Post-Abortion Counseling Part 3- The Emotional Consequences

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.
Abortion is 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 expect. 

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.

Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome

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, 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 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.