Help for Men, Relatives and Friends of a woman who's had an abortion
What can a husband or partner do? What can a Mom or sister do? How can they help the woman they care about recover from PASS? This section has links for men to find support and healing for their own grief and feelings of loss after an abortion, as well as information on how to help their partner get through PASS. It also has information and places for friends and relatives of a women recovering from PASS.
Message BoardsMen's Support Board
Relatives and Friends Support Board
Relationship Recovery Board
Click here to go to the message board index
Check out our Email Support and Discussion Groups to find others to talk with and find support for dealing with partners/relatives with PASS.
The following message boards can be helpful for discussing your feelings, getting support, advice and help.
Other Helpful Information
What to say and what not to say to a woman recovering from an abortion. A collection of submissions from site visitors.
Make sure you NEVER tell her: "It's time for you to be over this", or "Aren't you over this yet? Why are you still upset?"
If she is having a hard time and you don't understand why, besides making an appt. for you both at a professional counselor, do this:
Give her a big hug, put your arm around her shoulders and say "I'm really confused as to what you are going through, and I don't understand it. But I care about you, so be free to do *whatever* you need to do to feel better. Talk to me as much as you need to, cry on my shoulder as much as you need to - I truly care about you and I'm here for you, so I won't belittle your pain or grief, and I won't try to shame or guilt you into hiding your real feelings, and acting like you don't hurt when you do.." - and follow through with this! Don';t try to 'tough' her past her feelings. Would you tell someone with cancer to just 'get better', and be over it? It's not the same exact thing, but PASS is a real emotional and physical problem, and she needs lots of support and help.
Try to encourage her to see a professional therapist. PASS can be quite serious, and clinical depression/suicidal feelings are very common. Your partner may need medication for depression, and be too overwhelmed to even think about going to a doctor.
Be willing to talk to her about the whole experience. Be honest and open about your thoughts and feelings.
Help her emotionally by reminding her that you love her, that she is a wonderful woman and that she is very important to you, ect.. Women's self esteem can be very fragile after an abortion, and they need to have lots of reassurance.
Encourage her to think about trying our "Structured Recovery Group" online at the site. If she does not feel comfortable with a Group Healing program, print out the Individual Recovery Steps and she can try them on her own.
Most importantly, be supportive, offer to listen to her when she wants to talk, remind her that you care about her and love her. If she seems too depressed to cope, help out by making a Counseling appointment for her, drive her there, make sure she can get the time off work, find a babysitter for the kids, ect - Remember that a woman suffering from PASS after an abortion can be despondent and suicidal. Even if the abortion was many years ago!
If you are in crisis, or if your partner is, check out the phone numbers on the Crisis Intervention Help Page They are free 24 hour hotlines - don't be afraid to call and talk - help is always available!
Not sure if your woman/relative/friend has Post Abortion Stress Syndrome? Review this Quiz to see if she might be affected by PASS
Stages, Symptoms & FAQs about PASS
Read a very informative (long) and well done study on the effects of abortion on men by Michael Simon, M.S.,M.A.
Links to other information about Men's reactions, and a site for men to find help.