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Clinic hosts post-abortion class for women

Carrying a sense of guilt over an abortion for 25 years, one Minot woman credits the start of her healing to a seven-week class at a local clinic.

“It was by far the best thing I ever did,” she said of her participation in the Discover Peace After Abortion class offered last year by Dakota Hope Clinic in Minot.

The clinic is offering another class this year from March 16 to April 27. The class is held once a week. For details or to pre-register, call 852-4675 or email to shelly@dakotahope.org.

The Minot woman, “Ann,” came to grips with her need to obtain peace after a friend invited her to attend a Dakota Hope Clinic banquet. The discussion there brought her face-to-face with her emotional pain and eventually led her to attend the Discover Peace course. She said she wishes she would have had the opportunity to take the course many years earlier because it would have changed the direction of her life.

Ann said she had been pushed toward abortion by her parents and the young man, with whom she was not in a relationship. She attempted to hide the hurt by never talking about it or admitting the abortion, even to her medical doctor.

“The course made me realize that I need to forgive myself. That God forgives us all, and I needed to forgive myself, and also the people involved in it. Since then I can openly talk about it with people,” she said.

Ann said the course helped her recognize manifestations of the conflict she had internalized over the abortion. She said she had forced people out of her life, gained weight, lacked trust and saw her marriage collapse.

“You don’t realize until you go through the course the destructive things that you do to yourself because of the hidden fear of people finding out, the guilt associated with it,” she said. “What I would like people to realize is, when you choose to have an abortion, whether you choose it or you’re forced into it, it is a life-long trauma.”

Taking the Discover Peace course was a step in reversing the effects of that trauma, she said.

“I felt like I had 1,000 pounds lifted off my shoulders because I realized that God forgave me,” she said. Although biblically based, the course is helpful regardless of a person’s faith status, she added.

Just taking the course – attending the sessions, talking with women with similar experiences and doing the homework – offered release from most of her pain, but Ann said there still was healing that needed to take place. Part of that healing comes through mentoring and sharing her story through opportunities provided by Dakota Hope Clinic.

She also wants people to know how harmful it is to speak badly of those who have had abortions. The person listening might be someone who is hurting from a past abortion, she said.

“The pain does not go away after an abortion,” she said. Even now, her pain is still there, but the class has helped her to handle that pain.

“It has changed my whole perspective on even how I parent today, how I treat others, just because you never know what somebody is going through,” she said.

“Even if you think you’ve healed on your own, it is something that will help you tremendously,” she said of the class. Although the class won’t completely remove the pain, she said, it helps women “to understand and deal with it and have peace. I would have never found the peace I have without it.”

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