By the age of 45, 1 out of every 2.5 women in the United States have had one abortion.
(Source: pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute.)
The Psychological Effects of Abortion
(Excerpt from the Elliot Institute’s article: The Aftereffects of Abortion)
Abortion proponents continue to mislead the public that abortion is a women’s “choice.” Sadly, most women are either coerced or lead to believe that it is their only choice. Abortion proponents also ignore the large number of women who suffer physically and mentally after their abortion.
Researchers investigating post-abortion reactions report only one positive emotion: relief. This emotion is understandable, especially in light of the fact that the majority of aborting women report feeling under intense pressure to “get it over with.”
Temporary feelings of relief are frequently followed by a period psychiatrists identify as emotional “paralysis,” or post-abortion “numbness.” Like shell-shocked soldiers, these aborted women are unable to express or even feel their own emotions. Their focus is primarily on having survived the ordeal and they are at least temporarily out of touch with their feelings.
Studies within the first few weeks after the abortion have found that between 40 and 60 percent of women questioned report negative reactions. Within 8 weeks after their abortions, 55 percent expressed guilt, 44 percent complained of nervous disorders, 36 percent had experienced sleep disturbances, 31 percent had regrets about their decision, and 11 percent had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their family doctor.
In one study of 500 aborted women, researchers found that 50 percent expressed negative feelings, and up to 10 percent were classified as having developed “serious psychiatric complications.”
Thirty to fifty percent of aborted women 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.
Up to 33 percent of aborted women develop an intense longing to become pregnant again in order to “make up” for the lost pregnancy, with 18 percent succeeding within one year of the abortion. Unfortunately, many women who succeed at obtaining their “wanted” replacement pregnancies discover that the same problems which pressured them into having their first abortion still exist, and so they end up feeling “forced” into yet another abortion.
In a study of teenage abortion patients, half suffered a worsening of psychosocial functioning within 7 months after the abortion. The immediate impact appeared to be greatest on the patients who were under 17 years of age and for those with previous psychosocial problems. Symptoms included: self-reproach, depression, social regression, withdrawal, obsession with need to become pregnant again, and hasty marriages.
The best available data indicates that on average there is a five to ten year period of denial during which a woman who was traumatized by her abortion will repress her feelings. During this time, the woman may go to great lengths to avoid people, situations, or events which she associates with her abortion and she may even become vocally defensive of abortion in order to convince others, and herself, that she made the right choice and is satisfied with the outcome. In reality, these women who are subsequently identified as having been severely traumatized, have failed to reach a true state of “closure” with regard to their experiences.
Repressed feelings of any sort can result in psychological and behavioral difficulties which exhibit themselves in other areas of one’s life. An increasing number of counselors are reporting 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.
Other women who would otherwise appear to have been satisfied with their abortion experience, are reported to enter into emotional crisis decades later with the onset of menopause or after their youngest child leaves home.
Numerous researchers have reported that postabortion crises are often precipitated by the anniversary date of the abortion or the unachieved “due date.” These emotional crises may appear to be inexplicable and short-lived, occurring for many years until a connection is finally established during counseling sessions.
A 5 year retrospective study in two Canadian provinces found that 25 percent of aborted women made visits to psychiatrists as compared to 3 percent of the control group.
Women who have undergone post-abortion counseling report over 100 major reactions to abortion. Among the most frequently reported are: depression, loss of self-esteem, self-destructive behavior, sleep disorders, memory loss, sexual dysfunction, chronic problems with relationships, dramatic personality changes, anxiety attacks, guilt and remorse, difficulty grieving, increased tendency toward violence, chronic crying, difficulty concentrating, flashbacks, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities and people, and difficulty bonding with later children.
Among the most worrisome of these reactions is the increase of self-destructive behavior among aborted women:
- 80 percent expressed feelings of “self-hatred”
- 49 percent reported drug abuse
- 39 percent began to use or increase their use of alcohol
- 14 percent described themselves as having become “addicted” or “alcoholic” after their abortions
- 60 percent reported suicidal ideation
- 28 percent actually attempted suicide, of which half attempted suicide two or more times.
(Source: The Aftereffects of Abortion, www.afterabortion.org/complic.html)
Women from Iowa Share Their Abortion Experiences
To understand the true horrors of abortion, you need to hear about it from women who have been through it. Here are the stories of women from Iowa who have bravely come forward with their stories. Read the Abortion Testimonies from Iowa Women here.
Post Abortion Healing Resources
If you or someone you care about is suffering from the effects of Post Abortion Syndrome, there are groups and resources to help you begin the healing process:
- Project Rachel www.hopeafterabortion.com
- Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries www.rachelsvineyard.org
- Silent No More www.silentnomoreawareness.org
- Sisters of Life www.sistersoflife.org