When a mother has an abortion her other children are also affected. Many children are told that it is the woman's right and a good thing to do, but it is virtually impossible to protect young children from the conflicting emotions which the abortion of a sibling engenders. The love of parents, the role they have as setting the moral code in the family conflicts with the fear at the power over life and death which the mother clearly holds.
Many parents can cause harm to their children in the way that they tell (or with-hold) the information about the abortion of a sibling. Many mothers seek understanding and sympathy from their children – both sons and daughters, and do not consider their living children's needs. Children often struggle with fears (could something like that happen to me) and survivor guilt.
Abortions are often secret and siblings may not know that there was another baby until years later. In this situation the response is often 'oh, that makes sense of so much!' The mother's coldness alternating with over-protectiveness, the distance between the parents, the anger, the atmosphere of despair in the family, the emotional neglect.
It is often very difficult for siblings to get past their natural loyalty and sympathy – to see what has happened objectively, to consider the failure of one or both parents to protect their child. This can cause confusion in the heart and mind of a child which can continue into adulthood.
“Parents who have experienced abortion often keep it a secret and fear telling others, especially their children. But many parents have found sharing the truth draws the family closer and heals wounds, and can spare the next generation from repeating painful choices.” http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/about-us/article.aspx?articleid=5229&owner=0
Because the mother made this decision to abort there is a fear in many siblings of an aborted baby that they will not be able to go through with a pregnancy. To help overcome this please look at these pictures. http://www.buzzfeed.com/gabrielsanchez/empowering-portraits-of-women-on-their-first-day-as-moms#.qsDAOnE0J
Questions ask yourself/parents:
Why do you need to know the answers to these questions?
How to open the conversation with mum or dad or other family members: