Forbidden Grief is a compassionate book, a survey of why women choose to terminate pregnancies and why they do not feel better for having done so when they were led to believe otherwise. The book is not necessarily an argument against abortion, nor are Dr. Burke's subjects berated for having made the choice to abort. Dr. Burke's book serves to examine the various cause and effect processes involved in abortion, and to inform readers that emotional support can be had without bias.
There is Tina, so obsessed with pregnancy after her abortion that she tried to compensate for the loss by fashioning a towel under her dress to give the impression that she was expecting. Barbara, having undergone three abortions, purposely became obese to the point that she could no longer walk as a method of self-punishment. There are others, some who experienced abortions in the double digits, all of whom acted out their pain in different ways. Some baffled friends and relatives with their behavior, and others chose to withdraw from the world, but all shared a common thread aside from abortion: they came to Dr. Burke for help.
Dr. Burke writes that "healing can only happen when...one's story is revealed to others who do not seek to judge or condemn." Forbidden Grief is not a how-to healing manual for post-abortive women, but it is a valuable tool in helping everyone -- regardless of whether or not they have had an abortion -- understand that post-abortion trauma is real and as such should be treated as a legitimate problem. One would not tell an alcoholic or a compulsive gambler to just "get over it," people with these problems would be encourage to seek professional help. So, Dr. Burke reasons, should any woman or man affected adversely by abortion, and it is this reasoning and Dr. Burke's desire to make this type of trauma known that makes Forbidden Grief a welcome resource.