What are the psychological risks of abortion?
Over the years, many studies have shown some degree of post-abortion trauma or negative effects. Some studies have demonstrated that these effects extend even to men involved in abortions as well as siblings of the aborted fetus.
Post-abortion stress is the inability to process the stress and emotions accompanying one's abortion decision and experience. This may be an immediate or delayed reaction that can surface anytime in a person's life. When it does resurface, it can be confusing, painful and overwhelming.
Women who felt pressured into having an abortion, or uncertain or uninformed about their alternatives, may be at risk for developing post-abortion stress, as exhibited in the following symptoms:
- Reliving or frequently thinking about the abortion
- Feeling guilt, regret
- Experiencing anxiety or tension
- Emotionally numb
- Experiencing sleeplessness, nightmares or flashbacks
- Fearful of others finding out about my abortion
- Unable to forgive themselves or others involved in the abortion
- Avoiding intimate relationships
- Preoccupied with becoming pregnant again
- Developing eating disorders or a dependence on drugs or alcohol
- Angry at those responsible for my pregnancy or abortion
- Anxious over fertility and childbearing issues
- Especially sad on the anniversary of the baby's due date or date of the abortion
- Engaging in unhealthy relationships
- Having difficulty bonding with children
- Experiencing intense grief or sadness
- Fearful of God's punishment
- Having suicidal thoughts or impulse
Planned Parenthood believes that most women feel relieved after an abortion, and that "Serious, long-term emotional problems after abortion are extremely rare and less common than they are after childbirth."
No doubt, it is an extremely under-researched issue. Abortion activists do not put their energies and dollars into research that would undermine their position. On the other side, extreme "Pro Life" activists might use this information to intimidate or scare a young woman into making a certain decision.
We simply want to give you the facts so you can make the best choice for you. If you need further consultation, please call us for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL visit with one of our trained staff. We don't perform abortions...we are simply here to help you make sense of all the choices available to you.
If you would like more information on Surrendering the Secret, our post-abortion program, then please click here.