Therapist Trudy Johnson of Missing Pieces.Org, Declares that Decades After Roe vs. Wade, Women Should Have Permission to Grieve Abortions

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MIssing Pieces.Org develops C.P.R.~ Choice Processing and Resolution, a brand new book that gives women more answers for their abortion grief than "you're still a nice person!"

help after abortion

37 Years Later: Processing Abortion Grief Permitted!

"I'm Dr. Christiane Northrup,author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom. As a former abortion provider, I've long known about the need for grieving abortion.

The anniversary of Roe vs. Wade is on January 22, 2010. This is the day that brought legalized abortion to our nation. We now enter 37 years of abortion choices in our culture. We’ve officially taken the issue of “choice” out of the back-alley.

However, millions of women who’ve actually made an abortion decision fall through the cracks when it comes to a clear understanding of the grieving process that follows a voluntary pregnancy termination. After an abortion, women are on their own to resolve the possible feeling of loss that may naturally follow a choice decision. Women are abandoned in their sadness because the idea of grief over an abortion choice is a foreign concept. There is no place or public venue to grieve an abortion in our culture. This type of grief is called disenfranchised grief.

Sometimes there can be a misunderstanding in our culture as to just how many women need to go through the grieving process following an abortion. 37 years after the famous Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, women who’ve made a choice decision are the largest demographic in our nation. Abortion touches every race, every religion, and every monetary status. Abortion is now a household word. Unfortunately, processing the grief involved in those decisions remains behind closed doors for millions of women.

Because abortion is such an emotionally charged topic of debate, women feel as if it’s a “betrayal to the legalities of the cause” if they dare let themselves go through the natural process of grief. Decades later though, it should be an acceptable societal position for women who are looking for help with this grief process to have permission to resolve their losses without the spotlight of political or religious dialogue.

Missing Pieces.Org, a counseling group in the heart of the rocky mountains of Colorado, has developed a resource for women needing to grieve the loss of their voluntary pregnancy termination, or "vpt" (abortion). C.P.R. ~ Choice Processing and Resolution is a self help book that walks through the grief process that follows an abortion.

Trudy M. Johnson, L.M.F.T. a therapist for Missing Pieces. Org experienced this disenfranchised grief situation after seeking help for an abortion she had while in college. In a recent interview Ms. Johnson relates her personal experience trying to get help after an abortion. “I went to a professional counselor and he told me to ‘go home and get over it.’ I then went to two pastors for help. One condemned my decision and actually told me I should feel bad for what I did. The other pastor was very kind and assured me I was still a 'nice person.' "

“No one got it!” Trudy Johnson explains. “Two people validated my choice but not my grief. One person condemned my choice and didn’t give me any reason to have the courage to talk about my abortion again, much less have permission to grieve my loss. The point is that is not about whether you agree with Roe vs. Wade,” she says. “Women are desperate to talk about a very important decision in their past."

Dr. Christiane Northrup, M.D., F.A.C, O.G., also acknowledges the importance of grieving an abortion decision. Dr. Northrup is the author one of the nations' leading books on women's health, titled, Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom. Dr. Northrup recently stated, "As a former abortion provider, I've long known about the need for grieving voluntary pregnancy termination."

"Women really need a safe place to talk and cry," says Trudy Johnson. "Even if they don't regret their choice they still need someone to talk to about it. C.P.R. ~ Choice Processing and Resolution is the book I was looking for and couldn’t find when I was seeking help after my abortion,” Johnson says. "Somehow we need to separate the legalities and the politics of abortion from the actual heart issues of the woman who makes the decision for voluntary pregnancy termination (abortion).”

Choosing abortion becomes a woman's own personal journey quite apart from any Supreme Court decision. It’s not about being a bad or a good person. It’s about having permission to cry about a very painful event in a woman’s life.

Interview provided by staff


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Trudy Johnson, M.A.,L.M.F.T.
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