Who may come on a course?
The course is only open to women aged 18 and over with a personal experience of abortion themselves. So far the youngest guest was 18, and the oldest was in their 60’s. The course is not available to counselling students or any other observers who wish to participate for research or accreditation purposes.
Is the course open to women of any Christian tradition?
Yes. Women of any Christian tradition or denomination are welcome. Prayer is a central part of the course and there are Bible references in the course material. In the past guests have included Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Pentecostals, house churches and many others. For women who are not Christians but would like help in this area, we suggest contacting the course representative who might be able to refer an enquiry outside of the Restore and Rebuild network.
I feel I lost my faith after the abortion. Is the course still relevant for me?
About half of those attending had their abortion when they were already a Christian, about half before their conversion. Many of those who had an abortion when they were Christians tell us that they felt that they had lost their faith. One of the greatest joys on our course is to see people re-connect with their faith, so we recommend that you come on the course, even if you feel unsure about your faith. We will not judge you. We seek to welcome you into a warm, loving group with God’s grace in Christ. Even if you feel far from God at the moment, come as you are now.
What if I had more than one abortion?
Around one third of abortions are repeat procedures, therefore many of those on our course have had more than one abortion. Some are happy to state this at the beginning of the course, but others feel they might be overwhelmed if they try to process more than one. Our advice is to only state what you feel you can cope with at the time. If you wish to just focus on one abortion over others, this is a perfectly valid and understandable way to proceed. Just do what you feel you can cope with.
If I have a partner, should I tell them I am coming?
It would be most helpful if your partner could be supportive of the fact that you are on the course and willing to listen to any issues you might wish to share. An information sheet for partners will be given out on the first day of the course. If, while you are on the course you are willing to discuss what is happening, then openness and honesty is the key to effective communication. However, it could be that you may choose not to discuss what you are going through until the end of the course. In this case it would be helpful if your partner could be guided by you in this respect, and give you space and privacy if that is what is needed. It may be that the best time for your partner to understand what has been happening to you since the abortion will be at the end of the course when a degree of resolution has taken place and you are able to think and talk more clearly about what has happened.
What if I have a partner who would like to receive support?
Abortion can affect men in exactly the same way that it can affect women. In the past, the team at Holy Trinity Brompton have run courses for men, and exactly the same course was used for the men as with the women. Generally speaking, the overwhelming demand for the course has come from women, so the men’s course has been discontinued. It is not possible for partners to attend the women’s course. However, it is sometimes possible to arrange for individual counselling for men, if this is of interest to you, please ask the course representative for details.
You say that the abortion should be more than one year in the past, what if it was less than this?
It is important that the abortion was more than one year before the start of the course. We have found that after an abortion, many women shut down at some deep emotional level for between 12 and 18 months, and at less than one year find difficulty engaging with the course. If distress is being experienced prior to this time, it might be beneficial to meet with a course representative to plan the way forward. In this instance it might be possible to arrange support outside of the Restore and Rebuild network.
Is there a charge for the course?
There is usually a small charge to cover the cost of the meal and course handouts, but may vary from course to course, please contact the provider for details.
How can I best tell a friend of mine about your course?
Sometimes those around us can see our problems before we can. This can be true of abortion, where friends or relatives might become aware that something is not right in someone close to them, but how to raise the issue with tact and affection without sounding judgmental or condemning? We are all aware that this is a sensitive subject, and barriers of denial can make this a difficult area.
The truth is that any Christian who has been through an abortion would probably benefit from coming on our course. We have been very careful in how we present the issue in our information leaflet, and suggest printing it and at an appropriate time giving it to the person concerned.