Lake County talk will focus on post-effects of abortion
The Lake County Right to Life organization is holding a fundraising banquet on Friday evening to not only raise money but also increase awareness about a rarely discussed topic regarding abortion: the aftermath.
The organization has asked Victoria Thorn, the founder of Project Rachel and a trauma "consoler," to engage the audience about the oft-hidden wounds people experience after abortions.
“There is an aftermath to abortions,” Thorn told the Lake County Gazette. “It’s not unique to the United States. It’s not unique to a particular faith group. It’s part of being human. This is a mother who has lost her child through a traumatic and unnatural fashion, and at some point she may have to grieve through that and work her way through it.”
Thorn’s talk, “What We Didn’t Know: Understanding Our Biology and Wounds,” will take on of three aspects of abortion: the aftermath, the biological effects and the societal effects.
“One is to talk about the aftermath of abortions because we don’t think about that very much," Thorn said. "Who is touched: the women, the men, the siblings, the relatives. Then I am combining that with this biology talk ... in terms all the bonding issues and in terms of hormones. Then I have a talk about the wounds of the people born since the 1960s … so the sociological changes that have left people wounded. We don’t think about that because society has shifted.”
Thorn will discuss the shifting values of society, the chemical effects and fertility challenges contraceptives have on women, how men are biologically changed during and after pregnancy, the varying portrayals of family and divorce, the impact of mobility on familial foundation, the advent of social media and its effect on human interaction — or the lack thereof — and issues relating to reproductive alternatives, such as sperm donation, donation anonymity, and health concerns with surrogacy.
“Those are the pieces in terms of how do we make sense out of this, in terms of a society that has got a lot of brokenness in it,” Thorn said.
Thorn has an extensive history with helping the broken. A psychology graduate of the University of Minnesota, she has worked as a bereavement facilitator as well as a prenatal loss facilitator. She also created Project Rachel as a way to help women and men find hope and consolation after an abortion.
She said her passion to help began at a young age, when she watched as a friend who had already given up a child for adoption was forced by her family to have another one.
“She said to me, ‘I can live with adoption, but I can’t live (with) the abortion,’” Thorn recollected. “Those words are etched in my heart to this day. There had to be some help for her. She was in so much pain. That is what, as my life unfolded, led me to start the ministry.”
Believing that abortion is never a good solution, Thorn hopes that the audience leaves with a better understanding of the biological and psychological consequences that an abortion might present.
“[I hope the audience] comes away with a new understanding of things that have changed people’s lives that we have never thought about, even in our own family,” Thorn said. “That we might be able to help people one on one to make sense out of these things. That as a society, it’s time for us to reevaluate where we’ve come – from where we have been to where we’ve come.”
Thorn is also the director of the national office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation & Healing in Milwaukee.
“What We Didn’t Know: Understanding Our Biology and Wounds” begins at 6 p.m. on Friday at the Lake County Right to Life event. You can find more information about it here.