November 8, 2022
by Alexis Goodman
Part 3 of 3
It is naïve and optimistic to assert there are no long-term affects to abortion. All surgeries, particularly invasive ones, are capable of producing symptoms post-operation. Physical, mental, and social changes in a person’s life are warned to be a possible outcome, and to say that abortion is miraculously devoid of these changes is wishful thinking. Post-abortion trauma is simply a fact; not a pro-choice fact and not a pro-life fact, just a fact.
Any surgery can result in post-surgery depression, anxiety, stress, and guilt. For example, women who have received a mastectomy suffer depression for up to three years after. Amputees suffer from higher levels of anxiety and depression after they lose their limbs. Those recovering from cardiac surgery can experience post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, etc. Depression is a long-term affect associated with intensive care patients, those who have received coronary artery bypass, and bariatric surgery, post-operative. It is non-sensical and misleading to tell women that the only long-term symptom they will experience is relief after having an abortion.
Women post abortion suffer in three ways: physical, emotional, and social. Although it is not popular to highlight these effects, women have a right to know how their minds and bodies can be affected by choosing to terminate their pregnancy.
Emotional and Psychological Effects of Abortion
Here is a brief and easy view of the harmful psychological effects to abortion:
- A 45%-81% increase in risk of mental health
- Long-term anxiety
- Increased anxiety during later pregnancies
- Anxiety that they are incapable of caring for or harming their born children
- Post-traumatic stress and/or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Suicidal ideations and behavior
- Substance abuse
- Guilt and shame
There are a multitude of studies that are in agreeance with this list, albeit not popular. In a study done between the years of 1995-2009, with 22 studies and 877,181 participants (only 163,831 of the participants had actually had an abortion), it was found that the women who had received an abortion were at an 81% increased risk for mental health problems.
In the conclusion, the study states, “This review offers the largest quantitative estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion available in the world literature… the results revealed a moderate to highly increased risk of mental health problems after abortion.” Also, this study went on to explain the problem with studies that attempt to convey abortion as being harmless and inconsequential.
It was incredible that for substance abuse, post-abortive women would see their chances of abusing alcohol go up by 261%, for drugs it would be at 313%, and any substance abuse disorder after abortion would go up to 280%.
Physical Effects of Abortion
Here is the brief list showing the multitude of ways in which a abortion warps the body:
- Pre-term birth of subsequent children
- Low birth weight of future babies
- Placental problems in future pregnancies
- Surgical abortion causes postpartum hemmorhage
- Surgical abortion and later cervical insufficiency
- Development of uterine fibroids
- Problems with future fertility in general
- A link between abortion and breast cancer
- Increased mortality rates
The more abortions a woman has, the more her future children (that she chooses to keep) will be at risk. Studies show that women who have had 1-3 abortions will have babies with lower birthweights in the future.
Another study showed a positive association between surgical abortion and preterm delivery of future children, cervical incompetence, placental implantation or retention problems, and postpartum hemorrhage. Because of the harshness of a dilation and curettage abortion (D&C), a woman’s cervix will likely never be the same again, as it involves the scraping of very fine tissue, often resulting in perforations.
Social Effects of Abortion
Here is a list showing the numerous ways a woman can be affected socially:
- Trouble to form and maintain healthy relationships
- Romantic relationships are affected
- Aloof or negligent toward born children
- Resentment towards parents who pushed for the abortion
Relationships can be destroyed over the violence of an abortion. In a study with 1,564 men and women, relationships where an abortion was experienced would be a tell-tale sign for an increase of contention in the relationship by 116% for women and 196% for men. In addition, women would go on to experience 122-182% of some form of sexual dysfunction. These are just two ways among several others that the study found a relationship would be changed by abortion.
Abortion is no simple thing
To say that an experience with abortion ends when the woman walks out of the clinics doors is to lie straight to her face. Abortion is an ongoing event that can affect women for the entirety of their lives. Read below a few testimonials from women who do not see their abortion as a positive effect.
“After the procedure, I remember sitting in the recovery room with a little cup of water and a couple of Oreo cookies…the amount of relief I felt was enormous. … I didn’t cry, and I didn’t feel numb. I was back to “normal.” I felt as if they had cured me of cancer or something. Looking back on this, I can honestly say that I didn’t learn a thing and that the impact of the actuality [sic] of what happened didn’t hit me. Several months later … [t]he impact finally hit me, and it hit hard. … I was numb with fear and filled with dread … The shame, anger, depression, anxiety, and resentment that clouded my life after those days completely consumed me.”
“I was told abortion was “quick [and] safe,” and that I could go on with my life. I was never told about the development of my baby or the risks of abortion … I was told there would be a “tugging,” like strong menstrual cramps. What I felt was intense pain and as though not only my baby but also my soul was being suctioned out … My heart and my life changed that day. I began to stuff the pain of abortion. My own worth and value began to diminish.
Within a year, I … went into a deep depression using drugs and alcohol to bury the pain of the abortion. I left college and began a destructive lifestyle of promiscuity, drugs, alcohol, bulimia, thoughts of suicide, and continued abortions…
One year after [my] marriage, I miscarried, due to the scarring in my uterus as a result of my abortions. In subsequent pregnancies, my obstetrician told me I was at risk and would have to remain in bed for my health and the health of my children. As a child, my son told me, “Mom, I feel like there was someone before me…”
“After 46 years it is still a vivid memory, lying on a cold table in a heartless room. A room where my child died as well as my inner self…. I realized I had done something awful – after that I could do nothing right. I partied hard to forget, was promiscuous, used drugs and alcohol. … The self-loathing brought me to a world of darkness. A world where love was an obsolete word and hate was the name of the game. I deserved punishment and found someone to help me in this goal. My self worth had deteriorated. I gained weight, stopped wearing make-up and did not care what I wore. My husband abused me and I deserved his abuse.”