37 Years Later, the Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, Therapist Trudy Johnson Challenges Our Culture: Let Women Grieve

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Professional Therapist, Trudy M. Johnson, of Missing Pieces.Org, a counseling group in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, announces another step further than Roe vs. Wade for women: Acknowledge the necessity for grieving the loss of voluntary pregnancy terminations.

Women Need Permission to Grieve!

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 voluntary pregnancy termination.

Trudy M. Johnson, L.M.F.T. is a professional therapist in Colorado. She often helps women grieve their losses, including those incurred after a voluntary pregnancy termination. In a recent interview from her Missing Pieces.Org office, she gave voice to her experience seeking help after her own voluntary pregnancy termination that occurred at the age of 20.

"Several years after my abortion in college, I felt the need to understand the deep sadness I felt. I didn't know what was going on inside. I only knew I needed to talk to someone. I remember parking my car a few blocks down the street from my appointment. I walked up the alley and knocked on the back door of the building. I remember wondering why there wasn't a doorbell there for those of us needing to discreetly go inside."

"Now think about what I just said," she stated passionately. "I just described going to a support group for after abortion care. I entered through a back-alley door for fear of being seen by anyone I knew. We've taken back door entrances out of the choice process. It is time to take back door entrances out of the grieving process!"

37 years after the Roe vs. Wade decision that brought legalized choice to our culture, there is still the stigma and the shame that follows a choice decision. It is still a "deep, dark secret" that women choose not to talk about for fear of condemnation and invalidation.

According to Johnson, many of the women she's helped are caught off guard after an abortion. They don't expect the natural sadness and confusion that can occur days, months or even several years after a choice decision. These women are "dropping through the cracks of the cultural acceptance of abortion," she states. "Because abortion is legal, women get confused and don't think they have a right to grieve their pregnancy loss."

Johnson further explained that after abortion, women are on their own to process and resolve the losses. Women are often times abandoned in their sadness. They may risk sharing with a friend or relative. In doing so, they are often invalidated because they will be assured that choice was the right thing for them. In reality, women do not need their choice to be validated; they need their grief to be acknowledged by others. There is no venue to grieve an abortion in our culture. This type of grief is called disenfranchised grief. For millions of women in our nation, abortion is still a shameful experience in their past.

After seeing so many women needing to talk and cry, Trudy Johnson decided to reach out to women needing to share their secret in safety. She received requests from those needing help resolving the grief issues and nothing else. While there are resources that speak to several layers of abortion loss, Johnson felt compelled to put something together that would help only with the layer of grief surrounding a voluntary pregnancy termination. For many women, Johnson believes this was the missing piece of help they were looking for.

To this end, Ms. Johnson developed a simple self-help book that is compiled from a professional therapy perspective. She jokingly quips that the book, titled, C.P.R. ~ Choice Processing and Resolution, "took her exactly nine months to put together, ironically the same amount of time as the birthing process."

Trudy M. Johnson is passionate about her work. She wants to make the whole abortion situation better for women. "It's taken 37 years for abortion to become a household word in our nation," she says. “Let’s hope that it won't be another 37years of back door entrances for women needing help after their abortions. Hopefully, C.P.R. will be part of the catalyst to help our culture understand the importance of grieving an abortion choice."

Interview provided by http://www.missingpieces.org staff

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