Private Grief Support Group Rules

Mar 26, 2015 | Q&A

The EWP Grief Support Group has 5 Simple Rules


  1. You must introduce yourself in our grief support group.
  2. This is a grief support group. Be nice. It’s also private. We hope it’s obvious that this means no sharing what you read here, no screenshots, no exceptions!
  3. No images (or links with featured images) in original posts. Put images and links in the comments.
  4. No fundraising or sales, period.
  5. This group does not provide medical advice. Please do not ask for or offer medical advice here. Posts deemed as medical advice will be removed.

Our five simple rules in detail

1. Introduce yourself when you get access to the private grief support group. Lurkers make people uncomfortable and will be removed from the group. Only active Facebook profiles are approved to join the group.

2. There is no hierarchy of grief. We’re all here to get or give support. Please, no comparing losses, diagnoses or termination procedures. Always be considerate; many of our members have had very recent losses. Again, we hope it’s obvious that being considerate of our members’ grief means maintaining their privacy. Never screenshot or share what you see in this group. 

3. Words First. Original posts in our grief support group are text-only. Please place all images (or article links with images) in the comments. A brief description of any images should be in the original post so our members can decide if they want to see the images. For example, an original post might say “I found this article about dealing with breastmilk engorgement after terminating a pregnancy to be very helpful. Image of metal jug in link.” Then the link to the article (with the image) would be placed be in the comment after the original post. Any post in violation of Words First or of any rule listed below will be deleted without explanation.


An example of posting Words First style in Facebook. This is how we handle images in our private grief support group, so members can choose what images they see.

4. No fundraising or sales of any kind.

5. This group does not provide medical advice. Please do not ask for or offer medical advice here. While we understand what a difficult and confusing physical process ending a wanted pregnancy can be, we are an emotional support group first and foremost and are not equipped to discuss the finer medical points of the experience. Please direct medical questions and concerns to qualified professionals.


If you have questions, concerns or suggestions, contact one of our EWP Facebook Private Grief Support Group administrators. They are: Kate C., Margot F., Renee’ S., Martha P., Lauren B., Theresa T., Denise Marie., Katie S., Jessica C., & Jeremy S.



As a group member, it is your responsibility to know and follow these rules. If you break a rule, the admins may warn or ban you at their discretion.

If you’re wondering how a group this large and diverse gathered around a difficult loss can exist peacefully, read on.

Q. How many people are in the group?

A. As of July 2020 our group has over 1,700 members. If you don’t feel comfortable joining, introducing yourself, and participating in a large group, this may not be the right support group for you. If you only want to read other people’s stories and not participate, we suggest simply reading the parents’ stories on our website.

Q. I’m too nervous to use my real Facebook profile. Can I make a fake or special profile just for this group?

A. No. Please come as yourself to our private support group.  We will not approve your membership if you attempt to join us with a brand new, empty, extra, non-personal or inactive Facebook profile. Yes, we can tell the difference. This is to protect our private group members. The link in the question below this one explains how to manage your Facebook setting for maximum security.

Please do not attempt to join under anything other than your regular Facebook profile. If you are not a Facebook user, this group is probably not a good fit for you. Your other option is to join an online support board such as Termination for Medical Reasons on Babycenter. It does not require Facebook.

Q. What can other private group members see on my Facebook profile?

A. You can control what they see by adjusting your  Facebook privacy settings. Go to Account> Settings> Privacy and adjust accordingly. Be aware that all of the images in your Profile Pictures album and Cover Photo album are always public on Facebook, though you can always move or delete any images you’d rather keep private. The privacy settings on all of your other Facebook albums, as well as other aspects of your Facebook profile, your Friends list, etc. can be adjusted however you like. Read more about locking down your Facebook account for maximum security at

Q. Do I really have to introduce myself?

A. Yes, you really must introduce yourself when you get access to the private group. No exceptions. Our members share very personal information under their real Facebook identities so we cannot tolerate lurkers. How much you share in your introductory post is up to you, but most people at least include their pregnancy termination date and the diagnosis that led to their decision. (See rule #1)

Q. What if I’m just not ready to introduce myself?

A. Fear not; most introductions are met with an outpouring of welcoming support and you can witness this simply by reading other members’ introductions. However, if you’re really not ready to introduce yourself, it’s best to wait until you are before joining any support group. We suggest reading the Parents’ Stories section of our site in the meantime, and coming back for grief support group access when you’re ready. (See rule #1)

Q. Can my Facebook friends who aren’t in the private grief support group see that I’m a member there, or see what I post there, or see my replies to posts?

A. Absolutely not. Our group is private and invisible. Our member list is visible only to others already in the group. Posts to it will show up on your news feed but they will never appear on your profile page or in your friends’ news feeds.

Q. What about the public Facebook EWP page?

A. That page is completely separate from our private group, but also managed by our group admins. Be aware that likes and comments on our public Facebook cause page are visible to all. To eliminate confusion, we’ve made the cover image on the public page different from the cover image for the private group. Posts made to the public Facebook page are not visible to the public until they’re approved by an administrator. If you accidentally post something personal there, an admin will remove it and redirect you to the private group. If you’re deliberately sharing something on the public page, post it just once — you won’t see it appear there until an admin approves it. This is necessary to prevent our public page from being defaced by trolls.

Q. I have a poor prenatal diagnosis but haven’t decided what I’ll do yet. May I join the private group?

A. We are so sorry you’re in this situation, but we only allow people to join after the decision to end the pregnancy is made. It’s a highly personal decision and we would not want to sway it in any way. We recommend reading our Undecided page and talking things over with your partner, medical providers and trusted advisers. If you do decide to end your pregnancy, please contact us again.

Q. I made the decision to terminate, but then my baby died spontaneously. May I join the private group?

A. We are so sorry you’re in this situation and recognize the many similarities between our experiences, but we only allow people to join if they have a medical termination. There are many support groups and resources for spontaneous pregnancy loss, and we can refer you to those we know to be inclusive of people who have experienced abortion. The specific experience we gather in this group to support is the termination of a wanted pregnancy.

Q. I need medical advice. Can I ask for it in the group?

A. Please don’t. Few of us are medical professionals, and those who are should know better than to advise non-patients over the internet. Likewise, please do not offer medical advice to other members (whether you’re a qualified medical professional or not). If you need medical care, see your doctor. If you think someone else needs it, suggest they talk to their own doctor. There is a clear distinction between sharing your experience, (my doctor prescribed X for my symptom of Y) and giving medical advice (if your symptom is Y, you need take X). It’s OK to share your experiences but please don’t give medical advice.

Q. My Facebook friend terminated a pregnancy for medical reasons too. Can I just add her to the group?

A. No. Please have your friend go through the normal access process by emailing us for private group access. To keep our group private and secure, admins will not approve anyone who hasn’t been through our brief vetting process.

Q. My spouse or significant other was the one who was pregnant, but of course I’m hurting too. Can I be in the group?

A. Yes. Our group welcomes any parent who has suffered this kind of loss. That’s regardless of gender, sexual orientation or marital status.

Q. I have not ended a wanted pregnancy but I’m a counselor, researcher, reporter or a student who would like access to your private group. May I join?

A. No. Our group is closed to everyone except for parents who have ended a wanted pregnancy. We don’t allow anyone in the group who hasn’t been through this, regardless of their intentions. If you’re curious about what this is like, we invite you to read the stories and Q&A posts on our website.

Q: HLHS, AHC, TTC, IUI, T-9 … Some of the acronyms, abbreviations or shorthand that are used in the group are unfamiliar to me. Do you have a reference list?

A. We sure do. It’s right here.

Q. I really love what someone wrote in the private grief support group. Can I share their words somewhere else on the internet, like another Facebook group, my blog, or in a private support forum?

A. No. What is shared in the private group needs to stay in the private group. That is specifically why we made our group private. If you feel you really must share something, it’s crucial that you obtain the express permission of the person who posted it.

Q. I don’t feel that the loss of someone else in the group was nearly as bad as mine. Can I tell them that?

A. No. Please don’t compare losses, diagnoses, termination procedures or other factors in our pregnancy losses. Everyone is here for support. If you can’t give your support on someone’s post, it’s best to simply refrain from commenting on their post. (See rule #2)

Q. I had one type of termination procedure and I think the other type is awful! Can I say that?

A. No. One procedure isn’t “better” than another. Everyone has either had the procedure they felt they could best cope with, or didn’t have a choice in the matter. Availability, legal restrictions, insurance coverage, finances, length of gestation and maternal health all factor into the type of procedure one has. The bottom line is all of us had wanted pregnancies that ended in a loss. We’re here to support each other in that loss, not to compare medical procedures.(See rule #2)

Q. I think abortion for any reason other than prenatal diagnosis/medical crisis is wrong. Can I say that?

A. Please keep judgments like that to yourself. Statistically, about 30% of our members will have ended a pregnancy for other reasons at some point in their life. Even if they haven’t, chances are that their sisters, friends or other people they care about have done so. We’re here to support each other after ending a wanted pregnancy, not to second-guess other people’s reproductive histories or put each other on the defensive. (See rule #2)

Q. Should I put a “trigger warning” on my potentially upsetting post?

A. Rather than using trigger warnings, which don’t indicate what the content is, we ask that potentially upsetting posts be given a title in the original post, with the content the first comment. This way members don’t have to open the thread to find out what’s going on or whether it was a topic they personally could handle or provide support for.


POST – New pregnancy fears
1st COMMENT – I just had a positive pregnancy test and I’m excited but terrified …

POST – I’ve been having graphic nightmares
1st COMMENT – Last night I had a terrible dream that my baby actually …

POST – Question re: possible miscarriage
1st COMMENT – I’ve been having bleeding and cramping for 2 days and …

POST – Pro-life in-laws at it again
1st COMMENT – Look at this horrid anti-choice meme my mother-in-law had the nerve to tag me in on Facebook.

Q. Can I talk about graphic details of my termination procedure or the nightmares I’ve had?

A. Yes, of course you may. We are here to provide each other support.

Anytime you’re concerned that what you’re posting about might be upsetting for some, please title your post with something descriptive (e.g., “Upsetting nightmare last night,”  and put potentially upsetting content in the comments section. This gives other members a choice in what they see.

Q. Can I post pictures of my kids, or post article links with pictures?

A. You may, but please follow our Words First policy by posting only text, including a description of any images, in the first post, and then putting your images or links in the subsequent comments. This gives our members a choice in what they see on their newsfeed. (See rule #3)

Q. I have a picture of my deceased baby and he is so beautiful. Can I share it in the group?

A. While it’s lovely that you take comfort in your baby’s picture, it will probably not have the same effect on our group members. Many members find deceased baby pictures very upsetting. Please don’t share them in the group.

Q. I’m self-harming, have suicidal ideation, or am experiencing domestic violence. Can I post about this?

A. Please don’t. We are an informal internet grief support group of people who have experienced a similar loss. We are not mental health professionals and cannot address a dangerous mental health or domestic violence crisis.

If you’re suicidal or are in any danger of harm or of hurting yourself or others, please immediately seek professional, “real life” support, talk to a trusted family member, friend or counselor, or call a suicide or self harm hotline, or call 911.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

S.A.F.E. Alternatives for Self-Abuse: 1-800-366-8288

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

Q. Am I allowed to talk about my subsequent pregnancy, my rainbow baby or my other living children?

A. Of course. Many members extend the courtesy of flagging their posts mentioning subsequent pregnancies or living children with “sub preg mentioned” or “LC mentioned.” You are not required to do this but we think it’s a nice courtesy that takes into consideration our members who aren’t as far along in healing from grief, or may be struggling with infertility or other family building issues.

If posting images of your living children, please use the Words First approach by stating in the original post that will be sharing an image of your living child, then posting the actual image(s) in the comments below. (See rule #3)

Q. Why don’t you have separate subgroups for people who are newly bereaved, people who are further out in their loss, people who are trying to conceive, people having infertility issues, people who are having a subsequent pregnancy, dads, people parenting after loss, people who’ve experienced more than one loss, etc.?

A. We welcome everyone who has ended a wanted pregnancy. We do not want to “police” discussions or force conversations into separate silos where there are fewer people to read and respond. That can make it harder to get (and give) support. We are all grown-ups who understand that other people will get pregnant again, have rainbow babies, need our compassion and consideration as they deal with infertility and so on. As long as everyone can be considerate and supportive there is no need to put walls around our discussion topics.

As our group grows in size we may re-evaluate the need for subgroups, but for now we really like the openness in our group.

Q. I’d like to raise money for a personal project, my medical bills, my neighbor’s kid’s cancer treatment, or a great cause that I’m really passionate about. Can I post my GoFundMe, Kickstarter, PayPal or other fundraising link in the group?

A. No. We don’t allow any fundraising in the private grief support group. Please limit these activities to your own page or to groups where it’s allowed. Please do not private message our membership about your fundraising projects. (See rule #4)

Q. I sell make-up, purses, diet products, handmade doilies on Etsy or something else. Can I promote this in the group?

A. No. This is a grief support group, not a warm market. (See rule #4)

Q. I’ve gotten a lot out of this grief support group and now I want to give back. Do you accept donations?

A. Thanks, but no. We have never been a fundraising organization. Our purpose is to provide a platform where parents who’ve ended wanted pregnancies can give and get emotional support. This is not expensive to do (and anyone who claims it’s expensive is not being honest with you).

If you do feel moved to give, please direct your generosity to an organization fighting to provide abortions, maintain abortion rights or one that helps the needy obtain abortions. We suggest:

You might also consider donating to a medical research organization involved in the prevention or treatment of the diagnosis or medical issue that led to your abortion. (See rule #4)

Q. Since you don’t accept donations, what can I do to help Ending a Wanted Pregnancy’s mission?

1.) Be an active member of our grief support group.
2.) Share your story on our website.
3.) Tell your doctor, OB, MFM, RE, genetic counselor, grief counselor, termination facility or other specialists about us so they can send other patients here for support. Email them a link to our printable brochure.

Q. I think another member is breaking a rule, might be a troll or might have  “Münchausen’s by Internet.” What do I do?

A. Please privately contact an admin about your concerns. All Facebook private grief support group admins are listed near the top of this page, and also listed under the “Members” section on the Facebook page. Please do not police other members’ posts or comments, or scold them about rule violations.  Just send a private message to an admin and we’ll figure out how best to handle it. (See rule #2)

Q. Can I start my own Facebook group?

A. Of course. But if you do so, please don’t use “Ending a Wanted Pregnancy” or “EWP” in your group name. All we have is our good name, and we cannot control or monitor how other grief support groups are managed.

Q. Wow. That’s a long list of FAQs. Do you really have this many problems in the group?

A. Not at all. Our group is terrific, caring and considerate. Since our community has run a grief support group involving termination for medical reasons in one format or another since 1996, we’ve learned a lot about what makes a safe and supportive group. We have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t.

If there is something you disagree with or think we should add or change, please message an administrator or send us an email.



photo credit: Private Property via photopin (license)

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