Work through the denial. The very first task of healing is for the woman to access the negative feelings that surround the abortion experience and the work through them.
Grieving the loss of the aborted baby. Many women experiencing PAS have never recognized the need to grieve the loss of their aborted baby. It is crucial for the post-abortive woman to come to a point of understanding that she aborted a real human baby.
Dealing with issues of guilt and forgiveness from God. The most essential task for the Christian post-abortion woman is to accept on an emotional level what she probably knows on an intellectual level: that God's forgiveness is already complete and that she must reach out and take a firm grasp of that forgiveness.
For the non-Christian woman the best thing you can do for her as a friend--after you a have encouraged her to work through the denial and grieve (it is best for you to just listen and let her talk to work out these feelings by having someone to talk to)--is to share the gospel.
Forgiveness toward herself and others involved in the abortion decision.
How can a post-abortive woman know that she has truly experienced healing? When she:
1. Accepts responsibility for her part of the abortion decision.
2. Can speak openly, not compulsively, about her abortion when it is appropriate to do so.
3. Has accepted God's total and unconditional forgiveness.
4. Has forgiven herself and allows herself to lead a fulfilling life, despite her past sinful choices.
5. Feels reconciled to her aborted children, eagerly looking forward to being reunited with them.
6. Has extended forgiveness and understanding to others involved in the abortion decision.
(Some of this PAS info was also taken from Teri Reisser, MS and Paul Reisser, MD, "Help for the Postabortion Woman", Focus on the Family: 1989 - also see Abortion: A Rational Look At An Emotional Issue by R.C. Sproul - See the Resource List on Part 3 for more information on these books.)
Looking back, the vast majority of women surveyed in Reardon's book rejected their original choice for abortion. If they had known where their lives would have been today, over 95% of those surveyed said they would not have chosen abortion (see Reardon Bibliography p.25).