Trauma counsellor shares her story of two 'missing' children
MELBOURNE'S Anne Lastman strokes the webs of her fingers as she casts her mind back to the two babies she aborted.
Her quivering voice is enough to tell you that after 40 years the pain still stings.
It took Anne 20 years, and the birth of her granddaughter, for her discarded feelings of grief, sorrow and anguish to resurface.
It was after those dormant 20 years Anne decided to counsel other women sharing the same grief.
Anne is an internationally renowned trauma counsellor, who says her job these days is to "return honour to a woman who believes she doesn't deserve it".
"My job is to help 'Eve' recover ...
"Eve is woman," she said.
On Friday, Anne was in Rockhampton to share her story with a 100-strong crowd at the Rockhampton Leagues Club in a two-hour-long convention on abortions.
She said it was a topic people failed to speak about openly.
Anne has four living children.
Christmases were often sorrowful for her because there were sometimes two empty seats at her dinner table.
Two seats, she said, her two children should have filled.
Anne advised any post-abortion woman, partner or family, to perhaps "redeem" their grief by naming their dead "child".
"When you think about aborting a child, it's often because you face other problems now or in this day," she said.
"In about five years' time, those problems will be gone and you could have new problems ... but the grief from making that decision to abort your baby stays with you forever."
She said she preferred to use the term child or baby instead of foetus because "foetus served to camouflage the reality of the child's humanity."
Anne has written a book about the pain of abortions, called Redeeming Grief.
For more of Anne's work, you can visit her website on victimsofabortion.com.au.