Here's an early Christmas present for faith-based groups that provide post-abortion support and healing programs.
Postabortion Grief: Evaluating the Possible Efficacy of a Spiritual Group Intervention is an article that just came out in Research on Social Work Practice, Vol. 14, No. 5.
The article is by a group of four researchers from the University of South Florida.
Here's what the abstract says:
Objective: Although not every woman is negatively affected by an abortion, researchers have identified a subgroup of women susceptible to grief and trauma. The primary providers for postabortion grief (PAG) groups are community faith-based agencies. Principle features of PAG are shame and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
Method: This study measured the efficacy of a spiritually based grief group intervention for women grieving an abortion. Thirty-five women completed the Impact of Event Scale-Revised(IES-R) and the Internalized Shame Scale (ISS) pre- and postintervention along with posttest open-ended questions.
Results: Postintervention measures indicated significant decrease in shame and PTSD symptoms. More than 80% reported their religious beliefs and the spiritual intervention played a strong to very strong role in the group.
Conclusion: Social workers need to screen for PAG with a postabortive woman and when appropriate refer her to agencies offering such groups.