A woman who has made an abortion decision will often “stuff down” her feelings (repress them) rather than deal with them. The negative feelings she has about her abortion often do not surface until 5-10 years after the abortion. These symptoms include: nightmares, depression, problems with relationships, and tendencies toward addictions to numb the pain (alcohol, drugs, sex, work).
Repressing your feelings is a coping mechanism. Facing your feelings is part of your healing. You may have chosen abortion in the past because abortion was an unknown to you — you only knew what you had heard about it. Perhaps someone told you, “Abortion is a lunchtime event,” or “You’re getting rid of a clump of cells.”
We live in a society which encourages casual physical intimacy as a recreational “entertainment” rather than treasuring our fertility. For example, men and women are led to believe that intercourse can be separated from creating children. That’s not true. Your life experience tells you the real truth: Intercourse and children are naturally bound together.
It’s also possible that you’ve become pregnant to answer your own subconscious question: “Is my reproductive system still working after my abortion?” Sadly, each abortion does pose more risks for future successful pregnancies. Also, research has found high rates of women getting pregnant to have a “replacement baby” after having had an abortion. (More than 40% of women do this within one year after their abortion, and 50% within two years).
One of the “numbing” addictions that follow a woman’s abortion experience is engaging in risk-taking behavior, because of her loss of self-respect. Another addiction is developing an eating disorder to either numb herself or to purposely become unattractive, sexually. There’s a sense of unworthiness and shame reported by many women after experiencing an abortion.
Aborting this baby, in an effort to rationalize a previous abortion decision, will only continue the cycle of denial. This baby, whose heart is already beating under your heart, could be the source of your own healing.
Today you know so much more about abortion than what you knew back then. You’ve been there. You know the sounds, you know the smells, you know the pain you’ve lived with — alone. The experience and pain of your abortion is something you will probably never fully share with anyone. But look at you now — you’re older and wiser than you were the last time. You’ve grown because of your experiences in life. You can come to peace with your own fertility. Your reproductive system was designed to work exactly the way it’s working right now. YOU ARE HEALTHY — you were able to conceive a new life! Celebrate your health and accept your fertility. Give your baby life. Give yourself a chance to turn your life around and to set your course for happiness and healing.