This week I have been blogging about the sorrows surrounding the aftermath of abortion. Today I am focusing on the emotional and mental health
consequences of abortion that are in a word, heartbreaking.
As a mother, I grieve to think of the
personal hell these young post-abortive women are living day in and day out as
they bear the horrible guilt and shame of their abortion decision in silence. Those
that seek counseling may wait as long as 10 years before doing so. By the time they come for counseling they
are suffering many other problems.
not a safe emotional choice for a woman.
60% of post-abortive woman report having some level
of emotional distress,
and 30% report having severe distress after an
abortion. The British Medical Journal lists depression as a
long-term risk of abortion. In fact, the risk of depression is greater having
had the abortion than carrying the unplanned pregnancy to term.
Other emotional results of abortion include anxiety
attacks, sexual dysfunction, promiscuity, loss of identity, fits of rage,
nightmares, flashbacks of the abortion, emotional numbing, difficulty sleeping,
eating disorders, difficulty bonding with subsequent children, and a 4 to
6-fold increase in suicide and substance abuse.
The permanency of the decision to abort causes
emotional harm and many women find they are dealing with feelings they did not
Emotional problems do not fade away with the passage
of time. If not dealt with, the severity of the emotional
problems will increase with time. They will lead to Post-abortion Stress
syndrome (PAS). It is significant that those who participated in the decision
and assisted the woman may also struggle with emotional and spiritual problems.
The hopelessness and grief that must
plague them just sounds so overwhelming that I understand the drive to escape
through drugs and alcohol. It seems reasonable to want to avoid
thinking about painful things and using any means at your disposal to do so, up
to and including suicide.
The symptoms of Post-abortion Stress syndrome
include guilt, depression, anxiety, avoidance, psychological numbing, sad
moods, sudden uncontrollable crying, a deteriorating self-concept, and loss of
normal pleasure in life.
The woman with PAS will re-experience her abortion
and will have a deepening of negative reactions and responses at the
anniversary date of the abortion. Among other things, she is self-destructive, and she will exhibit
self-harming behaviors- including suicide. She has a preoccupation with pregnancy, and an
inability to bond to her other children.
It is tragic that those in favor
of abortion have to deny that PAS is a very real result of the abortion decision
because to do otherwise turns their entire paradigm upside down. As I did some research
I was amazed at what I found.
One website, prochoiceamerica.org links to a document
that states PAS is“mythical”and states, “Not only have a multitude of prominent scientific authorities
concluded there exists no causal link of abortion to psychological trauma, but
the medical community also has evaluated and overwhelmingly refuted the
methodological soundness of studies that claim otherwise.” This website is a part of NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League).
The website abortiongang.org
is another website favoring abortion rights. They cite the typical things
regarding “choice” and “abortion rights” found on most pro-abortion webpages,
including a denial of PAS. What is interesting about this website was found in
a response to a frightened young woman who was about to have an abortion. The
moderator referred her to material titled: A
Guide to Emotional and Spiritual Resolution After an Abortion.
The authors carefully state psychologists and
research have concluded there is no such thing as PAS and lump the feelings and
emotions resulting from abortion in with divorce and job loss.
I found this guide to be Orwellian doublespeak in
that they cite nearly identical thoughts, feelings and responses women with PAS
experience, but deny it is PAS! I can only conclude they deny reality and
common sense to continue to believe such distortion as fact.
It is tragic that the before an abortion women are not told the truth about the feelings and emotions they will have for the rest of their lives after making this choice. It is unconscionable that abortion lobbyists deny the reality of post-abortion syndrome for the sake of protecting their pro-death position. It is clear they must maintain a position of dishonesty to keep their death march on the roll. I suppose some women with little foresight would still choose abortion even with full knowledge of the ramifications on their emotional and mental health, but I believe the majority would not make the decision to abort if they only had full understanding of what awaited them from the moment their child’s life is snuffed out.
If you have had an abortion and are struggling with the aftermath, please reach out for help. There are caring and compassionate people who are ready and willing to help you address the feelings you are enduring.