Right to Life sponsors abortion-recovery facilitator training

Staff report

SIDNEY — Shelby County Right to Life hosted a seminar recently to train facilitators for post-abortion recovery, using the Forgiven and Set Free program, based on the book of that title by Linda Cochrane.

According to the organizer of the event, Anne Schmiesing, community outreach coordinator at Shelby County Right to Life, the goal of the seminar was to train people willing to assist in programs in Shelby County aimed at healing for those suffering from the loss of a child through abortion, so that those in need of this service no longer need to travel to Dayton or elsewhere for assistance.

Inisher Collins — lead consultant at Elizabeth’s New Life Center (ENLC), in Dayton, who currently facilitates recovery from post-abortion symptoms using this program at ENLC — began the seminar with an overview of symptoms of grief and trauma that commonly follow abortion procedures, noting that “The American Psychiatric Association has identified abortion as one of the stressor events that can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”

One participant in the seminar was also a featured speaker, who shared her experience as a grandmother of a child lost through abortion.

She explained that she was unaware of the loss for several months after it had occurred, but observed a dramatic change of behavior in the young parents of the child, until she finally invited her own child to confide in her about what was causing the self-destructive behavior she observed. She shared that her grief and distress are still ongoing, but that she has found some healing and purpose in helping others.

Schmiesing walked the seminar participants through the training manual, with input from Collins’ experience with the program.

The 10 people attending the seminar — held in a meeting room of the Piqua library — included a professional counselor, a non-profit coordinator, church ministry leaders from various denominations, and representatives from Elizabeth’s New Life Center.

One attendee noted, “This is new to my scope but it is a great vision and I love that it is Biblical-based.”

The Women’s Center in Sidney can place interested individuals in a local Forgiven and Set Free recovery program or refer them to their Dayton office. The organizers of the seminar intend to have the 11-week program available for support groups, or individual support, in Shelby County in the near future.

Schmiesing said this effort was initiated because “regardless of anyone’s thoughts or feelings about the legality of abortion, observation and research make it overwhelmingly clear that those making abortion decisions are impacted at a very deep level, often with serious long-term emotional consequences which often go unaddressed and lead to self-destructive behavior.”

There have been a number of organizations that, for several decades, have provided assistance in post-abortion healing, but Elizabeth’s New Life Center endeavors to bring those programs to the local level. More information is available at www.HopeAfterAbortionDayton.org.

Staff report