If this is the first time your friend has told you about her abortion, she may be afraid that you will be critical or that you will repeat to others what she tells you. She must know that you are a real friend who cares about her, and that you are not sitting in judgment of her.
Before you talk to her, keep in mind:
What does she need today?
Someone to listen, or maybe a shoulder to cry on.
Begin by listening to your friend. Let her pour out the whole story without interrupting her. You don’t have to understand every detail. It’s important that she lets go of some of the burden she’s been carrying and that she no longer feels alone.
As much as you’d like to make all her suffering go away with the right words, her grief and loss won’t disappear after one conversation. Assure her of your friendship. Tell her you will be there for her and help her find healing.
Encourage her to contact Project Rachel Ministry for help. Remind her that God’s love and mercy is bigger than any sin. Assure her again of your friendship. Promise to be there, not only today, but in the future. Thank her for having the trust to talk with you. It took courage. Her healing journey has begun.
If you see a friend struggling with sadness and emotional turmoil and you think that abortion might be the cause, would you know how to bring up the topic without asking directly if abortion is the source of her pain? A suggestion: At an appropriate time and place, you might say something like this:
“I’ve been learning about the awful pressures women face to have an abortion or how, afterward, they suffer, grieve and feel alone. There’s an interesting web site where women share their pain after abortion and their healing journeys. And there are programs, like Project Rachel Ministry, all over the country that help women struggling with emotional problems after abortion.”
This is the USCCB’s national website for Project Rachel. There are many resources available at this site including some beautiful testimonials about the healing ministry of Project Rachel.
Lumina is a ministry of Good Counsel that assists those suffering from a prior abortion to reach healing and wholeness through talks, retreats and other venues. As one of the first resources for those suffering in silence and alone, we have pioneered new aspects of healing for those impacted and continue to expand our reach.