On Jan. 22, the U.S. will be recognizing 37 years of legalized abortion due to the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision. Professional Therapist Trudy Johnson who counsels women through the process of reaching closure over an abortion decision, says it is time to give women who’ve chosen to voluntarily terminate a pregnancy a venue to grieve and process their loss.
Women who’ve made abortion choices over the last decades make up one of the largest demographic in our nation. According to Alan Guttmacher Institute, the statistical gathering arm of Planned Parenthood (www.agi.org), over one million choice decisions per year have been made since the legalization of abortion in the U.S.
Yet, Johnson asks, how many women openly share their choice? “Women typically don’t talk about their abortion decisions for fear of risking rejection, condemnation, misunderstanding or invalidation of the sadness they may feel. There are no open venues for talking about, crying about or expressing any emotion about the losses connected with an abortion choice.”
Trudy M. Johnson is a licensed therapist in the State of Colorado who helps walk women through the process of reaching closure. “Our culture implies that the choice in and of itself is the closure,” Johnson stated in a recent interview from her Rocky Mountain office setting. “Actually, this is usually not the case. Women don’t talk or cry publicly about their abortion experience. Even legalization of abortion hasn’t taken away the shame of the deep dark secret. There is no place or public venue to grieve an abortion in our culture. For most women, this is done quietly or even not at all. This type of grief is called disenfranchised grief.”
Johnson went on to say, “Women suffering the grief of an abortion choice shouldn’t have to assume that if they seek help for the confusing emotions and guilt they feel afterwards, that they are betraying 37 years of legalized abortion. This mind-set might be comparable to a person with an alcohol or drug addiction being afraid to get help because it might cause the nation to go back into the era of prohibition. It should not only “OK” to get help processing a past abortion, but it should be absolutely acceptable in the eyes of our culture.”
Johnson has a personal interest in grieving and reaching closure over a past abortion. She tried to find help after her own abortion she experienced while in college. She found few avenues where people understood what she was going through. Trudy isn’t the only one who feels that grieving a past abortion is important for women. Dr. Christiane Northrup, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., stated recently “As a former abortion provider, I’ve long known about the need for grieving a voluntary pregnancy termination. I’ve even written about the subject in my book, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom.”
As a professional, Johnson realized the need for a resource to help women work through their grief concerning a past abortion. To this end she has developed a simple, yet effective resource that women can use in the privacy of their homes to help them reach a place of closure and peace concerning their abortion. C.P.R. ~ Choice Processing and Resolution is a wonderful mix of compassion, understanding and professional expertise.
“It is time,” says Johnson, “for abortion grief processing to come out of the closet. Women need a safe place to cry that is free from condemnation. I hope C.P.R. will be ‘that safe place’ for many, many women in our culture.”