5 Stages of Denial
“I don’t know why all of this agony from my abortion is impacting my heart right now,” the post-abortive woman outlined. “Why did I not feel this emotional and spiritual pain years ago?”
Denial is defined as the action of declaring something to be untrue. After abortion, it is common for post-abortive people to continuously remind themselves that they did not lose a human being in the abortion experience.
In the typical life cycle of an abortion decision, a period of relief immediately afterwards is normal. Some move on with their lives and rarely remember their choice negatively. Others can reach a point in their lives when life experiences and abortion triggers force them to realize an actual family member was lost in the abortion.
Many arrive at a point where denial stops working. Perhaps it’s the birth of an additional child or grandchild. In my life, it was the moment I looked into the eyes of my next-born child. In realizing the instant love that descends on a mother’s heart for her child after the birthing process, God showed me that I had lost a person and not a blob of tissue during my abortion.
For those who had medication abortion procedures, denial can work differently. Medication abortion meands the woman goes home to abort. When she passes the baby, she can view a very human looking child – complete with a face, arm and legs. Any denial they may have on the humanity of their child is shattered instantly. They know their children were very human. Even so, many will work to deny this obvious truth to avoid the emotional pain that could result.
Abortion is now a highly discussed political topic. Liberal media is ramping up pro-abortion rhetoric, likely in an effort to discount future legislative efforts that will limit abortion rights. Each time abortion is addressed in these media circles, the pain of a past abortion can be resurrected. Once an abortion loss is recognized, it can be more difficult to deny it in the future.
Hearing the word abortion rarely brings joy to those considering its ramifications afterwards. Anyone related to a post-abortive person can watch our transformation from blindness on this topic to deep understanding simply by watching our body language and listening to our conversation.
Here are five common stages of post-abortive denial:
I Did Nothing Wrong
Many outline initially, “My abortion was the best thing I ever did. It allowed me to get an education, not be saddled with a child and it cut all ties to the father.”
The constant replay that their abortion was their “best” choice sounds horrifying to many listeners. After all, they are discussing the death of an innocent life. That does not mean that God cannot shatter this mindset in an instant. These are often the cold hearts that have yet to realize they have lost a family member due to choice.
What Have I Done?
One woman called me after viewing one of the 2015 Center for Medical Progress’s undercover Planned Parenthood videos. These undercover videos outlined that aborted child’s body parts are often sold for medical research. “Where is my baby, Sydna,” one woman asked, through grief tears. “What did they do to my baby? How can I find him?”
I had no words of comfort for her in discovering her child’s final resting place. The truth is that our child’s remains could be used in many ways. The FDA reveals that fetal remains are used to produce vaccines and various other medications. Sadly, post-abortive people must make peace with the truth that they may never discover how their child’s remains were used.
When they understand they lost a child, many are simply quiet and reserved when abortion is discussed. Shame and guilt can haunt these hearts. This is where tens of millions of American women reside in the life cycle of their choice.
Every time the word “abortion” is overheard, the pain within the unhealed heart of the post-abortive individual can be triggered. With the new emphasis on changing abortion laws in the media, many in this phase of denial will shift in the near future to a deeper understanding of what happens to aborted children.
Many that were initially silent can transform into staunch defenders of the unborn. When their denial thoughts are shattered, these hearts quickly search the topic of abortion. They are then met with graphic photos of aborted children. Their outrage is then ignited along with many other emotions.
The horrific vision of a mangled aborted child can ignite a form of anxiety that can be more devastating than the abortion experience. With no care for themselves, these post-abortive people can force their way onto pro-life platforms, screaming out their abortion story with pain and anger. They often believe if they can end abortion, they will feel peace. They are wrong. Peace only comes from God.
There is also positive fallout from this ignited pain. Many cannot return to the, “I did nothing wrong,” mindset because God is at work in their hearts. Jesus Christ died on the cross for every sin – even abortion. By believing in Him, we are set free from this emotional prison and allowed to live a life free of condemnation and shame.
Those who have gained God’s peace, forgiveness and come to the point of receiving God’s pardon can be incredibly successful in helping others considering abortion, working at a political level to make real changes or simply becoming a better wife, mother, sister, daughter or friend due to God’s peace.
Take the time to record any categories of denial that you may have worked through in past years. Outline any and all moments when you were specifically aware that you had lost a child versus “tissue” in the abortion. Record the names of any individuals who either helped you deny your abortion truth or those who encouraged you to understand your loss.
Hello, I am Sydna Massé Founder and CEO of Ramah International. I'd love to keep in touch and include you in our prayer chain as we continue to serve abortion's wounded and those considering abortion.
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