Breaking the silence - information, hope and healing after abortion

  P.A.T.H.S. Blog 

Welcome to our blog spot where Carolina will post updates, events of interest and thoughts.

If you would like to comment or respond to this blog email Carolina at carolina@postabortionpaths.org.nz

Your comments are confidential unless you express otherwise, and comments will not automatically be published.

You may also be interested in upcoming events (click here for more details)

11 April 2017

Well the year has brought more change. Julie our Chairperson resigned in January and Maree our Co-ordinator gave notice soon after and finished up at the end of March. This threw the Trust into crisis as we were left with one Trustee and myself as Co-ordinator of Education and Training. What to do? We put it to prayer through our prayer network and laid out the options, about folding the Trust, about possibly folding the trust and creating P.A.T.H.S. as a trademark where Maree might continue the counselling and myself the education, or finding another agency to umbrella us. In my heart I felt that P.A.T.H.S. is a community based outreach that was set up as a beacon of hope for those hurting after abortoin/termination and was to be a voice for those affected. We have been blessed that Karen Holmes and Averil Ewart-Jones have stepped up and joined Gaye White on the Trust, and Phil Gnad has joined the team as Treasurer. There are still significant gaps that need filling. Ideally we need a new Co-ordinator of Services, an Administrator and a Funding Person. Meantime we have a PCP (P.A.T.H.S. Counselling Partner) Chrissie helping with client emails, and the Trust are starting the job of funding applications. It is back to basics, continuing the core business and assuming a voluntary and mission-based approach once more. We are in the process of streamlining our counselling referral process and widening our PCP network. The intention is to develop a weblist of available P.A.T.H.S. Counselling Partners, who are professionally qualified and have done our specialised training. This means those wanting counselling can go directly to the website and choose a counsellor themselves. Those who phone in or email in can also be directed to the PCP weblist. Connect Group will be run upon request and if there are sufficient numbers to run it. Our hope is to continue the Facebook Support Group though we are looking for another counsellor to take over monitoring the group. The P.A.T.H.S Seminars will continue as will responding to requests for training or presentations. Trying times are times for trying. As we look ahead we are hopeful. The heart of P.A.T.H.S. remains strong and vision continues to be realised through the efforts of a wonderful team of people, committed to the mission and vision of P.A.T.H.S. Thank you one and all, and all our supporters and FRIENDS, you know who you are, and P.A.T.H.S. could not continue without you. Enjoy the Autumn as the colours become vibrant and the air cools and weather shifts. We are entering a new season for P.A.T.H.S. and that is part of life.

Warm peace

12 January 2017

Another year has begun. What will this year bring? P.A.T.H.S. has undergone significant changes again last year and is needing a major injection of money and people with skills to fill certain roles, voluntarily to start with possibly. In our city we are experiencing closure of numbers of vital counselling services. The pressure on funding it particularly high. It would be sad to see P.A.T.H.S. also close its doors so to speak for want of funding, as this country needs something specialised for those affected by abortion. It is not a usual grief or pregnancy loss experience, and for those that struggle afterwards it can feel really hard to reach out for help. P.A.T.H.S. offers a uniquely safe place for post abortion women and men to connect and share their experiences and find peace. The email support, counselling, connect group, and private facebook group responds to and meets the needs of a range of people. We start this year in faith and hope, that the right people will come forward to help, and the money will come, sufficient for our needs.

Donations can be made to Westpac 03 1592 0130232 00

If you have particular skills, or know someone else who has, in the areas of administration, funding applications or Treasurer role please get in touch with the Trust at admin@postabortionpaths.org.nz We are based in Christchurch and the Trust operates in Rangiora.

If you have a heart for those impacted by abortion please uplift us in the work we do. As the founder I think it would be sad to see the service go. We have a good core of committed people but reality is biting.

Warm peace

13 March 2016

Christmas and summer has come and gone and the year is in full swing. We continue rolling with earthquakes here in Christchurch but P.A.T.H.S. is holding steady in its mission. There is a clear focus for the way ahead as development of services continue and the Trust consolidates operations. It is encouraging to see the work continue. I am pleased to be able to shed responsibility for key areas and commit more time and energy to training and education.

The need is very real as is manifest in the people that reach out for help. We are aware this remains a really sensitive area of work and so it is vital to keep on raising awareness of the issues and increase the profile of P.A.T.H.S. to ensure we can reach those who might benefit from our help.

Taking time to heal is often a challenge for people in the mainstream as life is busy for most and allowing space and feeling safe enough to come and share their story is not always easy. Many are not aware that they may be affected and so there is a drive to get more information into the community where we can.

I hope that this year has started well for you and that it will bring good things. Take care. Stay calm.

21 June 2015

I cannot believe it has been so long since I have sat down to write. My husband Phil who updates this site for P.A.T.H.S. gave me a gentle nudge! I think that there haven't been regular blogs is indicative of the huge amount that has been happening over the past year. There has been much happening for me in my personal life and with wider family members, and there has been a tremendous amount of change with P.A.T.H.S.

P.A.T.H.S. has a whole new Board of Trusteees at the helm (see Update Message), which is really exciting. There is new energy and passion for the work and to ensure the work can continue and grow. I welcome all the new people on board - you will know who they are if you read the latest newsletter.

With now being able to step back a bit from roles of responsibility I am finding I have more time and energy to dedicate to my area of passion which is writing articles like the one around rape and pregnancy in the recent newsletter,  and developing and delivering training both for P.A.T.H.S. as the Co-ordinator of Education and Training, and in my private capacity. The balance has shifted for me and there are also new opportunities for me to work professionally which has felt lovely.

Meantime the work is definitely carrying on. Maree brings her particular flare and passion, her relationship skills and organisation sense which helped to make the transitions around Trust and development of roles smooth. In her role as Co-ordinator of Client Services now she is overseeing the phone, email, Facebook and PCPs (P.A.T.H.S. Counselling Partners). There is a new focus as we look at branching out and trying to get some footholds in prisons. Also there may be a chance to develop support groups and mentor Chinese counsellors working with Chinese post abortive women, initially locally and then maybe into China. One of our counsellors June is spearheading this outreach and we are excited to support it.

I am constantly reminded that the heart of this work is caring for those affected by recent or past abortion/termination experiences. I sit with reminders of the deep pain that can ensue for people with this experience, real grief, aspects of trauma, and often lots of changes in their lives and relationships as a consequence. We are there for these people. Others who cope, or appear to cope okay do not need the support we offer maybe, but there are others who definitely struggle and suffer because of the decision they made or felt pressured to make.

I realise that working in this area probably gives me a certain bias, but I am not phased by such criticism. It is the flow on from being involved at such a deep level with people affected and so is also a strength. It only becomes a problematic bias where my views are imposed on others, which they are not. At the end of the day we are here to serve a particular client group. This work is important enough in and of itself - to draw and support people in their healing. It is privileged and precious work. I have given much of my life to it and have no regrets. I have been allowed to enter people's hearts and lives in deep and meaningful ways around their experiences of ending a pregnancy, and it has shown me more and more what it means to be deeply human.

I realise over and over we are all wounded, and I recognise in myself the wouded healer. I have not had an abortion experience myself, but it has touched my life in different ways and I have had significant personal losses to deal with over time which I've needed to journey through. So I find compassion is easy for me and it is comfortable for me to be with any who struggle with grief, pain, shame, trauma and the like.

I feel immense gratitude for all the people who have given of themselves to help grow this ministry over the years. Amazing isn't it what draws people in, what people are willing to give for the sake of others. P.A.T.H.S. is really blessed to have so many good people involved with the day to day running of our service and provision of care. The net is spreading wider and wider as more and more people are connected with us and working in their own areas in different ways. One of the key things over time has been awareness raising and that continues to be a big part of our work. For in that we prepare and equip more and more people to respond appropriately and well to those hurting after their abortion/termination experiences. There is such an unrecognised need we believe. Would we had inexhaustible resources to realise the whole of our vision today, but we don't, so growth has been and is likely to continue to be slow and steady. That is not necessarily a bad thing as it does mean the organisation is solid. The way it has transitioned through the past few years is incredible, as it is at these times of critical change that often organisations are tested and fold. But we are still here and by God's grace and the involvement of so many people we will remain here a light of hope for those wounded in this particular way.

P.A.T.H.S. is a well established and professional service with a BIG HEART thanks to the heart and efforts of so many wonderful people.  Let's keep our eye on the mission and our hearts focused and open. Let us raise awareness in our own circles and become bridges between different people and groups around the issues. Let us be people of peace and hope.

If we can be of service to you personally or as a helping group or agency please let us know. We are keen to find more ways to reach people who may need somewhere safe to be to talk about their experiences. We want to find more opportunities to speak to church groups, health and counselling organisations or groups and avenues to speak about the issues and the work we do. Please help us open doors!

Warm peace

23 May 2014

We are well into Autumn now, the leaves are falling in golden amber and brown grace, making cushions on the ground. And life goes on.

Jan Brodie, another founding member of our Trust has also stepped down. There is a new order emerging as we welcome Gaye White as a new Trustee. Along with Maree and myself we remain in good heart.

We also welcome on board Janet Petrie as our new Treasurer. Janet is slowly picking up the reins, as is Karen Holmes who is our new Funding Co-ordinator, as well as co-ordinator of support groups. There are certainly major challenges before us with funding to cover shifts to paid roles. However we trust that needs will be met as we move forward in faith to continue the work begun.

I have enjoyed and appreciated oppotunities to talk and offer trainings. It is always heartening to share with others working with women and families who are interested and open to post abortion/termination issues. There is a sense that with growing awareness, others will feel more equipped to respond to those affected by, hurting or struggling after their abortions/terminations.

I am developing resources for support groups and counselling in my private capacity, and am hoping this may be useful for those interested in starting groups or learning about steps towards healing. It feels timely as P.A.T.H.S. has established some groups, with support group, connect group and facebook group. I am also encountering others who are wanting to start groups so to have a resource is helpful.

Today Maree and I will be running a workshop at the NZ Christian Counsellors Conference. And in August I will do an oral presentation at the NZ College of Midwives Conference. So our outreach and networks grow.

That's it for now. This blog may end at some stage soon, as we will be going to more of a Facebook presence. Watch this space.

Take care.

25 February 2014

Really? The months are flying by already!

Looks like it will be a year of change here in P.A.T.H.S.

At our recent Gathering we farewelled Phil Gnad, who has been part of the founding team. He is stepping down from the Trust and the Treasurererole as of end of March. We are seeking a new Treasurer.

It was also a time to celebrate the achievements of P.A.T.H.S. these past sixteen years. And it was a momentous occasion as I handed over the Vision, Mission and Co-ordination of P.A.T.H.S. to Maree Stace. It is time for me to step back a bit and pursue some new directions. I plan to develop resources for post abortion healing, under my own umbrella of Dawnings. Meanwhile I will assist Maree with co-ordination tasks, and remain on the Trust as Chairperson. I also will be involved with seminars, workshops and supervision.

I trust people will respond positively to the changes happening as we are moving into a new era. There are some exciting new projects planned and we are in the throes of doing a massive mailout to try to raise the profile of P.A.T.H.S. in Christchurch. Too many people and agencies still know nothing about our service, which is a shame.

I was heartened with some feedback from an ex client who had also helped us on the Trust some time ago, and she was very appreciative of our service and the personal help she received. I hope that the heart and vision of P.A.T.H.S. will remain and those who become part of the core of the organisation will hold the mission carefully and progress things with a real heart for the work and the clients we serve.

I am confident that P.A.T.H.S. is in good hands. Maree has the skills and heart to lead the organisation and I trust all our supporters will extend their support to her also. I also trust that as more people see the valuable work being done that more people will come forward to be involved

Meantime. Hope this finds you in good spirits. Take care and warm peace

21 December 2013

It is unbelievable that we are in December with Christmas so close now. I was away for two months mid year, which was an amazing break.

The latest newsletter gives you the updates on what is happening with P.A.T.H.S. We are in good heart and there are some changes afoot! It has been a busy year and we have responded to more calls than ever since our 0800 number has been in operation. Launching the private Facebook Support Group for present and past clients next year is really exciting. The biggest changes is our Treasurer Phil who has been with us since the start of P.A.T.H.S. is stepping down and Maree Stace is stepping up to co-ordinate P.A.T.H.S. next year. This will free me up to do other projects which have been on my list of things to do for some time.

Am ever mindful that Christmas is for many a difficult time, particularly when there have been losses in people's lives. Be encouraged. If you or others you know are struggling with the effects of an abortion or termination take the first step and reach out. You are not alone. We wish you peace above all else. Take care. Carolina

22 May 2013

Autumn is nearly over and already we are experiencing touches of winter with the rain and cold. Seasons come and go and so too with P.A.T.H.S. This year has brought more change, but there is hope also more stability and opportunity for growth. You will see from our newsletter that we are in good heart and active in trying to raise awareness and reach out to those struggling after their abortions or terminations. Although we are primarily available for those who have had abortions, increasingly people with other pregnancy-baby losses are being referred and our counsellors are happy to help them as well. The 10 Step Programme we use is versatile and the process is helpful in working through any grief and trauma issues.

I am especially grateful to have Maree Stace assisting with co-ordination, and know you will appreciate her too. She has great empathy, sensitivity, professionalism and responsiveness. I am looking forward to taking a few months off - the first real downing of tools for me in 13 years and know you will encourage and support her too in her role. Other changes on our Trust and team are mentioned in the newsletter so have a read.

We had a great seminar in Auckland a few weeks ago and this week Maree and I are heading up to Napier for the NZAC Conference to offer a workshop around abortion secrets and the family. Looking forward to our seminar in Christchurch in September!

Ah well, that's enough from me. Stay warm this winter and go well.

23 December 2012

Don't know where the year has gone. Last entry was in September at the beginning of Spring and now we are into Summer. So far it has been lovely down here in Christchurch with lots of sun and quite warm. The earthquakes appear to have settled down so hopefully it will be a quiet Christmas. It has been a busy few months with seminars and conferences and more changes are afoot for us with some people leaving and new people coming on board. Everything has a season and looking ahead I sense there will be some new directions and growth for our outreach and work.

The response from those who have accessed help is positive so we know that what we offer is worthwhile and helpful. At the end of the day that is what we are here for. For all those who have lost little ones through abortion and termination, go gently and be kind to yourself. Do what you need to to remember and honour your beloved little ones and take care of yourself too.

So I wish you a peaceful Christmas on behalf of myself, the Trust and all out team. May the new year be filled with new hope and promise. Carolina

1 September 2012

It's the first day of Spring. The weather has certainly been lovely the last few days and it is heartening to see the daffodils and blossoms coming into bloom.

I wandered around the centre city last Monday for the first time in ages and it was an emotional experience to say the least. And talking with people is a reminder that for many things are far from settled. The trauma of what has happened and events that have changed lives is incredible.

Post abortive parents who contact us also have their grief and trauma, which for many has affected them and changed their lives.

The seminars are attracting counsellors/social workers and others working in the abortion and related areas or in their professional spheres. Opening up dialogue between people and discussing the deeper issues is really worthwhile. Trying to focus and avoiding the politics of it all, will hopefully generate more awareness and sensitivity, normalising abortion loss and trauma and validating people's experiences.

I will be offering a presentation Ethical Sensitivities Counselling Pregnant Teenagers at the School Guidance Counsellors Conference. This is a difficult area to work in, and as with everything to do with abortion and termination, it is all very complex. But we need to talk about it more openly. Else more people who are struggling after their abortions or terminations will suffer in silence and unsupported. For those who are not affected that is fine, but there are many who aren't. You are not alone!

Take care one and all.

24 July 2012

We are well into the second half of the year and there is quite a bit of change afoot. Talk about transitions. It feels like we are preparing for another stage in the life of P.A.T.H.S.

In brief we have a number of seminars coming up which is rather exciting:
Christchurch this week 26-27 July
Napier 13-14 September
Auckand 6-7 October

We are in good heart. Spring is just around the corner and with it new life will abound once more. Meantime hibernating as it were.

Warm thoughts and take care one and all

12 June 2012

We have had the first winter snow in Christchurch which was received with mixed feelings by some especially those in our Eastern suburbs and those who lost power! For others it meant a holiday and time to enjoy the winter wonderland.

Am attending and representing P.A.T.H.S. at the Perinatal Maternal Mortality Review Committee workshop day this Thursday in Wellington. Then am spending some time in Auckland and hoping to meet up with FRIENDS and PCPs there and do some networking. Then it is back to Wellington to help on team with the Rachel's Vineyard Retreat Weekend.

There are also two seminars in the offing - one in Christchurch 26-27 July and one in Napier 13-14 September.

Am intending to submit an abstract to the School Guidance Counsellors Conference happening in Palmerston North in November.

Do take time to read our latest newsletter and see what's what, and pause and think around the issues for yourself, wherever you and whatever is your experience or role. Things are still slow here in Christchurch. It is taking a long time for things to start picking up again. However we are around.

Take care and go gently

5 May 2012

Another few months have passed. Nothing is happening fast. The staffing issue is still be to resolved. In thinking around that, following our strategic planning meeting, we are needing to contract an admininstrator and probably looking at a new co-ordinator later as well (these positions may carry some remuneration). Looking to the future succession planning is an important step for the ongoing viability of P.A.T.H.S.. I am aware that I am unable to maintain my current roles for much longer and need to be able to step back from some. Ideally too we are needing to recruit a prayer network co-ordinator and someone or a team to help with outreach (these would be voluntary positions). This heralds another new era for P.A.T.H.S. as an organisation.

Meantime our server upgrade is creating issues affecting our mailouts and communications, so there is a holdup sending out our newsletter and prayer requests. So yes we are facing mini-crisis and it is taking time to sort through everything and reorganise ourselves. It will happen.

The Abortions Providers' Conference and Psychologists' Conferences have happened, and I did an oral presentation at each. Mixed response at the first one and poor turnout at the second - however still worthwhile, particularly with networking opportunities, and who knows what the sharing may do for people and help people find P.A.T.H.S..

We're hopeful there may be a training happening in the North Island sometime this year, and curiously, following small attendance at our Christchurch Seminar there have been a number of queries of interest. As the seminar ran at a loss for P.A.T.H.S. if there was another to happen in Christchurch this year, it would take someone else to organise and host it. Ideally it would need around 12 paying people. Just putting it out there.

We've also been asked about Remembrance Services, which we put on hold again as it was a lot of work on our part and only seemed to appeal to a small group of people. We know it is not about the numbers, as for those who attend they are really powerful and helpful. This is an idea that we might run one annually as part of our Support Group, and open it out. In that way there is little to organise and it is an integral part of the support group experience. Speaking about the Support Group, Karen and Maree are leading it this year and we are trying to promote it. How does one attract more people to the group? The sensitivity and taboo around the issues I fear still holds people back. Yet the benefits could be huge. Getting over the fear of exposure, or telling oneself I'm okay but holding onto pain and mixed feelings around what happened. It is hard to make the initial step and overcome the uncertainty and fear, but for those who do, they experience a solidarity with others who have had similar experiences, and being able to share their story in a place that is safe and where people won't judge is very special.

Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know where things are at. A newsletter will follow, hopefully by the end of the month. Watch this space.
Cheers and warm peace

17 February 2012

Well here we are well into another year. Hope it has started well for you.

We are going through another transition with some changes of people in the Trust and are adjusting slowly. Still looking for more people to help on the Trust.

So what's happening?

Of note is the Christchurch Support Group starting up again. It will be facilitated by two of our team - Karen and Maree.

Also 9-10 March will be the first P.A.T.H.S. Post Abortion Seminar of the year, and it is being held in Christchurch.

I will be doing an oral presentation at the Abortion Providers' Conference in March in Rotorua, and one at the combined NZ Psychological Society and NZ College of Clinical Psychologists' Conference in April in Wellington, so will  be representing P.A.T.H.S. there. We also have an abstract submitted for the NZ College of Midwives Conference later in the year. We did a poster presentation at last year's conference and it was well received.

We are still hoping to expand our counselling service, and are looking for counselling, psychotherapist or psychologist groups to possibly organise and host a training event in their area. I am happy to come and facilitate a P.A.T.H.S. seminar at a cost. It is our vision to have trained help in all the main centres and grow the number of people available to help people affected by abortion or struggling after a termination of pregnancy. If you are interested or know anyone who may be interested contact us.

Am very aware that the 22nd February is coming up fast. Remembering all the loss of life and those affected badly by our earthquakes! Still no end in sight. We take pause to reflect on the hearts and lives of all for whom there has been stress, trauma and heartbreak, and whose inner cracks will take time to recover from just as the outer cracks have left their mark. May we all find the strength and hope we need to ride this through. The grief is real, the struggle ongoing. This is life here and now.

One of the remembrance actitivities around Christchurch on that day is The River of Flowers project is being lead by Healthy Christchurch and the Avon-Otakaro Network (AvON). On 22 February 2012 from 8am to 8pm, people will be able to drop a flower in the River and write a message for a Tree of Hope. Local community groups will host the sites and at 12:51 two minutes silence will be held, followed by the release of red helium-filled biodegradable balloons. To find your closest River of Flowers site and learn how you can contribute, go to: www.healthychristchurch.org.nz

Take care, kia kaha and go gently one and all.

30 December 2011

The year is drawing to a close. And just when we thought things were settling down Christchurch here was rocked again by earthquakes. Quite unnerving. Still we hope people managed to come together for Christmas. There are certainly things to be thankful for even amidst all the calamity of the year. And we look ahead to next year, hopeful that things will improve, be restored enough that people can move on with their lives without fear.

Since the last blog we have loaded our latest newsletter up on this site for you to view at your leisure. As a charitable organisation we are mindful of costs in producing and distributing newsletters. A decision was made to email the newsletter to people and make it available on line to provide easy access. Change is in the air and it all takes some adjusting to. For my part, I get rather bamboozled with computers, and still am rather technophobic so this is a big challenge. But am slowly getting my head around the website and suchlike. Hope it works!

Enough ramblling. Wishing you all good things in the year ahead.

22 December 2011

Christmas is here. It means different things to different people!

For many it is a time of celebration for sure, but for others less so.

For some it is about the holiday, for others it is a holy day.

For some it is a time of family coming together, for others a reminder of family loss or rupture.

For some it is about the gifts, for others it is about the giving.

What does it mean for you this year?

Wherever you are and whatever it means take care and be gentle with yourself and others.

May it be a time of peace, a time of reflection, a time of gathering hope.


15 November 2011

Here we are in November. I have just returned from assisting with the Rachel's Vineyard Retreat in Wellington. It was a good weekend in tranquil surroundings. The process of the retreat never ceases to amaze me. It is intense and beautiful, challenging and uplifting. For post abortive participants it is a step on the journey of healing. The experience of a being in the loving safe space has hopefully been helpful and special. There is invariably ongoing work that needs to happen, however for most it is an opportunity to pause and reflect on their abortions, what it has meant for them personally and in their lives and relationships. There is a deep desire for peace and connection with the loved little ones lost in the abortion. These little ones are named and their lives remembered and honoured. The reflections and rituals used are richly symbolic and powerful. The next Retreat will be in February. For more information goto http://rachelsvineyard.org.nz/


11 October 2011

A few more shakes for Christchurch to keep us on edge. And coping with the stress and worry of the rebuild is affecting different people in different ways. Waiting, a sense of limbo, uncertainty the order of the day. And meantime for all intents and purposes life goes on. For us new grandchildren are a delight and we are planting the garden in hope. On another front I feel frustration, as we have people needing post abortion help in areas where we do not yet have counselling partners available. We are needing opportunities to recruit and train people who can journey with those affected by abortion through the programme. How can we generate more interest in churches and counselling agencies, with those working with women and families who will encounter people directly or indirectly affected and who may be in a position to respond? Ideally we need people in various centres to organise and host post abortion seminars and invite people to come. Help put the word out there if you can and direct people to us who may be able to help in providing opportunities for training. Thanks in anticipation.


29 September 2011

Recently as I was driving family to the airport my car was rear-ended. In the moments before the crash as I heard the bang and saw the van behind me keep coming I had a sense of helplessness and powerlessness and inevitability... and there was nothing I could do about it. I wake with images and sensations from that experience. Fortunately no-one was hurt, but it was still a shock and trauma and loss.

I am aware that those kind of feelings sometimes accompany someone facing a pregnancy-abortion decision and they can feel overwhelmed and disempowered in their situation. I know it is not the same thing as a car accident, but nor is it often a matter of being a well considered or real choice in that situation - it is not something wanted. There is often a sense of "it's the only option" really. I hear these feelings often in the stories of women, and men, who come for help - it can be hard to really understand what that is like unless you have yourself experienced something that produces similar types of feelings. And then my sense of the feelings or what it might  mean, though described in similar words, may be quite different from yours. We are so complex and different.

On another note I am thinking it would be good to have an events of interest section on this website to highlight healing services, trainings and provide links?! Mmmmm will think on it - watch this space!


19 September 2011

Taking time and space to reflect on an abortion experience, one's own or someone else's close, can help you to get in touch with some of the deeper feelings, make sense of and find meaning in and through the experience. It may assist with starting the healing process or it may be a way to find closure. This event in the south of the South Island may be of interest to those in the area or even others who may wish to travel specially for it. Although it may feel difficult and painful to front up, the hope is that within a supportive place like this one might find help and support to allow grief to surface and be a way of acknowledging the personal loss(es) and change abortion has perhaps caused.


A Reflection and Healing Day - Friday 28 October 2011 - Winton - Southland

You are invited by Voice for Life Winton to this day for anyone touched or affected by abortion.

Marina Young (Buttons Project) will share her story "What happened matters".

Also Dr Normal MacLean will share from his years of experience as an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist.

Contact Liz 03 248 5084 or 027 818 7984 for more information

13 September 2011

There has been much in the news about the devastation and loss from 9/11 - the terrorist attack of 2001 in the USA. Who can forget?

The loss and devastation for many post abortive parents has happened, but it is not public, and in many cases there is no acknowledgement. There is an empty space where their children once were! Their loss of life does not make headline news but is no less significant. There is so much in and around those who have lost children through abortion or termination of pregnancy that downplays and causes them to hide their pain.

Last night I facilitated a meeting on the subject of Early Medical Abortions (EMAs), which are set to become the new method of terminating pregnancy for many in NZ. It is the way to have an abortion without surgery.

In reality EMAs are still the intentional termination of a pregnancy by an induced miscarriage. Although presented as a simple solution, I wonder if it too is complex. The perception of its advantages such as privacy, early action, being less invasive and more cost effective may appeal. However the reality of what actually happens remains and the effects ought not be underestimated. This is of particular concern where a person experiences more than one pregnancy-baby loss, as the grief and issues may be compounded.

Read more about Early Medical Abortions in our newsletter article and online on the Abortion Services NZ website http://www.abortion.gen.nz/procedures/medical.html

What are your thoughts? Carolina

4 September 2011

This is the first entry into our P.A.T.H.S. blog - another step forward as we grow the organisation and our outreach.

Firstly I would like to remember all fathers on this Fathers' Day. Whatever your situation, remember the dignity of who you are and the important role you have. Special thoughts for those who have lost children through abortion. Warm thoughts, wishes and blessings for you.

I am mindful too that today marks the beginning of earthquakes for our fair city of Christchurch one year ago. Though the events of the past year are very real it still feels surreal, as people are dealing with the various impacts in their sphere. Loss, trauma, damage, collapse, destruction, death, fear, uncertainty, safety, cracks, being prepared, rebuild... are some of the words in common usage as a result. Outer earthquakes are matched with inner earthquakes for many, but certainly for all at some level there has been significant disruption to the normal flow of life. Recovery is ongoing and is happening though we are living on shaky ground even now. Someone mentioned the number of over 8,000 quakes over this period - that is mind boggling.

Numbers of our team have been affected by changed circumstances which has meant limitations, e.g. fewer counsellors available. The Support Group has also been on hold, as participants and team members have had other things to deal with from the earthquake. The prospect of less funding available this year may mean rationalising activities e.g.fewer newsletters and fewer away events to promote P.A.T.H.S..

But we are still here and our service continues. People are beginning to surface it seems and even over the past few weeks we have had more inquiries, and there is a need to be available. We will be as proactive as we can in responding to those seeking our help.

A really lovely note is noticing how the spring is springing. Amidst calamity and so much pain the seasons continue in their usual cycle. There are blossoms on some trees and spring bulbs in flower in many gardens. This is heartening. Incredible how the colour and new life of this season inspire and give hope. The sun is shining today and it so lifts people's spirits.

Go gently everyone.

If you would like to comment or respond to this blog

feel free to email Carolina at carolina@postabortionpaths.org.nz

N.B. Your comments are confidential unless you express otherwise, and comments will not automatically published.

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