by Anne Lastman.
Anne Lastman is the author of “Redeeming Grief” and founder of Victims of Abortion. Over the past 17 years, she has helped hundreds of fathers and mothers heal from the wounds of abortion. The below commentary was written as part of Anne’s April newsletter.
Anne spoke at the Voice for Life National Conference in 2013.
Abortion changes things forever. Read a commentary below about Post-Abortion Trauma, and the death of Charlotte Dawson.
Reading about the death of TV personality and former model, the very beautiful Charlotte Dawson, left me feeling really sad. Indeed when I read of her death I went and immediately bought her autobiography. I’d had heard of it when it first was released but had “not got round to it” and I also knew that in the book “Air Kiss and Tell” she had spoken of her abortion and the fact that she pinpointed to the first time she felt the “bogeyman” depression was immediately following her abortion. So this peaked my interest but with daily work and many articles I have to read I eventually forgot about it. And for this I am sorry because had I read it I might have made an effort to contact her and see if she would speak with me. I would have even travelled to see her and possibly might have been able to help her. For this I am truly sorry. I failed her.
In her book Charlotte says that she was thrilled when she realised she was pregnant, but her husband was not so happy “I could sense some hesitation in Scott,” she says.
“My due date would clash with the 2000 Olympic Games and this was very concerning.” (p78)
“Everything Scott had done was leading up to this moment and nothing could stand in his way, so it was decided that we would terminate the child and try again later. Who needed a developing foetus when a gold medal was on offer, eh?” She wrote.
Sexual abuse, by a neighbour when she was seven who was reputedly “religious” left Charlotte having difficulties with the “God” question as per an interview, And so abortion and round the same time marriage breakdown and career difficulties left her wounded.
The media have made much of her death blaming cyber bullying because it’s easier to speak about cyber bullying and depression, than abortion and depression. Charlotte had made public her battle with depression but sadly no one wanted to link this depression to her abortion. And yet we know that abortion increases the risks of depression and abortion is also linked (155%) to a greater risk of attempting suicide and in this case completed. There is also 110% greater risk of alcohol abuse 22% of substance use/abuse (eg marijuana).
But Dawson could not reconcile the decision to abort with her inner self her turmoil began in abortion facility and continued to the end and this I believe because she couldn’t find someone to help her with abortion grief and regret.
She didn’t want to abort and wanted to have the child but compromised with her inner being.
“Scott accompanied me to a local clinic, but he couldn’t cope with the atmosphere so he left me there alone. I was struggling with the decision and trying not to appear emotional or distressed about it so that Scott could maintain his focus. I was trying to train myself to think of my baby as an inconvenience, like a sneeze in a news broadcast. It was difficult.” (p79)
“Inside I was in total turmoil. I wanted the baby. How long would we have to wait? Were there even any guarantees that I would fall pregnant again? Of course, I accepted without question that the Olympics was Scott’s number-one priority — I had been told that by him and a number of other interested and invested parties.” (pp78-79)
After the procedure, Charlotte went home and tried to behave as though nothing had happened, but says something had changed forever.
“I felt a shift,” she says. “Maybe it was hormonal, but I felt the early tinges of what I can now identify as my first experience with depression.”
That it was in fact her abortion 15 years earlier that introduced her to what she called the “depression bogeyman.” This from her autobiography Air Kiss & Tell (2012).
“Something had changed forever” (p80). These words have been uttered in my office thousands of times. “I have changed Anne; I can’t be the same again”. This is what abortion does it changes things forever. It’s not a new thing I have heard it’s common to hear “nothing has been the same Anne I can’t go back to the time before I knew abortion. Will I ever feel good again Anne?”
“I then had to reconcile myself to the personal responsibility of having a termination. Should I be feeling guilt and shame? I was challenging my idea that motherhood was an uncomplicated and blissful time, especially for newlyweds,” she wrote.(p83)
“I considered the possibility that I might end up being a childless woman, which was a frustrating and demoralizing prospect for me, as I very much wanted to be a mother. What if I couldn’t have another child? What if I’d blown my only chance of motherhood by sacrificing this one?”(pp79-80)
Abortion for Dawson was not the liberating self-fulfilling experience that abortion advocates said it would be. Having lost her baby to abortion, she tried to focus on what she still had. This is called rationalisation.
“It was a horrible, sad time for me, but I had to keep reminding myself of what I had. I had a husband, and we were building a life and a home together.”
“I wanted our baby, but I felt greedy, like I already had too much, that the termination was a compromise I should make,” she wrote.
“As brave as I was trying to be, and as much as I tried to reassure myself that we were doing the right thing, it was still a gut- wrenching time.
It was not until Dawson returned home from the abortion clinic that the gravity of what she had just done came crashing down on her.
“When I got home, I felt that something had changed. I felt a shift. Maybe it was hormonal, but I felt the early tinges of what I can now identify as my first experience with depression.”
“I should have bought a couch especially for the depression bogeyman right then and there. If I had known he was going to visit so often, I would have at least have had somewhere for him to sit, the bastard,” she wrote.
Dawson’s sacrifice of her only child for the sake of her husband’s Olympic career career aspirations did not pay off. Sex tapes emerged around this time of Miller being filmed compromised with a female swimmer and there was also talk of him and drugs.
And the saddest part was that he did not even make the team for the Sydney Olympics. The news of her husband’s betrayal added even more devastation to the already shattered Dawson.
“If I’d started to feel pangs of depression after the termination, the shock of receiving this news barely six months into my marriage was too much to bear. Something inside me completely broke that Sunday, something that is beyond repair, something that has never come back,” she wrote. “I was a broken mess. I had to pretend that nothing was wrong at work and at social functions while people were whispering behind my back…” “It was around this time that I learned the gentle art of drowning sorrow with bucket loads of wine.” (increased risk of overuse of alcohol)
And abortion proponents share the blame. They, of course, insist that abortion is an easy, painless? Uneventful procedure which rids the woman of an inconveniently attached baby and leaves her unscathed. This is the monumental lie which the father of lies has managed to persuade our society that it (abortion) is a good thing, and in doing so those who believe and promote this continue to push barriers for easier and easier access to abortion until words are now beginning to be disseminated, words like of “4th trimester abortion.” An oxymoron and being introduced into society to slowly take hold and become normal.
The deemphasizing of abortion’s painful effects has been successful because of strategic and methodical workers in death industry whose only vision (under the guise of good for women) has been slow death of the relationship and intimacy between mother and her infant. It’s a huge lie. Abortion changes the woman. When aborting she goes completely against her design. It is contra to all that she is. Woman says bearer of life. Softness, gentleness. Future. Intentional abortion says woman bearer of death.
That a woman suffers depression, post abortion is not surprising and is a well known side effect. Some will experience grief even pre abortion as Charlotte Dawson did, as I did, and thousands others I have spoken with did. Some almost immediately following, begin a life of self defeating behaviours. Some may suppress for a time feelings of anguish, pain, loss, fears. This in order to continue. However, suppression usually ends up with manifestation of other pains which further incapacitate those actually living through it, Depression is a big dark hole which beckons the one staring into it, to climb in and not ever get out.
For Charlotte Dawson not only the abortion was undealt with but also sexual abuse she experienced as a child and was also undealt with led her to the precipice, to the edge from which she could not draw back. Had she been able to be helped with her abortion depression and grief she would have been stronger and been able to deal with the cyber bullying.
This from her autobiography Air Kiss & Tell (2012).
RIP beautiful lady. I am sorry for your pain. Rest and be with your baby.