Moving Past Roe vs Wade, Missing Pieces Brings Help After Abortion for Women Needing to Process the Grief

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41 years past Roe vs Wade, abortion is no longer a back-alley procedure. Trudy M. Johnson, MA., LMFT noted expert on abortion grief, believes most women who experience abortion sadness are left alone with no emotional support or help after their abortion.

Trudy M. Johnson created the Web site in 2004 as a way to reach out to women seeking help after abortion. She wanted to send the message of understanding to other women feeling alone in their sadness and grief. Ms. Johnson experienced this first hand with her own abortion. When she looked for help there was none. She thought she was the only one feeling the sadness after abortion.

After creating as a resource for women looking for help after abortion, Ms. Johnson went on to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of Colorado. She states, "After voluntarily terminating a pregnancy, women are on their own processing and resolving the natural loss they may feel. Women are abandoned in their sadness because the idea of grief over an abortion choice is a foreign concept in our culture. There is an implication that the choice in and of itself is the closure. This is actually not the case for some. “

Ms. Johnson believes grieving an abortion is not acceptable in our culture. She refers to this type of grief as disenfranchised grief. She states, "I believe thousands of women sit in silence out of fear of being misunderstood or incurring shame or judgment regarding their decision to voluntarily terminate a pregnancy. According to some studies, the immediate relief to the crisis does come, but as time moves along, the grief begins to happen. When the sadness sets in, the emotional stress can be monumental."

For this reason, Johnson developed the Web site, as a non-judgmental resource for individuals and professionals to gain an understanding of the real issue of grief after abortion. There is a self-evaluation on the Web site front page that individuals and clients of professionals can take to assess the level of grief they are feeling concerning the termination. shared a few anonymous quotes from inquiries received from the Website:

“I recently got an abortion and I feel like no one understands the devastation I feel. Please help!"

“I never dreamed the grief over my abortion would hit me so hard. This sadness is so real and I have no one to talk with about it.”

Trudy Johnson knows it takes courage to look for help processing grief after an abortion. "It is ironic that women can walk into the front door of a clinic to get an abortion, but their choices are few when it comes to grieving the loss connected to that decision. After the choice, the clear cultural message is 'don’t talk and don’t cry.'"

Besides being a professional therapist in private practice, Trudy Johnson is the author of the first self-help plan to help women process grief after abortion titled "C.P. R. ~ Choice Processing and Resolution ~ Facing Grief after Abortion Without Fear."

"C.P.R." is endorsed by Dr. Christiane Northrup, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., who also acknowledges the importance of grieving an abortion decision. Dr. Northrup is author of one of the nation’s leading books on women’s health, titled, "Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom." Dr. Northrup notes, “As a former abortion provider, I’ve long known about the need for grieving voluntary pregnancy termination."

"C.P.R, ~ Choice Processing and Resolution" will be available as a Spanish resource on in the spring of 2014 as a way to reach out to more women across the world.

This year Ms. Johnson went a step further in developing resources that speak to the issue of abortion grief by creating the first treatment plan professional therapists can use to walk their clients through abortion grief. "Choice Processing and Resolution Therapy ~ Helping Clients Face Abortion Grief Without Fear" enables clients needing help with their grief to be able to find a professional who can work with them in this area even if they are uninformed about the reality of grief and abortion. There are other resources for professionals on the Web site.

Creating the self help plan for individuals and the treatment therapy plan for professionals is the culmination of a life-long passion for Ms. Johnson. “I am an expert in abortion grief because I lived through it and walked it out in my own personal journey. Being an expert on abortion grief really isn’t what I thought I’d be when I grew up. When my own life began to fall apart about 10 years after my abortion, I tried to find help. There was none. I ended up going to a professional therapist who told me there was no such thing as grief after abortion and that I should 'go home and get over it'.

To summarize, Ms. Johnson states, “We really need to bring abortion after-care into the 21st century. We can do a better job of reaching out to thousands of women looking for help after abortion. 'Go home and get over it' is just not an acceptable answer."

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