After Abortion: Overcoming the guilt

You or someone you know has had an abortion. For those who have, it may have take years, but there is a moment in each woman’s life when she recognizes the magnitude of her choice. She may feel overwhelming shame, hopelessness, or even despair. Can people recover from something can’t be undone? Can you overcome your guilt after an abortion? Those questions beg answers. This is where healing begins!

When Suzanne Gardzella’s last-born child began school full-time, she wanted to do something meaningful with her free time. She asked God, “what should I do next?” God responded, “go sit where the pain is”. Gardzella wasn’t sure what that meant.

Suzanne and her husband Andre had been involved in marriage ministry. Family matters were especially close to Suzanne’s heart. It was Andre, however, who suggested she volunteer her time at the Okanagan Valley Pregnancy Care Center.

In North America, seven in ten pregnancies among unmarried women age 18-29 are described by women themselves as unplanned – one of the highest levels in the developed world. At least half of those pregnancies end in abortion. No matter what side of the fence you sit on, Pro-Life or Pro-Choice, both sides agree that grief after abortion is real.

Recognizing the symptoms.

Abortion is a final decision that can’t be taken back, so most women go into a period of stuffing down the sadness. For fear of being judged, these girls never find the help they need. Instead, they suck it up, keep quiet, and to try to fix the problem themselves. They just try to get on with life.

One of the most common thoughts and feelings immediately following an abortion is relief. This sense of relief, however, is never permanent. A deep feeling of loss and sadness usually follows. Combine the emotions of relief and deep sadness and what sort of emotion do you get? Confusion!

Suzanne had never exercised her “right” to have an abortion. She has, however, experienced her share of grief and heart-ache. That kind of pain impacts all areas of your life, including relationships.

Suzanne said, “the pain acted like a dark cloud that was just part of my reality, not overwhelming, but always there in some capacity. Every once in a while it would rain down nastiness on me. I wasn’t actively looking to get rid of it, I was coping – living with the pain. Just like most who have chosen to abort a baby, I was perfectly accustomed to carrying around my grief”. It was through the training that she began her own healing, which gave her the capacity to establish a common ground with women who were post-abortive.

“I just don’t understand why more people aren’t talking about this”, Suzanne stated. It’s time the silent speak. Women must be given their voices back. The only way to recover and become whole is to face your pain, guilt, and shame – head-on. This is where the healing begins!

Suzanne Gardzella

As a qualified counselor, Suzanne believes there is no higher honor than to assist a woman through this process. With a better understanding, Gardzella now sits besides those who are filled with pain. To come this close to another person’s heart, and the secret(s) which causes them guilt and shame – this is Holy Ground”, she said.

There is an enemy of the soul. His desire is to steal life and prevent women from ever receiving information on how to heal. He does not want women to know there is help. For every woman that exists in despair, Satan wins.

In my interview with Jeannie Rodgers, she shared her sadness. Like most women, Rodgers kept silent. She didn’t tell anyone about her own abortion. If only she had had the courage to share her grief. What if she had gotten help sooner? “Instead, I wasted 25 years of my life”. Rodgers said.

Suzanne and Jeannie work for the Pregnancy Care Center, here in the Okanagan. Their aim is to get the word out. They have confidential counseling available and they work tirelessly, trying to get the word out to women in need. Most women don’t tell others they’ve had an abortion. But the odds are, someone you know is suffering.

You can help!

Simply share this article with others. The related help information is at the bottom of this page. For those who reside outside of the Okanagan Valley, there is a Pregnancy Care Center near you. Don’t waste another minute of your life. This is where healing begins.

For more information, contact:
Okanagan Valley Pregnancy Care Center
201-2622 Pandosy Street 
Kelowna, BC V1Y 1V6
Email: confidential – at – ovpcc.com

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