Abortion Risks: A list of major psychological complications related to abortion

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REQUIREMENT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT:
A study of the medical records of 56,741 California medicaid patients revealed that women who had abortions were 160 percent more likely than delivering women to be hospitalized for psychiatric treatment in the first 90 days following abortion or delivery. Rates of psychiatric treatment remained significantly higher for at least four years.1,3

Rate of hospitalization after abortion compared to childbirth=1.0

In a study of post-abortion patients only 8 weeks after their abortion, researchers found that 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% had experienced sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their family doctor. (2) A 5 year retrospective study in two Canadian provinces found significantly greater use of medical and psychiatric services among women with a history of abortion. Most significant was the finding that 25% of women who had abortions made visits to psychiatrists as compared to 3% of the control group. (3) Women who have had abortions are significantly more likely than others to subsequently require admission to a psychiatric hospital. At especially high risk are teenagers, separated or divorced women, and women with a history of more than one abortion. (4)

Since many post-abortive women use repression as a coping mechanism, there may be a long period of denial before a woman seeks psychiatric care. These repressed feelings may cause psychosomatic illnesses and psychiatric or behavioral in other areas of her life. As a result, some counselors report that unacknowledged post-abortion distress is the causative factor in many of their female patients, even though their patients have come to them seeking therapy for seemingly unrelated problems. (5)

RISK FACTORS:

Researchers have identified a large number of statistically significant risk factors that identify which women are at greatest risk of experiencing one or more severe reactions to abortion.   The following is list of risk factors identified by the American Psychological Association Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion in their 2008 report:

  1. terminating a pregnancy that is wanted or meaningful
  2. perceived pressure from others to terminate a pregnancy
  3. perceived opposition to the abortion from partners, family, and/or friends
  4. lack of perceived social support from others
  5. various personality traits (e.g., low self-esteem, a pessimistic outlook, low-perceived control over life)
  6. a history of mental health problems prior to the pregnancy
  7. feelings of stigma
  8. perceived need for secrecy
  9. exposure to antiabortion picketing
  10. use of avoidance and denial coping strategies
  11. feelings of commitment to the pregnancy
  12. ambivalence about the abortion decision
  13. low perceived ability to cope with the abortion
  14. history of prior abortion
  15. late term abortion
  16. being an adolescent (not an adult)
  17. having a non-elective (therapeutic or coerced) abortion
  18. prior history of abortion (having a second or third abortion, or more)

Please see Identifying High Risk Abortion Patients”  or “Abortion decisions and the duty to screen: clinical, ethical, and legal implications of predictive risk factors of post-abortion maladjustment” for a more complete list of risk factors, including citations to the studies identifying each risk factor.

SUICIDAL IDEATION AND SUICIDE ATTEMPTS:

Approximately 60 percent of women who experience post-abortion sequelae report suicidal ideation, with 28 percent actually attempting suicide, of which half attempted suicide two or more times.(13)  

Researchers in Finland have identified a strong statistical association between abortion and suicide in a records based study (see figure at the right).  They found that the  mean annual suicide rate for all women was 11.3 per 100,000 but the rate for women following abortion was 34.7 per 100,000, three times higher.  The suicide rate associated with birth, by contrast, was half the rate of all women and less than one-sixth the rate of suicide among women who had abortions.(13)

Suicide attempts appear to be especially prevalent among post-abortion teenagers. Numerous other studies have also revealed higher rates of suicide and suicide attempts associated with abortion.(13)

ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE: Over twenty studies have linked abortion to increased rates of drug and alcohol use.1 Abortion is significantly linked with a two fold increased risk of alcohol abuse among women.(16) Abortion followed by alcohol abuse is linked to violent behavior, divorce or separation, auto accidents, and job loss.(17)  In addition to the psycho-social costs of such abuse, drug abuse is linked with increased exposure to HIV/AIDS infections, congenital malformations, and assaultive behavior. (18)

EATING DISORDERS: For at least some women, post-abortion stress is associated with eating disorders such as binge eating, bulimia, and anorexia nervosa. (19)

SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION: Thirty to fifty percent of the women who experience difficulty adjusting to a past abortion report experiencing sexual dysfunctions, of both short and long duration, beginning immediately after their abortions. These problems may include one or more of the following: loss of pleasure from intercourse, increased pain, an aversion to sex and/or males in general, or the development of a promiscuous life-style. (12)

CHILD NEGLECT OR ABUSE: Abortion is linked with increased depression, violent behavior, alcohol and drug abuse, replacement pregnancies, and reduced maternal bonding with children born subsequently. These factors are closely associated with child abuse and would appear to confirm individual clinical assessments linking post-abortion trauma with subsequent child abuse. (20)

POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD or PAS):

While psychological reactions to abortion fall into many categories, some women experience all or some of they symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  The lowest incidence rate of PTSD reported following abortion is 1.5%, which would translate to over 600,000 cases of abortion induced PTSD.2 Another study found that 14% of American women have all the symptoms of PTSD and attribute them to their abortions, with as many as 65% reporting some, but not all symptoms of PTSD.3

Yet another random study found that a minimum of 19% of post-abortion women suffer from diagnosable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Approximately half had many, but not all, symptoms of PTSD, and 20 to 40 percent showed moderate to high levels of stress and avoidance behavior relative to their abortion experiences. (6)

PTSD is a psychological dysfunction which results from a traumatic experience which overwhelms a person’s normal defense mechanisms resulting in intense fear, feelings of helplessness or being trapped, or loss of control. The risk that an experience will be traumatic is increased when the traumatizing event is perceived as including threats of physical injury, sexual violation, or the witnessing of or participation in a violent death. PTSD results when the traumatic event causes the hyperarousal of “flight or fight” defense mechanisms. This hyperarousal causes these defense mechanisms to become disorganized, disconnected from present circumstances, and take on a life of their own resulting in abnormal behavior and major personality disorders. As an example of this disconnection of mental functions, some PTSD victim may experience intense emotion but without clear memory of the event; others may remember every detail but without emotion; still others may reexperience both the event and the emotions in intrusive and overwhelming flashback experiences. (7)

Women may experience abortion as a traumatic event for several reasons. Many are forced into an unwanted abortions by husbands, boyfriends, parents, or others. If the woman has repeatedly been a victim of domineering abuse, such an unwanted abortion may be perceived as the ultimate violation in a life characterized by abuse. Other women, no matter how compelling the reasons they have for seeking an abortion, may still perceive the termination of their pregnancy as the violent killing of their own child. The fear, anxiety, pain, and guilt associated with the procedure are mixed into this perception of grotesque and violent death. Still other women, report that the pain of abortion, inflicted upon them by a masked stranger invading their body, feels identical to rape. (8) Indeed, researchers have found that women with a history of sexual assault may experience greater distress during and after an abortion exactly because of these associations between the two experiences. (9) When the stressor leading to PTSD is abortion, some clinicians refer to this as Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS).

The major symptoms of PTSD are generally classified under three categories: hyperarousal, intrusion, and constriction.

Hyperarousal is a characteristic of inappropriately and chronically aroused “fight or flight” defense mechanisms. The person is seemingly on permanent alert for threats of danger. Symptoms of hyperarousal include: exaggerated startle responses, anxiety attacks, irritability, outbursts of anger or rage, aggressive behavior, difficulty concentrating, hypervigilence, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or physiological reactions upon exposure to situations that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic experience (eg. elevated pulse or sweat during a pelvic exam, or upon hearing a vacuum pump sound.)

Intrusion is the reexperience of the traumatic event at unwanted and unexpected times. Symptoms of intrusion in PAS cases include: recurrent and intrusive thoughts about the abortion or aborted child, flashbacks in which the woman momentarily reexperiences an aspect of the abortion experience, nightmares about the abortion or child, or anniversary reactions of intense grief or depression on the due date of the aborted pregnancy or the anniversary date of the abortion.

Constriction is the numbing of emotional resources, or the development of behavioral patterns, so as to avoid stimuli associated with the trauma. It is avoidance behavior; an attempt to deny and avoid negative feelings or people, places, or things which aggravate the negative feelings associated with the trauma. In post-abortion trauma cases, constriction may include: an inability to recall the abortion experience or important parts of it; efforts to avoid activities or situations which may arouse recollections of the abortion; withdrawal from relationships, especially estrangement from those involved in the abortion decision; avoidance of children; efforts to avoid or deny thoughts or feelings about the abortion; restricted range of loving or tender feelings; a sense of a foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect a career, marriage, or children, or a long life.); diminished interest in previously enjoyed activities; drug or alcohol abuse; suicidal thoughts or acts; and other self-destructive tendencies.

As previously mentioned, Barnard’s study identified a 19% rate of PTSD among women who had abortions three to five years previously. But in reality the actual rate is probably higher. Like most post-abortion studies, Barnard’s study was handicapped by a fifty percent drop out rate. Clinical experience has demonstrated that the women least likely to cooperate in post-abortion research are those for whom the abortion caused the most psychological distress. Research has confirmed this insight, demonstrating that the women who refuse followup evaluation most closely match the demographic characteristics of the women who suffer the most post-abortion distress. (10) The extraordinary high rate of refusal to participate in post-abortion studies may interpreted as evidence of constriction or avoidance behavior (not wanting to think about the abortion) which is a major symptom of PTSD.

For many women, the onset or accurate identification of PTSD symptoms may be delayed for several years. (11) Until a PTSD sufferer has received counseling and achieved adequate recovery, PTSD may result in a psychological disability which would prevent an injured abortion patient from bringing action within the normal statutory period. This disability may, therefore, provide grounds for an extended statutory period.

INCREASED SMOKING WITH CORRESPONDENT NEGATIVE HEALTH EFFECTS: Post-abortion stress is linked with increased cigarette smoking. Women who abort are twice as likely to become heavy smokers and suffer the corresponding health risks. (14) Post-abortion women are also more likely to continue smoking during subsequent wanted pregnancies with increased risk of neonatal death or congenital anomalies. (15)

 

DIVORCE AND CHRONIC RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS: For most couples, an abortion causes unforeseen problems in their relationship. Post-abortion couples are more likely to divorce or separate. Many post-abortion women develop a greater difficulty forming lasting bonds with a male partner. This may be due to abortion related reactions such as lowered self-esteem, greater distrust of males, sexual dysfunction, substance abuse, and increased levels of depression, anxiety, and volatile anger. Women who have more than one abortion (representing about 45% of all abortions) are more likely to require public assistance, in part because they are also more likely to become single parents. (21)

REPEAT ABORTIONS: Women who have one abortion are at increased risk of having additional abortions in the future. Women with a prior abortion experience are four times more likely to abort a current pregnancy than those with no prior abortion history. (22)

This increased risk is associated with the prior abortion due to lowered self esteem, a conscious or unconscious desire for a replacement pregnancy, and increased sexual activity post-abortion. Subsequent abortions may occur because of conflicted desires to become pregnant and have a child and continued pressures to abort, such as abandonment by the new male partner. Aspects of self-punishment through repeated abortions are also reported. (23)

Approximately 45% of all abortions are now repeat abortions. The risk of falling into a repeat abortion pattern should be discussed with a patient considering her first abortion. Furthermore, since women who have more than one abortion are at a significantly increased risk of suffering physical and psychological sequelae, these heightened risks should be thoroughly discussed with women seeking abortions.

 

The most complete listing of psychological problems
associated with abortion can be found at at AbortionRisks.org

NOTES:

1. An excellent resource is Thomas Strahan’s Detrimental Effects of Abortion: An Annotated Bibliography with Commentary (Third Edition) This resource includes brief summaries of major finding drawn from medical and psychology journal articles, books, and related materials, divided into major categories of relevant injuries.  An online version can be found at AbortionRisks.org

2. Ashton,”They Psychosocial Outcome of Induced Abortion”, British Journal of Ob&Gyn., 87:1115-1122, (1980).

3. Badgley, et.al.,Report of the Committee on the Operation of the Abortion Law (Ottawa:Supply and Services, 1977)pp.313-321.

4. R. Somers, “Risk of Admission to Psychiatric Institutions Among Danish Women who Experienced Induced Abortion: An Analysis on National Record Linkage,” Dissertation Abstracts International, Public Health 2621-B, Order No. 7926066 (1979); H. David, et al., “Postpartum and Postabortion Psychotic Reactions,” Family Planning Perspectives 13:88-91 (1981).

5. Kent, et al., “Bereavement in Post-Abortive Women: A Clinical Report”, World Journal of Psychosynthesis (Autumn-Winter 1981), vol.13,nos.3-4.

6. Catherine Barnard, The Long-Term Psychological Effects of Abortion, Portsmouth, N.H.: Institute for Pregnancy Loss, 1990).

7. Herman, Trauma and Recovery, (New York: Basic Books, 1992) 34.

8. Francke, The Ambivalence of Abortion (New York: Random House, 1978) 84-95.

9. Zakus, “Adolescent Abortion Option,” Social Work in Health Care, 12(4):87 (1987); Makhorn, “Sexual Assault & Pregnancy,” New Perspectives on Human Abortion, Mall & Watts, eds., (Washington, D.C.: University Publications of America, 1981).

10. Adler, “Sample Attrition in Studies of Psycho-social Sequelae of Abortion: How great a problem.” Journal of Social Issues, 1979, 35, 100-110.

11. Speckhard, “Postabortion Syndrome: An Emerging Public Health Concern,” Journal of Social Issues, 48(3):95-119.

12. Speckhard, Psycho-social Stress Following Abortion, Sheed & Ward, Kansas City: MO, 1987; and Belsey, et al., “Predictive Factors in Emotional Response to Abortion: King’s Termination Study – IV,” Soc. Sci. & Med., 11:71-82 (1977).

13. Speckhard, Psycho-social Stress Following Abortion, Sheed & Ward, Kansas City: MO, 1987; Gissler, Hemminki & Lonnqvist, “Suicides after pregnancy in Finland, 1987-94: register linkage study,” British Journal of Medicine 313:1431-4, 1996.C. Haignere, et al., “HIV/AIDS Prevention and Multiple Risk Behaviors of Gay Male and Runaway Adolescents,” Sixth International Conference on AIDS: San Francisco, June 1990; N. Campbell, et al., “Abortion in Adolescence,” Adolescence, 23(92):813-823 (1988); H. Vaughan, Canonical Variates of Post-Abortion Syndrome, Portsmouth, NH: Institute for Pregnancy Loss, 1991; B. Garfinkel, “Stress, Depression and Suicide: A Study of Adolescents in Minnesota,” Responding to High Risk Youth, Minnesota Extension Service, University of Minnesota (1986).

14. Harlap, “Characteristics of Pregnant Women Reporting Previous Induced Abortions,” Bulletin World Health Organization, 52:149 (1975); N. Meirik, “Outcome of First Delivery After 2nd Trimester Two Stage Induced Abortion: A Controlled Cohort Study,” Acta Obsetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavia 63(1):45-50(1984); Levin, et al., “Association of Induced Abortion with Subsequent Pregnancy Loss,” JAMA, 243:2495-2499, June 27, 1980.

15. Obel, “Pregnancy Complications Following Legally Induced Abortion: An Analysis of the Population with Special Reference to Prematurity,” Danish Medical Bulletin, 26:192- 199 (1979); Martin, “An Overview: Maternal Nicotine and Caffeine Consumption and Offspring Outcome,” Neurobehavioral Toxicology and Tertology, 4(4):421-427, (1982).

16. Klassen, “Sexual Experience and Drinking Among Women in a U.S. National Survey,” Archives of Sexual Behavior, 15(5):363-39 ; M. Plant, Women, Drinking and Pregnancy, Tavistock Pub, London (1985); Kuzma & Kissinger, “Patterns of Alcohol and Cigarette Use in Pregnancy,” Neurobehavioral Toxicology and Terotology, 3:211-221 (1981).

17. Morrissey, et al., “Stressful Life Events and Alcohol Problems Among Women Seen at a Detoxification Center,” Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 39(9):1159 (1978).

18. Oro, et al., “Perinatal Cocaine and Methamphetamine Exposure Maternal and Neo-Natal Correlates,” J. Pediatrics, 111:571- 578 (1978); D.A. Frank, et al., “Cocaine Use During Pregnancy Prevalence and Correlates,” Pediatrics, 82(6):888 (1988); H. Amaro, et al., “Drug Use Among Adolescent Mothers: Profile of Risk,” Pediatrics 84:144-150, (1989)

19. Speckhard, Psycho-social Stress Following Abortion, Sheed & Ward, Kansas City: MO, 1987; J. Spaulding, et al, “Psychoses Following Therapeutic Abortion, Am. J. of Psychiatry 125(3):364 (1978); R.K. McAll, et al., “Ritual Mourning in Anorexia Nervosa,” The Lancet, August 16, 1980, p. 368.

20. Benedict, et al., “Maternal Perinatal Risk Factors and Child Abuse,” Child Abuse and Neglect, 9:217-224 (1985); P.G. Ney, “Relationship between Abortion and Child Abuse,” Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 24:610-620, 1979; Reardon, Aborted Women – Silent No More (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1987), 129-30, describes a case of woman who beat her three year old son to death shortly after an abortion which triggered a “psychotic episode” of grief, guilt, and misplaced anger.

21. Shepard, et al., “Contraceptive Practice and Repeat Induced Abortion: An Epidemiological Investigation,” J. Biosocial Science, 11:289-302 (1979); M. Bracken, “First and Repeated Abortions: A Study of Decision-Making and Delay,” J. Biosocial Science, 7:473-491 (1975); S. Henshaw, “The Characteristics and Prior Contraceptive Use of U.S. Abortion Patients,” Family Planning Perspectives, 20(4):158-168 (1988); D. Sherman, et al., “The Abortion Experience in Private Practice,” Women and Loss: Psychobiological Perspectives, ed. W.F. Finn, et al., (New York: Praeger Publ. 1985), pp98-107; E.M. Belsey, et al., “Predictive Factors in Emotional Response to Abortion: King’s Termination Study – IV,” Social Science and Medicine, 11:71- 82 (1977); E. Freeman, et al., “Emotional Distress Patterns Among Women Having First or Repeat Abortions,” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 55(5):630-636 (1980); C. Berger, et al., “Repeat Abortion: Is it a Problem?” Family Planning Perspectives 16(2):70-75 (1984).

22. Joyce, “The Social and Economic Correlates of Pregnancy Resolution Among Adolescents in New York by Race and Ethnicity: A Multivariate Analysis,” Am. J. of Public Health, 78(6):626-631 (1988); C. Tietze, “Repeat Abortions – Why More?” Family Planning Perspectives 10(5):286-288, (1978).

23. Leach, “The Repeat Abortion Patient,” Family Planning Perspectives, 9(1):37-39 (1977); S. Fischer, “Reflection on Repeated Abortions: The meanings and motivations,” Journal of Social Work Practice 2(2):70-87 (1986); B. Howe, et al., “Repeat Abortion, Blaming the Victims,” Am. J. of Public Health, 69(12):1242-1246, (1979).


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53 Responses to Abortion Risks: A list of major psychological complications related to abortion

  1. Pingback: Should life or death be our choice? « Debating Capitalism

  2. Elizabeth Martin says:

    It is about time someone presented REAL truthful facts!!!!! I’m so sick of digging and digging for REAL facts and only finding facts from pro-choice organizations about post-abortion effects. Most of the sites I have found say “there aren’t any post-abortion symptoms. Any woman who suffers from depression after an abortion was probably suffering from it before the abortion.”

    My roommate had an abortion (and lied about it saying she had a miscarriage).

    I found out and talked to her about it and she just cried and said she hated herself so much for doing it. That was two months ago…I’ve probably seen her for a total of three days in the past two months because she has been gone constantly going out to friends houses, more than likely abusing drugs, and definitely abusing alcohol.

    She won’t come home because “she doesn’t have a ride” but the next thing I know, she is at another friend’s house. I know she isn’t coming home because she knows I’ll be able to tell if she is on drugs and that I will encourage her to get help.

    She has all kinds of physical health issues now from the abortion. She is still bleeding, and has to go now for a second surgery.

    But…oh… abortion is totally safe and has no harmful effects afterwards.

    Thank you so much for this site!

    Lizzie

  3. Cassandra says:

    My friend had a abortion a few years back and chose to because she was still in school earning her degree and things were not great or committed at the time with the would of been father, she now is bout to have child and with someone else this time been together for awhile has earned her degree I am just wondering how she is feeling the fact that she had a abortion few years ago and this time chose to have and keep baby, to me i could not do that why is it ok for this baby to be born and not the first one i have two children and i am totally against abortion now if i was raped i would say that would be a different story but even still the baby didnt do anything wrong so why should they be punished if anything adoption, thanks for me venting a little bit.

    • stevie raven says:

      i agree with you there. makes me think that they sure have a lot of guts to give
      birth to another baby.

    • Andrei says:

      I am a male – naturally it is harder for me (if at all possible) to even imagine (not just – understand) the psychological trauma of a woman who had to undergo the turmoil of the abortion. First, the desision stage – the agony of contemplation…. Second, the procedure…. And finally – the aftermath, the life after… the rest of one’s life.
      I work in mental health field providing services to school age children K-12. I have done this for nearly 20 years now. I started my therapeutic experience as a counselor to the teen rape victims (14-18 y-old). For one year I sat in a room with raped girls, held their hands, struggled to imagine their physical and emotional pain… Smoked like a chimney after they left my office.
      That year was by far the most challenging and yet satisfying year of my professional growth.
      While I read the negative judgemental notes from happy women who have kids, husbands, homes,…I always think about my girls from that year – crying, trying to kill themselves, some – wanting to abort (“I hate this bustard who will remind me for the rest of my life about the ***** who raped me”), the others wishing to keep the babies (even despite the very harsh communal disapproval and rejection from closest family members), some leaving our clinic after the procedure and never looking back, the others – looking back with such despair in their eyes.
      I will never forget my personal months of agony when I learned that my wife’s pregnancy may had to be terminated due to the health issues of our unborn daughter. The choice that we both had leave with was indescribable: my wife’s life, or my baby’s…
      How can I be so daring as to judge someone’s pain?! Truly, one has to experience the pain on his own skin (or at least to be exposed on multiple occasions to the experiences of others) to understand what others are going through.
      I am a man, happily married, and blessed with two beautiful children – life gave the gifts that others may never have. And I have had my share of pain to appreciate my gifts and thank the Heavens every night for not being forced to make terrible desisions…
      My happiness and my pain, my pretty strong professional experience allow me to conclude, what the Bible stated way before me – Do not judge. The same Bible, that is used against those struggling women who are forced to make extremely painful and long-lasting desisions.
      I say to those who were here before me – you can not judge, if you have not been there………..And may you never be.

    • Ronnie says:

      Be better friend please. It’s not your uterus or your children or your life so do not question it. It is not any of your business. Just support her and stop judging her or stop pretending to be a friend. Why do you need to know how she feels about her new baby? Would it make a difference if she explained it? Is it hurting you that she is having a baby? Would you feel better if she aborted it or miscarried?

    • Kay says:

      For those who are judging and replying with such unkind remarks; you cannot judge someone unless you have walked in their shoes. I had an abortion and live with a deep pain that torments me everyday of my life. I am unable to live a happy life due to the sadness that overwhelms my heart. I was a senior in high school, who got pregnant. The pressure from my parents, who looked at me as angelic made me feel as though I could not turn to them and confess I was pregnant. So I aborted. My plans to play D1 basketball at a very Catholic private University diminished. How was I going to attend a school that talked about abortion, and were against it? Who said that whomever got an abortion would go to hell? So, my life changed. Once a young women who thought she had everything planned, to a women who got pregnant and now who currently is filled with painful regret—I feel deeply hurt that someone could judge on another’s mistake.

      • EI says:

        Dear Kay,

        I believe the vast majority of people who visit this site are like you and are not judging anyone. We just want people to know that if they are experiencing negative reactions, it is not abnormal . . . it is a normal response. More importantly, there is help in recovering and healing. If you have not yet visited our “Help & Healing” page regarding tips and resources for for working past your grief and regret, please do so. You are in our prayers.

  4. Pingback: Culture of Life» Blog Archive » Feelin’ Lucky?

  5. Marissa Rhodes says:

    Maybe she regrets her descision of having the first abortion. Think about her this pregnacy and life with this child is going to be torture because she will always have the memory of aborting that child. Maybe she’s having this child because she’s forgiven herself for what she did. I’m not saying she was right to have aborted the baby the first time, no I am 100% against abortion but to kickher while she’s down about the descision is only going to worsen the situation. Besides are you saying that she should abort this baby too. That she shouldn’t be allowed to have children because of a mistake. But you’re right they do have guts having a child because this is going to be very hard on them and it’s really going to hurt.

  6. sierra says:

    i think this website is just fine and dont think ppl should have an abortion its not rite im 18 years old and if i was to get pregnant i could never do that wat did a poor little unborn baby do to u and i would never feel sorry for anybody who did it and cried bout it after u did it my friend was going to have one and i talked her out of it and still till this day her lil boy is 7 years old and the best damn thing thats ever happened to her and me if i must say and she thinks me every day for talking to her about it so i would never tell anybody to have one even in the worst situation have the baby and give it to sombody that cant have one thanks for whoever reads this and dont ever harm a baby like that its not rite dont open ur legs if u dont want one and if god wanted u to do it he would have never let u get pregant god put us her to give him more children

    • mshill says:

      I always said “its ok if someone else wants or needs to do that, but i could never do it myself” until i was put in that position that was 6 years ago. I still deal with the grief, guilt and depression over it EVERY SINGLE DAY. I absolutely would never do it again. Its the worst thing i’ve ever done because the memories of it will never go away.

  7. Forced adoption, forced abortion or forced to keep the baby are case scenarios that are completely avoidable. But you can look for a positive reason to embrace any of these 3 options after pregnancy. When I am primarily motivated by lust and I have no real love or commitment to another person (much less any conceived child);
    -
    my choice options will be painful and hurt me spiritually, emotionally and physically, because all 3 options are forms of “Damage control” to rescue me from my bad choices in life; so that I can hide from the naked reality that my life choices permanently hurt me and others!!!
    -
    Ask God and the person you mated with to forgive you, forgive yourself and live the abundant life, free from lust. Meet your own sexual needs and stop defrauding others while single; and after you commit to love another person, then you can enjoy sex and children with no fear or regret of your circumstances.

  8. Pingback: Gendercide | Wisdom and Folly

  9. Tiffany says:

    To all the women that are judging and acting all high and mighty don’t judge anybody unless you have walked in there shoes abortion is a personal choice and no it’s not right but sometimes it’s the only option people see and they do not deserve to be judged or insulted my friend was raped and wound up pregnant abortion was the only choice she saw your judgement miss god put us here for more children is childish and rude it I fine to cry after the choice just because it was theres does not mean they wanted it and it is none of anybody’s business except there’s so unless you are sending prayers to help them through the emotional stress they are feeling keep your damn opinions to yourself

    • EI says:

      Dear Tiffany,

      We appreciate your sentiment that women are not helped by words of condemnation. That is why, if you read the articles and comments on this site, you will see that the words and sentiments are always meant to offer understanding, consolation, and encouragement that healing the hurts of a past abortion is possible. It is fully possible to think that abortion is a poor choice, and even one that women feel forced to make because of their circumstance, while at the same time not condemning the people who make this poor, or even coerced, choice. Our hearts go out to all those involved, and we are working to help create a more healing environment for those who do feel hurt by a past abortion while also working to reduce the circumstance and pressures that make so many women feel they have no choice but to agree to an unwanted, unsafe, or unnecessary abortion.

      And yes, we are sending our prayers to help them through thee emotional stress they are feeling.

      • Yes, you’re right! it is not for to condemn, and we do not condemn those who are committed abortion. we just feel sorry for their bad choice because of what it does to them. they certainly experience physical, emotional and psychological difficulties. yes, they need help and support and great understanding. They also need counselling and healing. the best healing that has to happen is “forgiveness of oneself.” they have to face the facts and no matter how painful it is and then move on. As the Lord says to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven..pick up your mat and go..” they must learn to ask forgiveness, to forgive themselves and move on in life. it is not the end of the world. we still have hope so long as we live. our hope dies only when we give up.

  10. michelebuck16 says:

    I became a Christian two years ago and had never realized how much two abortions in my teenage years had continued to affect me in life. When I started to read about the effects a year ago I was able to at least match this to how my life as a young girl had spiraled out of control. Pain, low self esteem, anxiety, anger, alcohol, promisicious behavoiur, further pregnancies, single parenthood, etc.

    My life settled and I met an amazing man who I married had children etc and a fab career. But carrying hurts of my past had trapped me into feelings of being unfulfilled. There was gap and I could not quite get it!! Why did I loath myself? Why could I not trust and sustain friendships? I struggled and lived a life being a false person. I have since dealt with this in a spiritual way and am still on a healing journey and its getting so much better. Just want to share this to help others and let them know they are not alone!!

    • Stacey Scott says:

      I can completely understand what you have gone through. I also have become a Christian a little over two years ago, and during worship I would feel a pull at my spirit that things needed to be fixed. I prayed for God to reveal what I had to work on. Then one morning he revealed it and I broke down. I too had two abortion when I was younger, 15 years ago to be exact. I talked to a prayer team member who lead me to a wonderful lady. She hold a small group call Surrendering the Secrete By Pat Layton. It was an eight week class that has just made me feel totally restored with God and my family. Through this class I was able to memorialize my lost children and God even revealed their name to me.

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  12. ghada says:

    I think abortion in some case important to complete the life to young girl and women who have a problems

  13. Cheryl says:

    I don’t believe any woman should be judged because she decided to abort. You don’t know what is going on in someone else’s life and if you personally have not experienced it you will never understand the difficulty of making this decision. Abortion hurts women physically and also emotionally. I am a Christian and I experienced many emotional difficulties in my life because of an abortion I had 21 years ago. If abortion is part of your past you can get healing from the God who created you and loves you more than anyone could. I know this because I participated in a post abortive Bible study called “Forgiven and Set Free.” I have had a great deal of healing from guilt and shame because of what I learned about God through this study. If you need help and healing please contact a pregnancy resource center in your area and ask if they have this study or one similar to it. It may just change your life.

    • Ronnie says:

      Agreed! Jesus dies for our sins and if we know it was a mistake and learned from it God will forgive us. I grew up close to the church and I was always taught that God forgave and we should not throw stones. And abortion is an act that has the most stones thrown at it, even though there are serial killers and pedophiles. Are there as many protesters outside of a pedophile’s court hearing than there are at a Planned Parenthood or an abortion clinic. Nope. Strange/scary world.

      • qwerty says:

        It get’s more stones thrown at it because there are so many more abortions done than there are pedophiles, plus there is no sin that is worse than another, so they are equally wrong and should be dealt with just as much as each other.

  14. Mando says:

    I am a guy , but I wanned some help about smth happening in my life ! There is this girl who just came to ISLAM my religion , but before that she had done abortion once .. but we didn’t talk about it much since she told me after we met .. All I wanned to know is , what is the possibility that she can have a healthy baby in the future and do U advice me to go on with this ! Or I just should forget about her .. tho I do love her !
    I just went through almost all of This site .. I definitly Love what you do over there .. and Its my first time to Really wish I have lots of money to donate for this site!
    Hope girls who know more about this can help !

    • EI says:

      Dear Mando,

      While there is some increased risk to her fertility, for example some higher risk of miscarriage or pre-term birth, it is most likely that she can bear healthy children. Most women can and do. Probably the bigger issue is that she works through any unresolved emotional issues related to grief and guilt over the past so that it minimizes any impact on her ability to emotionally bond with future children or on her parenting skills in the future. If you love and support her and encourage her in her healing, I’m sure she can do well. If she faces any struggles, look to our tips on finding a post-abortion healing program under the “healing” tab at the top of each page. Thanks for your words of encouragement. (And even if you don’t have lots of money to donate, even a small donation would be welcome!)

  15. Emily rose says:

    Do not judge anyone who has went through the heart ache, the sleepiness nights, suicidal thoughts and depression. I have felt all of these things and had an abortion 6 months ago. I Always said I would never ever do that to my child but everyone is different and so is every situation. You might find it easy to judge that girl who aborted her child but how about you think how it has affected her mentally. It was the biggest mistake of my life and I am struggling like no one would believe to move on from this. I am so against people judging because even in the hospital I was paranoid I was being judged.

    • Mando says:

      I hope U never go through this again Emily , and would assure U I wouldn’t love her if I am judging her ! All I wanned to make sure of , is the physical ability to have children looking to the fact that I adore have children … Abortion is a sin a mistake a big one .. but we are humans , we do mistakes and that’s one of the beautiful things about us even .. the ability to realize that and fix it ..
      But I totally got your point n I do feel you Emily! And I am glad to have you here on this great site .. Hope it does help Inshallah :)

    • shan says:

      hi emily

      i have also suffered through that 10 years ago and 4 years after the abortion i had i still struggle with it 10 years later and now i have depersonalization after i just got better 2 years ago. my boyfriend and i broke up because of this and me feeling incomplete. i think abortion is deadly to 2 people, the pain lasts forever after and no baby. i hate abortion!!!!!

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  17. Desiree says:

    I had an abortion exactly a year ago today!!!it was the hardest thing I could ever do…I hated myself my boyfriend my family everybody!!!I felt like it was my only option!!!I felt alone even though my boyfriend was there…before I got the abortion my sisters and I use to always say I could never abort my baby!!!I felt and feel like scum for going back on my word and for doing that to something I helped to make!!!the moment I found out I was pregnant I was happy but scared because I knew I wasnt going to be able to keep it…I still cry about it to…the reasons I did it was because I was only 18, I had literally just started this new job and I didn’t want to one of those people, I had just moved in with my boyfriend and his parents…it just wasn’t the right time for me and my boyfriend to go through with it!!!don’t get me wrong I wish I could’ve kept my baby…to this day I look back and wish I was older and had my own place but I didn’t!!!!I hurt every day for aborting my baby…I feel like I’m a bad parent…I was going through so much when I was pregnant…my hormones were so low because I was so stressed out with collage and this new job and my mom also being pregnant I’m surprised I didn’t miscarry…so for those people who are judging you shouldn’t for the simple fact that most of us regret what we did and hate ourselves for “killing” our baby..i know Iwould never do it again!!!It isn’t nor wasn’t fair to me my baby or my boyfriend for what happened…i never wanted to do that…but I was backed into a corner…I didnt want my baby to not have all the things my child deserves…I want to be able to provide for my kids 100% and a year ago I couldn’t!!!

    Reading what some of you people put made me feel like a bad mother all over again…cassandra…it was extreamly hurtful that you said why is it okay for a second baby to live and not the first…I’ve always wanted a family and I would do anything for my family…there are many reasons to why a person would abort their child…you wouldn’t know because you personally have had to experience that…good for you I wish I could say the same…but I did I can’t change my past no matter how much I want to…so until you can understand I think it’d be best if you do some more research to better understand what most women go through…I did it for my future family and my boyfriend…the last thing I would ever want is to struggle…its every persons dream to provide their family…I could never forgive myself for what I had to do!!!!

  18. Ronnie says:

    I had one almost 3 years ago. I think about it almost everyday. For those of you reading this and have recently had one and are experiencing depression, trust me, you WILL get through this. I was single and kind of dating a guy and obviously sleeping with him. When I found out I was pregnant he said he would support ANY decision I would make. But we both knew the right decision for both our futures were to terminate. I always pay close attention to my body and I knew within in two weeks after conception I was pregnant(this was my first). So I was lucky to barely be having symptoms by the time I terminated at 6 weeks and four days(they would not let me do it any sooner than 6 weeks). I was a zombie prior to that and psyching myself out.

    A couple of weeks after I became obsessed with the pregnancy I did not go through with. I would google what a fetus would look like at 12 weeks, 24 weeks, etc. I would weep(I am not a crier). And most of the time I would weep not because I regretted it but because I DID NOT regret it. I always knew it was right for me. I allowed myself to be depressed until the due date that would have been my baby’s. And I survived. I thought about dying everyday until that due date. I hardly ate, I never would sleep, I would lash out at the father even though we were not even friends anymore. I would just text him mean things. But he understood and put up with it. I drank and drank and drank. I drank so much I got behind on bills because it went to alcohol.

    After that due date I started dating a close friend who knew everything and we are living together now and planning on getting married.

    I get sad over it still. I send an apology up to heaven the last 2 years of the due date. But honestly, there is no reason not to live your life. It happened and yes, it is hard but life must go on. We are not murderers or bad people. It was a decision that took a lot of thought for each one of us. I have no problem talking about it openly if the subject is brought up. However, I would hate for my mom to find out so I am careful who I tell.

    For the people reading this to judge. Judging does not change what has already happened. And your judging never let me feel guiltier than I did and now that I feel better your judging does not make me depressed. It is something you CANNOT judge because you have never had an abortion. So turn it into a positive and try to understand and help lost women out or keep your judgments to yourself. And if you are on a website to judge, you are just looking to be a bully.

    I know I can’t turn back time and honestly if I could I know I would have made the same decisions. But feeling guilt hurts nobody but myself and if I let it hurt myself eventually it will hurt everyone who loves me.

    • CP says:

      I have been having more and more thoughts of suicide. I think about it a lot. I wish I had died that day with the baby. It has been two years now, I think I am worse each day that goes by, not better. I have sought out professional help, and and both the psychiatrist and the therapist believed I had enough internal resources to get through this. But I don’t. I wanted the dr. to put me on anti-depressants. I am desperate for relief. I cannot deal with the guilt I feel. I feel my child watches me from heaven, and I feel I have hurt his feelings as I knit a baby blanket for my expectant cousin. Once, I felt the baby visited me in my dreams. It was too real, and I was able to hold him. I felt his weight in my arms as I embraced him, and woke up. It felt so real. I could still feel him in my arms…It is absolute torture I live with. How do I make this stop?

      • EI says:

        Dear CP,

        I’m sorry to hear of how deeply you are in pain. Don’t give up hope. Your child is watching you from heaven and praying for you to find healing.

        Have you read our tips on finding a post-abortion counseling program near you?

        In the list of organizations and hotlines in the bottom section of that page, are several with toll free hotlines that you should call. I encourage you to find someone trained in post-abortion healing with whom you can talk as soon as possible.

        Pray for God to reveal the name of your child to you. Name him and use his name when sharing your grief about your loss with others. Try to see your dream as a gift, not a condemnation. A reminder that he waits for you in heaven and wants you to find healing and to learn from your loss so you can help others . . . and in that way, his memory will be honored by you helping others.

        Remember, most psychiatrists and therapists are not trained in helping women and men deal with post-abortion grief. Many have their own obstacles in the way of being able to be of help. You need to find someone who is trained in this field. Even the peer support groups for women who have had abortions will generally be in touch with mental health professionals who are trained in the field and can also give you a good referral if you need a licensed therapist in addition to the peer support.

        You are in our prayers. Be not afraid. The right help is out there for you. Using our tips, you should be able to find it. If you have trouble finding a post-abortion healing program, contact us again and we’ll try to do more research into finding a program near you.

  19. Eric says:

    how can one cite this page in MLA format?

  20. Amanda says:

    Easybib.com will cite in mla format for you eric. Good luck

  21. psychmom says:

    Regardless of feelings concerning abortion rights, it does not help post-abortive women in dealing with their emotional and psychological repercussions stemming from or triggered by their abortion experience. The extraordinary and very unethical stance that the APA takes, declaring it as a non-issue, stands firmly in the way of treating these women and their partners. It prevents mental health professionals from developing the much needed specialized care. We had the same issues i with ‘ignore the problem’ attitudes concerning male victims of sexual abuse, who are still consistently ignored by the APA. Until they are willing to put aside their personal political views, or rather, whatever political view is most prevailing, little to no progress will ever be made in helping.women and men.to cope with their emotions after abortion.

  22. post abortive healing retreats says:

    hi everyone-it’s been 11 years for me. I was numb for a long time, and I deal with it in pieces.

    Healing is possible. The Catholic Church has a program called Project Rachel,just google it for one in your area. It’s a weekend retreat, you don’t have to be Catholic to go or Christian, I highly recommend it. You will find forgiveness from God and your child. You will still have pain, but that is part of the effects of sin and it helps us to not sin again. Your baby does forgive you and loves you. You have a saint in heaven that is there for you. I too wish I had another chance to take back that day.

    I wish my priest would have advised me differently, that my sister would have supported me more, that my post abortive friend would have been honest how bad it is, that my husband would have been a man, that the ladies praying outside would have spoken to me, but none of this happened, and we cannot change it. We have to accept it and know that we were victims too.

    Laws need to be in place to protect women when they are most vulnerable and cannot think rationally, but money drives economies. So, we need to fight harder for a pro-life culture.

    I give retreats for girls and their moms on learning their God given dignity so they don’t even ever consider it later, I side walk counsel at abortion mills girls and I stand outside and hold signs saying that I regret my abortion and I’m there to share that with them-by helping others see the great evil this is and the pain it inflicts on women (so much for helpingt them make “choices”-its a human being, not a choice)one heals.

    Please go to a retreat-it is run by very caring women, some post abortive and will do a great deal on your path to healing. It gives you a forum to talk about the “secret” and you learn that just because you made a bad choice, you are still that childs mother and you have a right to love him/her even though you let your fears get in your way of their right to life. It’s one of life’s toughers crosses but you don’t have to bear it alone-God wants you to heal and is waiting for you! If you place your pains at the foot of the cross, they become bearable and God carries it with you-it’s the only way to come to peace.

    Take good care-
    Aveline

  23. Mike says:

    there is a wonderful book written about the appearance of Mary at medjugorje and how five people(drugs, new age, pornography etc) became born again as christians/catholics through repentance and prayer.

    As a male, I was touched by an apology letter the FATHER of the aborted child wrote to his deceased son in this book. I too got my girlfriend pregnant 20 years ago, She had a tubal pregancy that for lack of a better term, “aborted itself” so we did not have to make the “decision”, I recall being relieved as I did not love her and did not want to marry her. I was engaged in the me fest called yuppieville, late 80′s “me fest”.

    Looking back, I know we both would have chosen abortion so depsite my strong pro life upbringing and current stance? It makes me a hypocrite as when presented with this, I was leaning towards an abortion.

    This is why christians today are loathed by some, we are such hypocrites. We tithe, go to church yet we openly judge others, cheat in business, bear false witness via gossip, watch bad tv that openly mocks God via an almost gleeful approach to infedility, cheating, being mean, greedy etc. think about even tv shows like Greys anatomy, how is God served in that environment? What do our children think when they see us glued to this immoral type program?

    May God/Jesus forgive me for judging my wife and others who chose abortion when they were young, scared, and abandoned emotionally by the father. If you know someone in denial by being almost violently pro choice? PRAY FOR THEM. Its a defense mechanism they use to cover up shame. this type of trauma has been proven to rewire the brain too so intense denial is the only coping mechanism.

    Pray for them to convert their hearts and while doing that, get on your knees and pray to be forgiven for your sins, known and unknown. I have only begun to do this and God has opened my heart to compassion.

    lastly, find the copy of the mini series “jesus of nazareth”- mid 1970′s but the depiction of a empathic Christ is amazing. many of toddays alleged religious leaders are todays pharisees, they surround themselves with titles, privileges, wealth, status while judging.

    Are they holding a womans hand as she weeps with shame post abortion? Feeding the homeless? going into prisons to listen to those who are lost? Sitting with a 15 year old who has no father and thinks drugs and alchohol are “cool”.

    based on turning on the tv most sundays and seeing them in the 2k suits and lavish homes, I think not. These are the hypocrites Christ warned of.

    My point, stop judging, postulating, preaching etc, Like “mother theresa said, “DO”!

  24. Oubli says:

    (Mis)Understanding Abortion Regret – 2012

    As this analysis of women’s stories of emotional difficulty around abortion attests, some abortions are emotionally difficult. But not all abortions are difficult, nor is regret over the abortion decision always the source of any emotional difficulty. In several of the stories above, women’s emotional difficulty around abortion had nothing to do with fetal loss and instead had to do with the social circumstances and expectations they experienced.

    For some women, the experience of social disapproval of abortion made the abortion experience difficult, as friends and significant others worked to enforce feeling rules that subscribe to the dominant framing that women should feel badly about their abortions.

    For others, the romantic relationship loss that accompanied the abortion made the overall experience emotionally difficult. In both cases, women’s experience of emotional difficulty stemmed not from their intentions in choosing abortion but from the responses of others. Interactions about their abortions with key people in women’s lives can have potent—and negative—effects on how women attribute meaning to their abortion.

    These findings highlight the value of a symbolic interactionist approach that looks beyond interpretations of emotional difficulty around abortion as grief over fetal loss to attend to subsequent interactions and observations.

    Instead of saying some abortions are difficult; it would be more accurate to say that some circumstances can make abortion emotionally difficult.

    The final group of women discussed in this analysis (the head versus heart category) did experience emotional difficulty related to fetal loss, but their stories challenge advocacy for restricting abortion as a solution to their distress. Although one woman who articulated a conflict between her head and her heart expressed a wish to undo her decision to have an abortion, others did not. Some of the women in this category were clear that they would have made the same decision to have an abortion if they had the chance to do it all over again.

    Further, there is no evidence that restriction on abortion would have resolved their emotional difficulty; it would not remove the “head” part—a woman’s practical reasons for terminating a pregnancy—of the head/heart equation.

    It is also clear that restriction of abortion would not improve the experience of women in the other two analytical categories who felt emotional difficulty that was distinct from grief over fetal loss: it would not make friends and family more supportive of a woman’s decision to have an abortion; it would not make a boyfriend stay committed.

    Finally, this analysis leaves open the question of the consequences of emotional difficulty. Abortion rights opponents and advocates implicitly presume that regret is something to be avoided; the assertion that regret is harmful has not been challenged. Yet this is an important and untested assertion. This question enters the debate over the role of medication in speeding up the process of grief or mourning and avoiding depression and it engages arguments over whether or not grief is a “healthy” emotion and sadness a normal response within various circumstances. Future research should consider the social effects of so-called negative emotions like regret.

    Given the complexity of how some abortions come to be emotionally difficult, together these challenges to the dominant discourses on abortion regret emphasize the importance of attention to women’s lived experience. If and when an abortion is hard, that determination comes from taking the woman’s standpoint, rather than from some external position. The same goes for other forms of fetal loss or newborn relinquishment.

    In all scenarios, women need space for complex feelings and, pointedly, people in women’s lives need to make this space devoid of the feelings rules, politically inflected or otherwise, that frequently frame these discussions. The politicized debate over abortion regret has notably failed to provide space for complex feelings and, to the extent that it has contributed to social disapproval of abortion, likely contributes to the emotional difficulties some women experience.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/symb.11/full

    *Read the Complete Scholarly Article Here

    • EI says:

      Unfortunately, your little essay allows that there is “complexity” surrounding women’s reactions to abortion but then seeks to definitively assert that these emotional difficulties do not attach to the abortion or loss of baby, except in symbolic way, since the “true” problem lies else where, if for example the loss of romantic love.

      A big part of the problem with your analysis, and that of the paper you cite (is it yours?), is that you (and the author) are trying to fit everyone’s experience into a model that just doesn’t fit everyone.

      The cited article, is even more intellectually narrow in that it does not even attempt to fairly represent what women, men, therapists, researchers, and those who are involved in post-abortion ministries and even “antiabortion” activity are actually saying — and certainly not the fullness of the complex, multifaceted issues at play.

      This misrepresentation appears right in the first paragraph of Kimport’s paper in which she tries to conflate all the complex issues involved in post-abortion reactions into being just about “abortion regret.” She then asserts, falsely, that “Antiabortion claimants argue women always attach to pregnancy (inevitably regretting abortion).”

      Notably, this exaggerated claim has no citation since it is simply a characterization. I’ve never seen this assertion made by abortion critics, especially those working in the field of post-abortion research or ministry.

      The loading of this characterization with terms like “always” and “inevitably” not too subtly suggests that “antiabortion claimants” are simple-minded in believing in only simple one-to-one cause and effect relationships: for every effect there is a single cause. What nonsense! Almost every human experience, including post-abortion reactions, are influenced by multiple factors and previous experiences.

      But after setting up her “straw men,” whose simple-minded views she is preparing to disprove, Kimport then asserts that her interviews with 21 women are sufficient “to empirically identify three sources of women’s emotional difficulty around abortion: social disapproval, romantic relationship loss, and head versus heart conflict.”

      Empirically? 21 interviews will answer all questions and empirically explain all reactions and interactions in the lives of women after an abortion???

      In short, while I am glad that Kimport took the time to interview 21 women and to begin thinking seriously about these issues, I consider it great hubris that she imagines that she knows more than everyone else who has studied these issues (much less lived through them). I also consider it intellectually dishonest, or at least intellectually lazy, for her to fail to understand and fairly represent the views of those with whom she disagrees.

      If she were to present her research as simply an attempt to add to what is already understood, that would be fine. But the simple truth is that she is not first to identify the three issues of “social disapproval, romantic relationship loss, and head versus heart conflict” as important factors in post-abortion problems. She is only the first to suggest that these three factors alone matter and that she is the first to have identified them and that all post-abortion problems can be conflated to just being a matter of dealing with “regret.”

      Clearly, what is needed is an honest pursuit of the truth. And toward that end, debate between those who disagree can be a healthy endeavor. But intellectual debate only truly occurs when both sides seek to understand and fairly represent the views of those with whom they disagree.

      Characterizations, omissions, and misrepresentations which are made to make one’s own opinions appear superior to those which are being characterized do not serve the pursuit of truth, they impede it.

      • Oubli says:

        Just like the plethora of studies you pulled to prove your point that women are psychologically damaged by abortion there are plenty of studies that conclude that they are not psychologically effected by it. And unlike the studies you quote mine are quite a bit more recent. [Oubli's original post included a very lengthy "cut and paste" of copyrighted material from Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocacy groups. That material has been deleted to avoid copyright infringement.]

        • EI says:

          The studies we cite here, and the many which have been subsequently published, consistently show that abortion is statistically associated with a wide variety of mental health problems. They include the same studies cited by the copyright material you cut and pasted into your original post.

          Nearly every one of the studies your source cited also found higher rates of emotional problems after an abortion but the authors shift attention away from that finding by arguing that the higher rate of problems would be better explained away by blaming other factors, such as emotional upset over the loss of a romantic relationship, or a prior history of depression, as the “true” cause of the higher rate of emotional problems following abortion. None of these sources provide any proof that these alternative explanations are the “true cause,” they just seek to argue that unless abortion is the “sole cause” of subsequent mental health problems we should pretend that it is not a contributing cause to subsequent mental health problems.

          Our own position is that the strongest evidence that abortion can trigger, aggravate, or even be the sole cause of mental health problems is simply the testimony of self-aware women and the therapists who have successfully treated them for post-abortion problems. Indeed, this same evidence is so convincing that even pro-choice researchers and groups are forced to admit that at least a “few” women do have severe negative psychological reactions.

          The primary value of studies seeking to examine how often depression or anxiety or suicidal behavior, or other symptoms, occur after an abortion is not in “proving that women are psychologically damaged by abortion,” but rather in helping to get a sense of how often abortion may be contributing to the types of problems being identified by the women who are seeking post-abortion counseling.

          The bottom line is that negative reactions are not rare and they are not abnormal. Rather than politicizing the issue and trying to argue that we are “wrong” in asserting that the research “proves” that abortion “always” causes mental health problems, can’t we just all agree that some women do have significant mental health issues related to their abortion experience and work toward ways to help them?

  25. J says:

    i just had one last April this year. i really want the baby but my parents forced me to abort it. they said its a devil’s child. i just can’t believe they would said that to their own grandchild. i tried my best to protect my child but in the end i lost. even before the abortion i felt it was wrong to abort the baby. now the feelings gets worse and i’m falling to pieces accusing myself not being able to protect my baby,my own life. i tried not to accuse myself but that feelings just can’t be stopped.now i lost interest in everything. i sleep to much but i look like i’m not having enough sleep, avoid talking to people that made me do abortion and avoid that clinic that they send me forcefully, no appetite because when i think of food i also accidentally think of my baby. unable to go anywhere anyplace that makes me not thinking about my baby and being in the medical field too just making it worse. i hate myself. i hate my life to be like this.

    my boyfriend does not know that i was forcefully asked to abort our baby. he too really wants baby. he even reminded me not to abort if i have it and he is willing to be responsible for it. both of us is legally in terms of age to have and keep the baby. when he found out he was ferocious and we got into big fight. then i am alone. my parents were happy that i broke up with him and that made me even more depressed knowing that they are the cause of all this.

    i just hope God forgives me and all of them. but my heart is still bitter and thinking that i’m the worse sinners of all and God will never forgive me. 3 days after the abortion i had a dream of my baby. in my dream he was nice to me, came and touched my cheek and kissed my forehead before saying ”mama”. i was touched got up and cried silently. i still can’t forget about it until now.

    • EI says:

      Dear J,

      My heart and prayers go out to you. I’m so sorry you didn’t have the resources and opportunity to escape the pressure your parents put you under. I also pray that your boyfriend will find it in his heart to understand and to no longer blame you. Most of all, I pray for both you and him, that you will be ablet o work through this grief and find spiritual healing and new strength knowing that God not only offers forgiveness but also transforming strength.

      If you have not yet read our page on finding a post-abortion healing program please do. If you need further help finding a program, please let us know.

      You are in our prayers.

  26. Brittany says:

    I just woke up from one of my nightmares and decided I would google abortion trauma and see what kind of sites I could find. I’ve read through everything on here and it makes me feel better knowing there are sites such as this at times when someone such as myself feels the need to educate themselves and perhaps reach out or enlighten others in a similar situation.

    I grew up in a broken home with only my mother and whomever she happened to be with over the years. I found out more and more lies as I grew older pertaining to my father or choices of who that might be and of my mothers promiscuity. I had discovered that my mother had had multiple abortions before having me at the same time as finding out she had lied to me about my father and I may never know who he was. I harbored so much resentment towards her for lying to me, always having childish thoughts that she had rid of my older siblings who could have saved me from my childhood traumas..never taking into account what my mother had to be dealing with in her own mind until I became a teenager and began to walk down the same path she had.

    My first relationship turned out to be the first thing I ever could truly relate to my mom about and that was being in love with an abusive man. Once it became more apparent to my family and there had been enough police involvement my family forbade me to see him, yet I chose to be young and naive despite what I should have learned from my mother and abusive stepdad.

    On my 18th birthday my senior year of high school I found out I was pregnant right as my relationship had been dissolving. When I told him he had a psychotic breakdown, driving in the most hazardous ways he could think of saying he should crash and kill us both and ending the threats with a knife to his throat. By this time no one in my family was speaking to me and I had been living with him…I had always been very against abortion and rather inclined to a family of my own over a career any day but I couldn’t shake the broken arm that had been shut in the door, the bruised hand prints around my neck or the many death threats ending with him running his truck head on into my car…. All I could think was if I had this child, not only would it be a permanent attachment to him, there was a very good chance of him taking my life or my child growing up in and abusive home like I had and that was the last thing I ever wanted. When considering adoption, when it came down to the last moments of my decision, I couldn’t bear the thought of someone else raising MY child..as selfish as that may sound it was what it was.

    My mother guided me through the process going with me to my first three appointments all of which had some mishap and had to be rescheduled only causing my emotions to grow nuclear…the day I finally went and everything followed through there were pro life “damn you” people everywhere which had not been the case my other visits. This made it that much harder as if I wasn’t already damning myself in my head and judging myself, there was a good thirty some people there to say everything I was thinking only more brutal and with gruesome pictures to exploit the point they felt so tediously to make.

    I chose abortion with anesthetic because I knew I wouldn’t have the heart to do it awake. One of the recurring dreams I have are of the beginning of my procedure, in fact this is what woke me up tonight and pushed me to share my story. I’m brought to a room and laid on a bed where they give me my IV and tell me to watch the mobile that’s hanging above the bed..before I do so, I look around and see to the right of the doctor is a series of jars with strange tubes attached and begin to feel nauseous but the meds kick in before I can say anything and the next thing I know I’m waking up in tears, sobbing so hard I can’t breathe. After about half an hour of calming me down and making me eat some chips I’m free to go and walking away with the most numb feeling I’ve ever experienced in my life. I usually wake up at the sobbing part though.

    Post abortion I began to abuse drugs and alcohol they were my only crutch. For the next 3 years I denied my pain and addictions even after having and underage consumption charge and losing two jobs due to partying. I was finally wising up the beginning of this year becoming sober and in a wonderful relationship when I found out..around my birthday AGAIN that I’m pregnant. You would never know from what I’ve told you but I am very wise for my age of 22 and I’ve seen a lot more than people twice my age but what really sucks about that is not taking what you learn from life and using it to your advantage. I stayed on a self destructive path that could have been easily avoided had I sought the help I needed. I have to say I’m very excited about this baby..I’m 18-weeks now :)

    The only thing is that the nightmares are back, the anxiety which had started to slow is back on full blast and I’m left with a lot of emotions I don’t know how to deal with. Although the woman in comments above me sounded ridiculously judgmental and on a naive nose up in the air high horse- I can’t completely disagree with her because I find myself wondering what will happen this time around. I’m nervous and the past seems to be floating back in ways I hadn’t expected. I do know I will be a great mother now, I just hope that my past choices won’t interfere with my relationship with this child!

    • EI says:

      I’m very happy to hear about the joy you are feeling about your new baby. He or she will continue to bring many blessings into your life.

      All I want to say is that now is an excellent time to start addressing any unresolved grief and guilt regarding a past abortion . . . precisely to minimize any effects these unresolved feelings can have on your relationship with this baby and your mothering decisions. Please read our tips on finding an appropriate post-abortion healing program and consider joining one ASAP. I am confident that it will help on so many levels.

      Also make sure your doctor knows about your history of abortion and helps you with this pregnancy alert to the fact that a past abortion increases the risk of premature birth. I don’t want to unduly alarm you, but if doctors are alert to this elevated risk they can take appropriate steps to reduce that risk.

      You are in our prayers.

  27. Bianca says:

    The comments and opinions are unbelivable . Everyone saying how you could never give up a life , have NEVER been in that situation ! So by trying to state your opinion and think that only your way is the ” right ” with out knowing any real factors makes you a judge mental person . It’s a tough decision , everyone had there reasons , they already have to live with the guilt , but adding to it isn’t going to help .

    • EI says:

      I think your jumping to conclusions and really haven’t read many of the comments and opinons on this site. Very few, if any, reflect anyone, much less “everyone saying how you could never give up a life.” The vast majority of people posting comments are women who have had abortions. They are talking about their personal experiences, and very few are declaring anything close to the view that “only their way is the right way,” (to paraphrase your characterizations. And finally, no one here is trying to add to anyone’s guilt. We are all trying to help people recover from any guilt, shame, and self-condemnation they may be feelings.

  28. Gaye says:

    I am sorry, but although I agree totally with what is above, this info cannot be used anywhere else as with a quick read through, there is no evidence given. Any one can say that scientists or Dr’s, or studies say???? but where is the proof of these studies please..Medscape says that there is no problems after abortions, and that studies done that show problems are wrong. I personally do not believe that at all but we need proof not hear say.. Medscape also says that there is no problems with immunisations which I know personally is wrong as my grand daughter died in my arms an hr after her immunisations and luckily I was able to get her breathing again, and my husband got a melanoma on the site of his immunisation, it has always stayed red.
    I believe that every woman/ man on this earth has the right to do with their bodies what they want, but not someone else’s body and a little person in or outside the body is a body on its own, if not fed either by the umbilical cord or bottle it will die.

    • EI says:

      The evidence in support of the statements in this article are the citations to peer reviewed medical journal articles as noted in the article. More medical studies can be found at http://www.AfterAbortion.org.

      As you noted, there are those, such as Medscape, who may claim that the “studies done that show problems are wrong,” but that is an opinion, not a fact. The fact is that all of these studies have been peer reviewed by medical experts and found to be plausible and in accordance with proper research techniques. Just as cigarette manufacturers complained for decades that the studies linking smoking to lung cancer were flawed, so abortion proponents can always complain that studies linking abortion to psychological or mental health problems are flawed. In fact, every study has some weaknesses. No study is perfect. It is impossible to do a double blind randomized trial of abortion — which would require impregnating a random sample of women and then randomly selecting half to undergo an abortion and the other half to carry to term. Short of such an unethical study, every study has limitations and cannot address every question that might be raised. That’s why defenders of abortion can always “raise the bar” and insist that more evidence must be found before they are willing to concede any risks to abortion. In short, it’s very politicized and abortion proponents are very adverse to admitting that abortion, which is supposed to help women, can actually be contributing to the problems women face.

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