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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

An article in today's Fort Wayne Sentinel is about a post-abortion training day at Concordia Theological Seminary:

Elisa Davis knows the shame, anxiety and guilt that affect many women who choose to terminate a pregnancy. She had an abortion in 1983. Davis, now 41, counsels other women who have gone through the experience, and she credits her relationship with God in helping her heal.

Sometimes the weight of the decision to terminate a pregnancy is immediately felt by the woman, but some symptoms – denial, depression, flashbacks, nightmares, a spiritual separation from God – may not manifest themselves until many years after the surgery, according to Davis, a peer counselor at A Hope Center Pregnancy and Relationship Resources.

“I suspect many more women are dealing with post-abortion stress than report it,” she said.

Davis will join several panelists Wednesday during a discussion on the post-abortion experience at Concordia Theological Seminary. The event, presented by the national Silent No More Awareness Campaign, is sponsored by the seminary’s Deaconess Studies Program.

Female students in the Deaconess Studies program train to work at area congregations and faith-based institutions, said program director Dr. Arthur Just. Post-abortion stress “is like a post-traumatic syndrome,” Just said. “Many women suffer silently; they probably don’t want to talk to their pastors. We believe that deaconesses are particularly well-suited (in this area) to help women and children.”
The article goes on to quote a pro-abortion rights proponent from the Indiana Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice who seems to disagree with the whole concept of training counselors to help women cope with post-abortion distress:

“We think it will be far better to train clergy and counselors to help women in a way that is honest and informed and particular to their circumstance.”
She appears to be talking about the "all options" counseling that the IRCRC advocates for women who are pregnant, but that's an irrelevant point in the context of training clergy to counsel women who have already had abortions and are experiencing distress.

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