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?

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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.

This two day seminar is 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 ONE: foundational DAY covers attitudes and beliefs and the helper, NZ context, reasons and risks, possible effects, foetal development, men and abortion, needs in healing

DAY TWO: Overview of 10 Step recovery programme

The programme will enable you to journey with those experiencing problems after their terminations or abortions. It helps you to look at the person you are helping in the context of who they are, their past and their current life, to explore what happened in and around becoming pregnant and map out all aspects of the decision-making time. It journeys through the grief, deals with hurts and anger and offers a process of forgiveness. Finding closure and meaning, restoring relationships with the beloved little one, and moving on are all important steps to integrating the loss in a person’s life.

N.B. Day One is a prerequisite to Day Two and seminar is two full days. 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: Thursday 1 and Friday 2nd March 2018
Time: 9.30 to 4 pm each day
Where: The Arahura Centre, 406 Barrington Street, Christchurch
For more details email carolina@postabortionpaths.org.nz

As yet undetermined for 2018

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. 

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