1st Edition

Moral Injury After Abortion Exploring the Psychospiritual Impact on Catholic Women

By Tara C. Carleton, Jill L. Snodgrass Copyright 2023
    160 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    160 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Moral Injury After Abortion delves deeply into the psychospiritual responses that some women experience when an abortive act conflicts with their moral beliefs and values. The book is grounded in a qualitative, phenomenological study that examined the lived experiences of thirty Christian women after abortion. The study participants’ voices are woven throughout the book in a way that offers the reader a narrative understanding of their experiences and a thick description of the psychospiritual impact of moral injury after abortion. The book provides mental health scholars and professionals with strategies for assessing for moral injury experiences among women post-abortion as well as a guide for addressing the spiritual and psychological impact of post-abortive moral injury.

    Introduction, 1. Understanding Abortion, 2. The Development of Moral Injury Post-Abortion, 3. Narratives of Moral Injury Post-Abortion, 4. Abortion as a Morally Transgressive Experience, 5. Moral Repair After Abortion: Clinical Implications


    Tara C. Carleton, PhD, LCPC, is a counselor at Safe Harbor Behavioral Care in Maryland and worked as a research team member at the Center for Trauma Studies and Resilience Leadership.

    Jill L. Snodgrass, PhD, is an associate professor of theology at Loyola University Maryland and clinical director of the Center for Spiritual Support Training at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

    "This exploration of women's experiences of moral injury after abortion models the highest standards of interdisciplinary qualitative research and clinical care. It should be required reading for community faith leaders, chaplains, and spiritually oriented therapists who want to understand, lament, and help repair moral suffering."  Carrie Doehring, PhD, Clifford Baldridge Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Iliff School of Theology

    "Moral injuries are often deeply personal and kept private from public view, yet the pathway of recovery intrinsically relates to a person’s social relational world because moral identity is not merely individual but interpersonal, societal, and political. This book enfranchises these otherwise unheard voices that demand our collective attention. May we as readers be as courageous as these women in navigating these haunting moral conflicts."  Zachary Moon, PhD, associate professor of theology and psychology, Chicago Theological Seminary

    "The authors skillfully deepen our understanding of both moral injury and abortion by studying with rigor and compassion the spiritual and ethical aftermath of the interruption of pregnancy. This is a much-needed text that offers important suggestions on how to support the spiritual healing of people that experience moral injury after an abortion."  Gabriella Lettini, PhD, A. H. Reinhart Professor of Theological Ethics and academic dean, Starr King School for the Ministry