A woman who had an abortion when she was a teen recently said, “All of this social media hate-talk about women who chose abortion has triggered my self-condemnation again. They don’t know my story…why I thought I had no other option”.
Do these words sounds familiar? Are you or a friend triggered by the shaming of others?
There is so much in the media today with lawmakers debating about abortion. People are talking about the recent popular movie, Unplanned, that highlighted the truth about abortion procedures inside clinics.
We can’t escape the topic.
For many years, you may have stuffed away those memories of your past. All the details may now surface and your anxiety heightens. Now, what do you do? You have a choice.
- Work extra hard to run from the thoughts and feelings.
- Allow the emotions to come, and contact someone who understands and cares.
Fear of rejection and shame may have kept you silent for years, but there are safe and caring women who will embrace you.
Your secret is safe within a Hearts Restored support group. Everyone shares the same secret and commits to confidentiality for each other.
The “me too” about abortion can be a welcoming sound. You know you aren’t alone. You know someone gets what you are going through.
Contact Sue Ketchum by phone at 812.567.3150 or by email about the next Healing After Abortion support group.
Men need healing, too. Contact Don Stuart by phone at 812.720.0802 or by email to meet one-on-one.
**Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, Hearts Restored group studies are not meeting in person at this time. Please contact Sue at 812.567.3150 to learn about connecting with an online support person or group.
I had no other option. My parents were going to kick me out of the house. I had nowhere to live. I didn’t have a job, as I was in school. My boyfriend was pressuring me to get an abortion. He didn’t want to be a father. He didn’t love me. I was desperate. And trapped. And scared.
These are the words of a young girl in a Hearts Restored support group. The definition of despair is to have no hope. Change looks impossible. Safety is out of reach. Feminist Frederica Matthewes-Green declared, “No woman wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg.”
After hearing stories from many post-abortive women, we realize the word pro-choice is not used, as they describe their moment of saying yes to abortion. It was a necessity for coping with the unplanned pregnancy. Many agonize that they had no other choice.
Hearts Restored, a program of Clarity, offers a choice – a choice to heal. Post-abortive women and men often remain silent about their choice to end the life of their child. They carry the burden of the secret buried deep. Unresolved grief of that loss often plays into negative emotions and behaviors.
How can those women and men find freedom and peace? How can they face the regret about their past choice? Is there an option today for escaping the despair and pain?
Today, they can choose to restore a broken heart by walking through a healing journey. Hearts Restored offers small, confidential support group studies for women and men. There is power in a small group, as participants hear and understand that they are not alone. Others in the group feel the same way. Others coped the same way. The words, “Me too”, are often heard in that safe circle of a recovery group.
1 out 3 women by age 45 had an abortion. You know someone. Tell them about this choice to heal. Freedom awaits those who say yes today!
Sue at 812.567.3150 or WomensHeartsRestored@claritycares.org
Don at 812.720.0802 or MensHeartsRestored@claritycares.org (Don will meet one-on-one with any man willing to find freedom)
*Your privacy is protected, as Sue and Don are the only ones at Clarity who will know your name.
What is emergency contraception (EC)?
Often called the “morning-after pill,” it is intended to prevent pregnancy after known or suspected contraceptive failure, unprotected intercourse or forced sex. The Plan B may also prevent the new life from implanting in the uterus, ending a very early pregnancy, rather than preventing pregnancy altogether.
How does it work?
It works primarily by preventing the egg release from the ovary but it is possible it prevents the egg and sperm from meeting. There is also a chance that it may prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. This would end development of the newly formed life; however, it won’t disrupt an already implanted pregnancy. Clarity can do a confidential pregnancy test for you to confirm a positive test from a previous sexual encounter. If that test shows positive then there would be no need to take “Plan B.”
What are the side effects?
They may include changes in your period, nausea, lower abdominal pain, tiredness, headache and dizziness. If your period is more than a week late, you may be pregnant. Women who experience severe abdominal pain after taking the drug may have an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy and should get immediate medical help.
How well does it work?
Since there are only a handful of days each month when pregnancy is possible, many take Plan B One-Step when it will have zero impact on pregnancy risk. However, studies suggest if taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex it reduces pregnancy up to 89%. If taken within 24 hours, it is about 95% effective. Please remember Plan B has no impact on preventing STI’s.
What else should you know?
There are no long-term studies on the safety of using this drug frequently over long periods of time. It does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases or infections.
At Clarity Pregnancy Services, we do not provide or refer for the morning after pill. We would be happy to speak with you more about this option, if you would like. Just stop by or contact the center nearest you.
Sources: Before You Decide magazine, the morning-after pill by Vicki L. Dihle, PA-C
No one needs to know about my abortion; it’s my private matter! Why should I expose myself to condemnation or rejection? What good will it do? These are thoughts many women and men use to justify their keeping an abortion secret.
Secret-keeping has a profound impact on our lives. The difference between privacy and secrecy is shame. Our shame stories carry enormous power. So much so, that we may not even realize how much the secret controls us.
We are not meant to carry burdens alone. Vulnerability can open the door to release the power of our shameful secrets. Maya Angelou said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.”
You may know someone who hides the truth about his/her abortion(s). They may not realize this hidden secret could be the source of their depression, anger, addictions, or nightmares. Post-traumatic stress after abortion is real. We cannot overcome and thrive on our own. Often times, we need someone to come alongside and say, “Me too.” We need to hear stories of recovery, freedom and healing, to give us hope that life can be different for us, too.
Each year, more women and men say yes to healing after “choice”. They trust the promise of confidentiality and compassion when they make a call or send an email to someone who cares and who can relate in a personal way.
New support group 8-week studies or one-on-one support are offered through the Hearts Restored program at Clarity. Pain must come out in a healthy, safe and secure way. When sorrow is unexpressed, our hearts and emotions are broken, and we need restoration through a grieving process.
Step out in faith today and begin to walk your path to restoration!
Sue at 812.567.3150 or WomensHeartsRestored@claritycares.org
Don at 812.720.0802 or MensHeartsRestored@claritycares.org
Studies show that men have a major impact and influence on a woman’s final decision about her pregnancy.* Men are either aware of the pregnancy and must respond in some way, or they are left out of the decision because they never knew about their child.
Some men respond by taking responsibility and stepping up in leadership. These men usually have a strong desire to provide for and protect the mother and child. Others pressure or threaten the mother to abort their child.
Another role that many men choose is a passive one. Zach McClellan is an actor in a short film about crisis pregnancy, A Faucet Drips. In an interview (listen to it in the podcast below), Zach admits that this silent and unsupportive role is one that many young men today easily slip into when faced with a pregnant girlfriend.
Society and feminism say it is the woman’s right – her body – her choice. Where does he fit in that picture? “Who am I to speak?”, he may ask himself. He refuses to voice his opinion or participate in the decision. “It’s your choice,” he tells her.
This passive and neutral position that feels like a kind and giving response to his girlfriend, can actually be setting the foundation for her heartache and despair that often follow the abortion.
If you are a man who has played a role in the abortion of your child, be it an active or passive role, you do have a right to grieve. You do have a right to recognize that child as yours. You are a father. The regret and loss can manifest into negative emotions and behaviors in the years that follow the abortion. Anger and grief are roadblocks to coping when reality sets in.
Hearts Restored, a ministry of Clarity, provides one-on-one counseling for men who have experiences abortion; no matter what role they played. There is no judgment; only compassion shown by someone who cares and has been where you are. Contact Don today by email.
Podcast with Zach McClellan on Kim Ketola’s Cradle My Heart radio show: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/when-abortion-hits-millennial-men/id1166251879?i=1000386441208&mt=2
After years of regret and the agony of carrying a painful secret, many women and men think there is no chance of an escape from their despair. Hearing that a post-abortion recovery support group even exists and is available to them begins to give them hope.
They hear that others have been in that place of desperation, yet now walk in a freedom from shame and a joy of knowing they are forgiven. “How can that be? Is that possible for me?”, they ask. Read these testimonies from past participants in the women’s support groups of Clarity’s program called Hearts Restored. These testimonies help to dispel the doubt and fear of choosing to heal.
One woman said, “I am thankful to know that I am not alone and that girls just like me exist! I hadn’t thought that I needed this study, but I found that I had areas of healing I hadn’t fully accessed, worked through, and broken free of. I do not hold on to shame any longer.”
Last year, a participant in a group stated, “It was a place I could speak openly and not feel judged or condemned, allowing me to tear down my walls of numbed emotions & lies.”
An older woman confessed, “I am grateful for the healing and peace I found through this study. As a young girl, I was so fearful to expose my pregnancy to anyone. I feared condemnation and judgment from the church. I had no safe place to go…I had no choice. I am now set free from carrying that secret burden & from believing those lies…”
Anyone can share in this journey of freedom and peace. There is no cost. There is no age limit. Because 1 out of every 3 women of child-bearing years has had an abortion, you know someone who needs this opportunity to heal.
Clarity’s Hearts Restored program is completely confidential. Contact Sue today by email or phone at 812.567.3150.
If you know a woman with an abortion in her past, then you know a man in that position as well. Men can contact Don by email or by phone at 812.720.0802.
Statistics source: Guttmacher Institute