Human Interest

Jeannie suffered post-abortion trauma for years. Now she helps others find healing.

Planned Parenthood, assisted suicide, suicide, abortion, trauma

Jeannie Pittam, who runs an online support group for post-abortive women, wrote a book about her post-abortion trauma

As she tells in her book, Pittam became pregnant from a one-night stand with a man she barely knew. She was living with her parents, and her father told her that “[n]o bastard child would ever be welcomed in his home.” 

Pittam says, “I was devastated. Where would I go? How would I support myself and a baby, no less?” 

The baby’s father offered to marry her. Instead, she told him her pregnancy had been a false alarm. He never knew she aborted his child.

Abortion’s far-reaching trauma

Pittam’s mother drove her to the abortion facility and went to see a movie while waiting. Her mother had always loved going to the movies. But after the abortion, she never went again. It wasn’t until 35 years later that Pittam realized why her mother stopped going — the memories it brought back were too emotionally painful. She too suffered guilt and trauma.  

Pittam tried to forget the abortion. Years later, she married her husband, Rod. While pregnant with their first child, she began having Braxton-Hicks contractions. She worried she’d lose her son as punishment for her abortion.

One night, in her sleep, she begged God not to take her baby, waking Rod. She sobbed as she told him about her abortion. Though he was loving and supportive, Pittam hadn’t forgiven herself and Rod’s compassion only made her feel worse. She felt she deserved to be punished and couldn’t accept his support. She says:

I still deserved to be punished, and it appeared that both God and Rod were giving me a pass. In the sickness of my soul, I began to forge the trail that would eventually and hopefully force Rod to divorce me. To receive the punishment I felt I deserved.

She began to attack and belittle Rod regularly. At one point, she demanded he buy her a pearl ring. When he said they couldn’t afford it, she retaliated by having an affair. She later had another one. 

URGENT: For every dollar given, 34 more people can be reached with the truth about abortion. Will you join us in this life-saving work as a monthly donor today?

Obsessive fear of losing her family 

When her son Chip was born, fear of losing him caused her, in her words, to “overprotect Chip to a point of smothering him.” She agonized over leaving him at preschool, afraid to let him out of her sight. 

She later had two daughters and was terrified of losing her children. 

One day, she saw on the news that the space shuttle Challenger had exploded, killing everyone on board, including teacher Christa McAuliffe. Her husband Rod was a teacher. When Pittam saw the news, she began screaming, “No! No!” She says:

I immediately thought about the possibility that it could have been Rod on that flight – dying before my very eyes. This intensified my horror as I called a friend, sobbing, and incoherently told her to turn on her TV… I was devastated. My friend told me to get a grip on myself and to calm down, but for some reason, I felt like I had been hit in the gut by this news.

Looking back, she believes her reaction was caused by her obsessive fear of losing her family, which was caused by her abortion.

Tragically, her daughter’s friend, at seven years old, was struck by a car and killed while walking to school. Pittam had an emotional breakdown. She says, “All through this time, as I anguished over the death of this little girl, I could not begin to fathom the depth of my despair and heartache I felt for taking the life of my child years before. I did not realize there was a connection.”

Pittam’s fear and obsession with death continued to consume her. She says, “By July 1989, everything in my life was falling apart. My fears for my children’s safety and welfare were paralyzing me.”

This was 19 years after her abortion.

Starting the healing process 

One night, Pittam’s husband was late bringing her daughters home from a trip, leaving Pittam consumed with worry. When Rod did arrive, she began screaming at him. She told him she’d never loved him and said she wanted a divorce. Rod didn’t argue or yell in response. Instead, he told her he loved her and would fight for their marriage, but if she truly wanted to leave, she needed to tell the children why. He then left with the girls, saying he’d come home later.

Sitting alone in an empty house, Pittam realized:

[F]or the first time I was seeing all that I had done to him, how I had used my own offensive behavior to punish him so that I could run away from my pain and didn’t have to feel the consequences of my decisions…

The abortion left me reeling, so in order to not feel, I chose to do the “hurting” in order to protect myself. The coping mechanism I chose brought with it the unintended consequence that I had shut off my true feelings, rendering me numb and indifferent to the pain I had caused others.

My anger, my self-destructive ways, and my attempts to control everyone in my family were ripping us apart.

Finally acknowledging the impact of her abortion began her journey to healing.

She attended a post-abortion recovery Bible study and says, “The memories I had repressed became real, but in confronting them, they lost their power over me. I no longer felt trapped but was beginning to see there was hope.”

Helping others heal

Finally at peace, she set up a Facebook group called Post Abortion Transformation and Healing (PATH). She began to guide other post-abortive women to healing. She also had the opportunity to talk to women considering abortion and share her story with them, leading many of them to choose life. 

She says, “What a blessing when I would get a follow-up text which would say ‘I’ve decided to have my baby.’ I was praising God with them and even received newborn pictures of many of them.”

PATH has now helped over 500 women in 46 states and 38 countries. 

Jeannie Pittam Rescued by Grace (2021) 23-24, 32, 61, 58, 74, 84, 85-86, 164-165

What is Live Action News?

Live Action News is pro-life news and commentary from a pro-life perspective. Learn More

Contact for questions, corrections, or if you are seeking permission to reprint any Live Action News content.

GUEST ARTICLES: To submit a guest article to Live Action News, email with an attached Word document of 800-1000 words. Please also attach any photos relevant to your submission if applicable. If your submission is accepted for publication, you will be notified within three weeks. Guest articles are not compensated. (See here for Open License Agreement.) Thank you for your interest in Live Action News!

To Top