Breaking the silence - information, hope and healing after abortion


Looking for help after an abortion/termination or pregnancy-baby loss?

Supporting someone who has had a recent or past abortion/termination?

Want to know more about the possible effects of an abortion/termination?

Welcome to the P.A.T.H.S. information site.

See the Facebook Page, latest newsletter and blog for up to date news!

Connect with a Counsellor


Without a real injection of people power and funds the future of P.A.T.H.S. is uncertain.

If you are anything like me when I see those kind of words anywhere I have a reaction. It may be: I can’t give anything right now in terms of time or money, I don’t have the right skills, I’m not sure this is something I am really interested in, what will happen if I get involved?

After twenty years in the field we are acutely aware this is not an area many feel called to or want to be associated with. Even Christians called to ministry think twice about becoming involved because of the nature of the issue. There is sometimes a fear of what others might think. There is also sometimes a concern that if I am seen to be involved in something like P.A.T.H.S. it means that I am seen to be supportive of abortion. It does not mean that either way.

P.A.T.H.S. has a non-judgmental approach to our clients and work, and offers unconditional love and acceptance. Views about the rights or wrongs of abortion do not feature. We are here to help those affected. We are focused on the welfare and healing of those who may be hurt by an abortion or struggling after a recent or past abortion. We offer a safe space for people to share their stories and experiences,, and have trained people who can guide people and support them on a path of healing. We respect that each person is different and we try to meet people where they are at and respond to what each person is needing.

P.A.T.H.S straddles the more Christian and mainstream worlds, because we exist for the women and men affected by abortion who are vulnerable, marginalised and often struggle with stigma, shame and secrecy. It matters not who the person is. If they have had an abortion, and are affected in any way, we want to be there to support them through their mixed emotions or pain and help them in a process of healing.

Another crucial aspect of our work is to help break the taboo for people to talk about their experiences, and remove the barriers that prevent people from seeking help or healing. There is still much to do in regards to this.

We have been around now for over 20 years and in that time the service has consistently offered a range of services - an 0800 number for phone contact, email support, a private Facebook Support Group for women. We have also provided talks, workshops and training seminars to help those in helping roles to respond better to the needs of those impacted by abortion whom they might encounter. Raising awareness that there can be impacts and that there is help, is what we are all needing to do. P.A.T.H.S. does it through an information booklet, the website and newsletters.

Yes this is not a popular area, and is not suited for everyone. But without more people coming on board P.A.T.H.S. cannot continue into the future or be able to grow and reach out to more people who have been affected and their lives altered by an abortion experience.

- Carolina Gnad

More information

Abortion/termination of pregnany is a particular and complex type of pregnancy loss, an unnatural and generally unacknowledged life-death event. When a woman has an abortion the new life being created inside her physically, to whom she is attached at some level emotionally, psychologically and spiritually has been taken from her.

Some women are distressed soon after their abortions/terminations. Others appear unaffected. Often grief may be suppressed and the trauma may sink into the unconscious and not surface for months, years or even decades later.

Many women feel isolated and alone with their pain and anguish. It can help to talk it through with someone uninvolved, who has special skills in caring and listening, and a knowledge of abortion-specific effects and issues.

Fathers grieve too, and family and friends can also be affected and may need help to work through issues.

Over 13,000 abortions happen in NZ each year. Around one in five pregnancies are terminated, and about one third have had one or more prior abortions. We are facing potentially a huge, but as yet largely hidden, problem. Most people will at some time either have a personal experience of abortion or know someone who has.

Health professionals, counsellors and pastors need to know possible signs and symptoms of abortion/termination related loss and trauma, and take care to respond appropriately and sensitively.

Note events below that may be of interest. Also if you would like, take a moment to peruse our latest newsletter online for articles of interest and updates re the Trust, and services and work of P.A.T.H.S..

We hope you find the site helpful.



facilitated by Carolina Gnad MNZAC

“I struggled alone with my pain. I was hounded by guilt, and couldn’t tell anyone. Who would understand? Who would not judge me?”

“I had not realised how much the abortion had affected me and what it was doing to my life or how it had impacted my relationships. Coming for counseling was hard, but I kept coming because it helped me to uncover what happened and make some sense of it and why I was feeling the way I was and acted the way I did.”

“My relationship with my partner ended a few years after the abortion. I felt hopeless and the grief of losing my baby and losing the man in my life was huge. Abortion grief is not like other griefs. It is harder to talk about because I did it. No matter what I tell myself in my head my heart aches for my baby”

Grief and trauma from abortion/termination is not widely recognised and accepted, and there is still a taboo talking about it for women, men and families who are deeply affected by a recent or past experience. There are key elements and issues that need to be understood and addressed.

The seminar is now a three day experience. It is designed for counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, social workers, doctors, midwives, nurses, pastors and ministers and mental health support workers, or anyone who may encounter and support people who have had terminations or abortions.

Day 1: Foundational
-  Stats, views, beliefs
-  Web of Influence, pregnancy crisis
-  Generational differences, other contributes
-  Methods of abortion
-  Physical complications
-  Research
-  Intro to grief and trauma
-  Intro to Post Abortion Distress

Day 2: Distress and Stress After Abortion
-  Medical vs surgical experiences
-  Biological changes after abortion
-  Initial post abortion reactions
-  Possible spiritual effects and needs
-  How to respond - understanding needs and use of Mental Health First Aid
-  Possible longer term effects - holistic view
-  Men and abortion

Day 3: Hope for the Hurting
Overview of a healing journey and a 14 Guidepost Programme, to support journeying with those experiencing problems after their abortions. Guideposts look at historical context, pregnancy situation, decision-making process, the abortion day, hurts, anger, judgements, victimhood, guilt and shame, continuing bonds and moving forward.

N.B. Day One is a prerequisite to Day Two, and Day 1 and 2 are a prerequisite for Day 3.  This is not merely an academic seminar, rather a reflective and interactive process.

Carolina, founder and former co-ordinator of P.A.T.H.S. (Post Abortion Trauma Healing Service), is a trained nurse, and an experienced counsellor, supervisor, spiritual director.

When: Early March - dates to be confirmed
Time: 9.30 to 4 pm each day
Where: Venue TBC
Costs: $150 for one day, $250 for two days, $300 for three days
For more details email carolina@postabortionpaths.org.nz


    When: Friday 10th and Saturday 11th August 2018
    Where: Greenstone Doors, Wellington
    For more information contact Wendy 027  254 9222 
        or email  info@greenstonedoors.co.nz

For those who has done the two day seminar before, to gain more insight and experiential learning around post abortion support
    When: Friday 24th August 10am - 2.30pm
    Where: Venue TBA, Hamilton   
    For more information contact Dawn d.dewitt@xtra.co.nz

    When: Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 August 2018, 9.30am - 4.30pm
    Where: Venue TBA, Hamilton   
    For more information contact Dawn d.dewitt@xtra.co.nz

If you are interested in offering this seminar to your local counsellors, doctors, nurses, social workers, pastors and community workers please contact us for more information at admin@postabortionpaths.org.nz

P.A.T.H.S. Legal disclaimer

Information on this site is provided for interest only and is not a substitute for professional counselling or medical care. Views are expressed in good faith and P.A.T.H.S. is not liable for accuracy, errors or omissions. P.A.T.H.S. takes no responsibility for any consequences / impact relating directly or indirectly to any information or action by any person using this site.

P.A.T.H.S. reserves the right to determine what is included on this site and will not enter into debate.

P.A.T.H.S. offers links to a variety of other sites which are not under the control of P.A.T.H.S. and accessing linked sites is at user discretion and own risk. It is as convenience, for interest purposes, that such links are offered and P.A.T.H.S. accepts no responsibility nor necessarily endorses the content of linked sites. 

 Back To Top
About P.A.T.H.S. | Services | Impacts for Women | Men & Abortion | Talks & Training | Articles | Links | Blog | Contact Us
© Copyright P.A.T.H.S. NZ - April 2002