Healing from Post-Abortion Syndrome
by James E. Phelan
ver a million abortions are performed each year in the United States. Without much publicity however, abortion-on-demand leaves countless women traumatized by the experience; left to silently struggle with its spiritual, physical and psychological after-effects.
Clergy, medical, and mental health professionals are seeing women in immense pain and conflict following an abortion—a phenomenon referred to as Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS). In fact, this phenomenon is now considered by many scientists to mimic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This includes symptoms such as nightmares, physical and mental pain, guilt, depression, anxiety and other pathologies.
When a woman inquires about an abortion, she is often afraid, alone, indecisive, young and immature.
Women often report they were told that “abortion is a safe, minor procedure.” But evidence from their own testimonies, coupled with scientific data, shows that it is not always a safe procedure. Rather, abortion is a major surgical procedure which often accompanies complications.
Furthermore, research indicates that approximately 70 percent of women who have had an abortion have had some religious affiliation. Therefore, many women make the abortion choice against their religious conviction only to experience pain and regret afterward.
Many women make the abortion
choice against their religious
conviction only to experience
pain and regret afterward.
Some obsess about the death of their unborn baby. Others find it hard to stay in a relationship after having endured an abortion, and they end up in divorce or separation. Others try to cope with their pain by having another child. Studies have shown that a large percentage of women who abort do become pregnant again, in some cases, soon afterward. Conversely, in other cases, it becomes difficult to bear children, and some women become infertile as a result.
A woman who has had an abortion and then bears other children can become anxiously bonded and overprotective. Conversely, others may have an inability to bond. Some may go as far as to reject or abuse the child because he/she cannot substitute for the aborted child. Still others become neutral or numb to the new child. Sadly, many of these women discover that after giving birth to a live child, they still feel unhappy.
Reconciliation and healing
Every type of pregnancy loss needs healing. Clergy and other ecclesiastical workers can be properly trained to assist women with pregnancy loss and even to start local ministries to meet their needs.
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