Breaking the silence - information, hope and healing after abortion


Looking for help after an abortion or termination or pregnancy loss?

In a health, counselling or pastoral role with people who may have had an abortion?

Want to know more about the possible effects of an abortion or termination?

Welcome to the P.A.T.H.S. information site.

See the Facebook Page, latest newsletter and blog for up to date news!

Abortion is a particular and complex type of pregnancy loss, an unnatural and generally unacknowledged life-death event. When a woman has an abortion the new life being created inside her physically, to whom she is attached at some level emotionally, psychologically and spiritually has been taken from her.

Some women are distressed soon after their abortions. Others appear unaffected. Often grief may be suppressed and the trauma may sink into the unconscious and not surface for months or years later.

Many women feel isolated and alone with their pain and anguish. It can help to talk it through with someone uninvolved, who has special skills in caring and listening, and a knowledge of abortion-specific effects and issues.

Fathers grieve too, and family and friends can also be affected and may need help to work through issues.

Over 17,000 abortions happen in NZ each year. Around one in five pregnancies are terminated, and about one third have had one or more prior abortions. We are facing potentially a huge, but as yet largely hidden, problem. Most people will at some time either have a personal experience of abortion or know someone who has.

Health professionals, counsellors and pastors need to know what signs and symptoms of abortion loss and trauma may be, and take care to respond appropriately and sensitively.

Note events below that may be of interest. Also if you would like, take a moment to peruse our latest newsletter online for articles of interest and updates re the Trust, and services and work of P.A.T.H.S..

To find out more about what we are about view a You Tube clip made for Shine TV in 2012 where the then Co-ordinator Carolina was interviewed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doiD4cI3VuY. Note this clip although dated helps to get a sense of our approach and hopefully will help those affected feel they are able to come for help.

We hope you find the site helpful.



facilitated by Carolina Gnad MNZAC

“I struggled alone with my pain. I was hounded by guilt, and couldn’t tell anyone. Who would understand? Who would not judge me?”

“I had not realised how much the abortion had affected me and what it was doing to my life or how it had impacted my relationships. Coming for counseling was hard, but I kept coming because it helped me to uncover what happened and make some sense of it and why I was feeling the way I was and acted the way I did.”

“My relationship with my partner ended a few years after the abortion. I felt hopeless and the grief of losing my baby and losing the man in my life was huge. Abortion grief is not like other griefs. It is harder to talk about because I did it. No matter what I tell myself in my head my heart aches for my baby”

Grief and trauma from abortion/termination is not widely recognised and accepted, and there is still a taboo talking about it for women, men and families who are deeply affected by a recent or past experience. There are key elements and issues that need to be understood and addressed.

This two day seminar is for counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, social workers, doctors, midwives, nurses, pastors and ministers and mental health support workers, or anyone who may encounter and support people who have had terminations or abortions.

DAY ONE: foundational DAY covers attitudes and beliefs and the helper, NZ context, reasons and risks, possible effects, foetal development, men and abortion, needs in healing

DAY TWO: Overview of 10 Step recovery programme

The programme will enable you to journey with those experiencing problems after their terminations or abortions. It helps you to look at the person you are helping in the context of who they are, their past and their current life, to explore what happened in and around becoming pregnant and map out all aspects of the decision-making time. It journeys through the grief, deals with hurts and anger and offers a process of forgiveness. Finding closure and meaning, restoring relationships with the beloved little one, and moving on are all important steps to integrating the loss in a person’s life.

N.B. Day One is a prerequisite to Day Two and seminar is two full days. This is not merely an academic seminar, rather a reflective and interactive process.

Carolina, founder and former co-ordinator of P.A.T.H.S. (Post Abortion Trauma Healing Service), is a trained nurse, and an experienced counsellor, supervisor, spiritual director.

Friday 2 & Saturday 3 September 2016 - hosted by P.A.T.H.S.
Venue: Petersgate Counselling Centre, 29 Yaldhurst Road, Upper Riccarton
Time:   9.00 am to 3.30 pm Friday, 9.00 am to 4.30 pm Saturday
Contact:  0800 728 470 or email admin@postabortionpaths.org.nz
Cost:  Free but koha appreciated.
Morning and afternoon tea provided.

We are looking for a place in the North Island and group who might like to host a seminar.

If you are interested in offering this seminar to your local counsellors, doctors, nurses, social workers, pastors and community workers please contact us for more information at admin@postabortionpaths.org.nz

P.A.T.H.S. Legal disclaimer

Information on this site is provided for interest only and is not a substitute for professional counselling or medical care. Views are expressed in good faith and P.A.T.H.S. is not liable for accuracy, errors or omissions. P.A.T.H.S. takes no responsibility for any consequences / impact relating directly or indirectly to any information or action by any person using this site.

P.A.T.H.S. reserves the right to determine what is included on this site and will not enter into debate.

P.A.T.H.S. offers links to a variety of other sites which are not under the control of P.A.T.H.S. and accessing linked sites is at user discretion and own risk. It is as convenience, for interest purposes, that such links are offered and P.A.T.H.S. accepts no responsibility nor necessarily endorses the content of linked sites. 

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