Physiological And Psychological Effects Of Abortion On Women

1888 words - 8 pages

Physiological and Psychological Effects of Abortion on Women

1.0 Introduction   There are many arguments surrounding the abortion debate. An issue dealing with abortion that has not been explored very thoroughly is the issue of Post-Abortion-Syndrome. This paper will examine the psychological and physiological effects of abortion, on the women who had them, later in life. This paper dealing with abortion will not explore either side of the abortion debate because to do so would introduce biases.

This paper will examine physical complications and problems resulting from abortions. This paper will also examine this mystery of Post Abortion Syndrome and outline the symptoms, causes, criteria and treatments, for the disorder itself. In a recent study in Buffalo more than 400 women were poled two years after they had an abortion, and it was found that only seven out of ten were glad for their decision, 12% were unsure, and 19% regretted it. (Western Report 1998, 29) In the past there has been debate as to the mere existence of Post-Abortion-Stress disorder, this paper will dispel that confusion.

2.0 Review of Literature

2.1 psychological Effects of Abortion

It has been discovered that there are many emotional aspects that can effect the psychological well being of women who undergo an abortion. These emotions include guilty feelings, anxiety, depression, loss, anger, and even suicide. Clinical research has found that when women are in trusting, sharing relationships, they report deep seated feelings of exploitation over their abortion experience. (Alliance Action Inc 1993, 1) A woman reports, "I was unprepared for the maze of emotions that hit me after I had the procedure. Instead of feeling relieved, I was awash in anxiety and confusion." (Hutchison 1997, 23).

2.1.1 Symptoms of Post-Abortion-Syndrome Disorder

There is a large spectrum of symptoms of this disorder. In order to diagnose that a woman has Post-Abortion-Syndrome she must be completely honest with herself, and with the feelings that she has. Many women report strong feelings of guilt and confusion, as well as loss and many other emotions. In Canadian study by Dr. Ian Kent, many women feel deep loss and pain for the child that "should have been". (Kent 1989, 6) One woman reports the wave and confusion she went through, " I felt an incredible sense of loss that plunged me deeper into a state of confusion." (Hutchison 1997, 23) There are extreme cases, in which the diagnosis is very easy. Such cases include a seventeen-year-old girl who developed lethargy, malaise, and vomiting. Doctors were unable to reach any conclusion about condition, then on the anniversary of her abortion she experienced overt psychosis. Mental examination revealed hallucinations, as well as psychotic thought processes. Guilt is probably the most common symptom of a Post-Abortion-Syndrome, which can lead to depression, complexes, or fear of infertility and of sex. (Alliance...

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