I was browsing through your site and noticed in the Reproductive Rights section you have many resources for information about abortion, mostly divided into pro-life and pro-choice. One letter I read while browsing was from a 16-year-old girl looking for information about Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS). While PASS has yet to be recognized officially, it does exist. Many women suffer through symptoms of PASS after having an abortion, myself included. Some symptoms can mirror those of depression, which could be part of the reason why PASS isn't recognized as its own issue. Some women experience PASS immediately. Others, it could take months or years to “kick in."
While I struggled with my decision, both before and after, even knowing it was the right thing to do at the time, I realized that I needed help and support from people who would truly understand. I still have some issues almost two years later, but I am on the road to recovery. Most support sites out there focus on politics or religion to help one get through this ordeal. I'm not religious, and I frown on extremist views on both sides of the political debate. I do consider myself pro-choice, but it angers me when I'm told I should be relieved. Why should I? I wasn't happy to abort my would-be first child at the age of 31. But I also knew that our current situation wasn't anywhere near conducive to raising a child. New relationship, unsteady job situation. So we faced the difficult decision, one I never thought I'd have to face in a million years.
The point of this email is to introduce you to a very supportive Website that is politic- and religion-free. All the support offered is peer-based. There are message boards, private online support groups and individual recovery steps that a girl or woman with PASS can go through to learn to cope with her feelings. The site offers information about how to support a friend, girlfriend, wife and/or family member who is dealing with PASS. I found this site to be immensely helpful in my own struggle and I find it rewarding to be in a position where I can support girls and women who need help. The message boards themselves are moderated by several members, including the site owner. They make sure that all members feel safe in sharing their stories and thoughts. It's quite a community.
While only a handful of people in "real life" know of my abortion (my boyfriend and a couple close friends, all supportive), I have been able to share my story and thoughts with the members of this site. The main site can be found at this address: www.afterabortion.com and the message boards can be reached here: www.passboards.org.
Please consider adding this site in your list of resources so women and girls who want neutral support can get it.