights how abortion hurts womenFriday, May 11st, 2012
A group of women who have had abortions and regretted it has spoken out to, “break the silence surrounding the suffering some women endure after abortion.”
This week Women Hurt launched a nationwide billboard campaign reaching out to women suffering from the after-effects of abortion. The group says it has the support of, “countless women who have been through the experience of abortion and feel that the views of women who regret the decision have not been properly aired,” said Bernadette Goulding, spokesperson for the group.
Adele a programme manager from County Down, who has had two abortions, said not one person warned her of the, “horrific emotional and spiritual pain,” she would suffer because of abortion. Adele went through two terminations, one when she was 25, and a second aged 30.
“I was lied to by the abortion industry on both occasions that this was going to ‘fix my problem’. Little did I know it was going to give me, much much bigger problems later on in my life,” she said.
Adele met the Women Hurt group last May through another member Lynn Coles, who brought her to an abortion recovery group. “Up till then I hadn’t dealt with it. I didn’t realise other things were related to it,” she told ciNews.
When Adele had her abortion, initially she felt relief, but soon this faded and she felt numb, “something was not right and then depression”. Her whole personality changed, and she abused drugs and alcohol.
“Nobody told me these were all symptoms of post-abortion trauma. I thought it was just me, I thought they were my problems. I wish someone had asked me and talked to me earlier about the consequences of abortion.”
Women Hurt (www.womenhurt.ie) puts women who have been through abortion, in touch with other women in the same situation. Bernadette Goulding, one of its founder members said she hoped that telling her own story would help someone who is, “suffering in silence,” to know that, “there is hope and there is healing.”
Bernadette, originally from Cork, had her own abortion when she was 19 and working in England. She was getting sick all the time but did not realise she was pregnant. Eventually she ended up in hospital because she was so dehydrated.
A young doctor came and told her she was pregnant. She was panic-stricken. “I can never go home again,” she told him. “We can do a termination,” he countered.
“I woke up after the abortion, hysterical,” she said, realising the, “enormity,” of what she had done. “No one warned me of the grief.”
For Bernadette, the healing process only began years later when she shared her secret with a good friend at work in the parish. She thought she would be condemned, but looked up to see her friend crying. Her friend told her, “Don’t waste your suffering. Let God use it for good.”
While Women Hurt does not recommend any specific abortion recovery programme, it does encourage women seeking help to read the testimonies of women who found healing after abortion and to look for the programme or counselling service that best suits their needs.
“We wish to reach out to women in similar situations to let them know that they are not alone,” said Lynn Coles, another spokesperson for the group.
Lynn was just 18 when she became pregnant. She confided in a number of people, who told her to go for an abortion, advising her, “it is just a group of cells.” Her employer warned her to consider her career. If she had the baby, she would lose her home (which was linked to her work), her job and her income.
“Afterwards, my overriding emotion was one of anger,” she said, at her employer, the medical staff, at herself for getting pregnant, and at her boyfriend, even though he had not influenced her at all. What helped her was doing an abortion recovery course and meeting other women in the same situation.
Ms Coles said the purpose of Women Hurt is not to engage in counselling but, “to share our stories and make women aware of the professional help that is available to them.”
The billboard campaign will last three weeks.
by Susan Gately