Frequently Asked Questions

Who Does Abortion Affect?

Abortion touches everyone. It is a polarizing issue whose legal and moral implications are debated endlessly both in public media and private conversation. But what happens after an abortion, to the mother and father whose lives have been altered by the decision and procedure? Over the last forty years, more than 55 million abortions have been performed in the United States and over 1.7 billion worldwide. Research studies have shown that abortion functions as a stress which places men and women at higher risk for developing a range of mental health problems, such as depression, loss of self-esteem, self-destructive behavior, self-hatred, drug and alcohol abuse, 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. Yet the effects of abortion on individuals after an abortion are virtually never discussed.

Why Is This Awareness Necessary?

1 out of every 3 women you encounter every day, at church or at work, has had an abortion. 80% who have abortions exhibit a range of symptoms of Post Abortion Stress, with 20% exhibiting life-altering symptoms, impacting lives and relationships.

How Does Abortion Affect the Individual?

Every woman who subjects herself to an induced abortion increases her risk of surgical and medical complications of abortion-uterine rupture, sepsis, infertility, and increased incidence of cancer. Furthermore, her chances of suffering from what is referred to as “post-abortion stress,” a term first used in 1981, is greatly increased. In that year, a group of researchers released a peer-reviewed study indicating that abortion functions as a stressor which places men and women at higher risk for developing a range of mental health problems, such as depression, loss of self-esteem, self-destructive behavior, self-hatred, drug and alcohol abuse, 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. This research indicated that approximately 80% of the post-abortive will experience some of these symptoms, while 20% will experience life-altering symptoms (some even resulting in death). It is also not uncommon for emotions to be suppressed in a way that keeps symptoms dormant until later in life.

Why Is There Silence Surrounding a Past Abortion?

Due to the societal stigma of abortion (in spite of its legality), the post-abortive normally hide their secret of abortion and deny and suppress their grief. Yet part of recovering from a loss of any kind includes a normal grieving process – one that helps relieve sorrow. After an abortion, however, men and women often attempt to ignore their grief by turning their emotions off. Therefore, abortion commonly creates a situation of disenfranchised grief, which is not openly acknowledged, socially validated, or publicly observed. Although the grief may be intense for the mother, she is not accorded the “right to grieve” by anyone around her. Instead, she is told by society that there is nothing to grieve about because she did nothing wrong and no one was harmed.

But I’m Not Affected, Am I?

Yes, you are. Children who are aware of an abortion in the family are at high risk for pathological grief which often brings with it severe and long-lasting negative consequences for their partners, thier children, and the whole of society. Such children may have difficulty bonding with a new baby, or, conversely, become overprotective and inappropriately attached to the next child who bears the burden of replacing the aborted baby. These children are often referred to child psychiatrists because of separation anxiety, among other things. Depression and anger left unaddressed and untreated have far-reaching implications for us all. Resulting effects of disenfranchised grief include depression, anger, medicating the “pain” with drugs or alcohol, becoming dependent on people, and eating disorders. Until recovery from the trapped emotions can be achieved, lives, and each relationship, can be disrupted.