Post Abortive Syndrome

Category: Education

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By: nicole9743 (135 month(s) ago)

You, RevJim, have obviously never known anyone who has had an abortion or been through the experience yourself. I have had two abortions and never thought I was suffering from any syndrome, but after researching and really just an intensive 8 weeks of being brutally honest with and about myself and I can see the affects the abortion has left on my life. The results are devastating, not only for the life that was taken away, but for the women and others who are left here. There IS life in the womb and if you truly want to see unbiased information, please view or

By: RevJim (137 month(s) ago)

There is no diagnosable illness called Post Abortion Syndrome; it is a term made up by the anti-choice movement and right wing people. This presentation is a piece of propaganda from the viewpoint of those who support forced pregnancy. It purports to be "objective" but it's really just a highly partisan, non-scientific set of bullet points for people who already believe what it says. There are far better, scientific resources on this question at abortion-report.pdf

Presentation Transcript

Post-Abortion: After Effects, and How You Can Help: 

Post-Abortion: After Effects, and How You Can Help November 1, 2006

Unbiased Information?: 

Unbiased Information? It’s hard to find any information on this topic that does not come from a group with its own agenda There are no impartial and empirical studies that I could find rumors of! So… let’s look at what Planned Parenthood has to say Remember: the numbers here are estimated higher by some pro-life organizations and lower by pro-choice organizations

Planned Parenthood Says…: 

Planned Parenthood Says… Medication Abortion Possible risks include: -incomplete abortion — the embryo and other products of conception are not entirely expelled from the uterus -allergic reaction -infection -very heavy bleeding -undetected ectopic pregnancy, which can be fatal if left untreated In extremely rare cases death is possible from very serious complications: the risk of death from medication abortion (about one out of 100,000) is about the same as it is from miscarriage it is higher than the risk from early vacuum aspiration abortion (about one out of one million) lower than it is from carrying a pregnancy to term (about 10 out of 100,000)

Planned Parenthood Says…: 

Planned Parenthood Says… Vacuum Aspiration and D&E The risks associated with vacuum aspiration and D&E increase the longer you are pregnant and if sedation or general anesthesia is used. Possible risks include: -incomplete abortion — the embryo or fetus and other products of conception are not entirely removed from the uterus -allergic reaction -infection -very heavy bleeding -undetected ectopic pregnancy, which can be fatal if left untreated -blood clots in the uterus -injury to the cervix -organ injury in extremely rare cases death is possible from very serious complications. The risk of death from abortion increases the longer a woman has been pregnant.

Some Numbers on Complications:: 

Some Numbers on Complications: Immediate: 10% suffer immediate complications Early term: 1 out of 100 Late term: 1 out of 50 Medical Abortions: 1 out 100 women require a follow-up procedure (FDA) 2-3% of women may suffer perforation of the uterus Cervical lacerations – 12.5% of women require stitches, and minor cuts can cause later complications

More Numbers on Complications: 

More Numbers on Complications Threats to Later Pregnancies 3-5% of women are rendered sterile Increased risk of ectopic pregnancy May be up to a 35% increased chance of miscarriage Placenta previa in later pregnancies (a life threatening condition for both the mother and her pregnancy) increased by a factor of 7 to 15 Risk of labor problems in later pregnancies doubles (2 times as high!)

In a study of women only 8 weeks after their abortion...: 

In a study of women only 8 weeks after their abortion... 44% complained of nervous disorders 36% had experienced sleep disturbances 31% had regrets about their decision 11% had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their doctor But often it takes years for the mental scars of abortion to surface in everyday life...

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder A minimum of 19% of women who have had abortions within the past 3-5 years suffer from diagnosable post-traumatic stress disorder *This percentage is actually probably much higher. This specific study, conducted by Barnard, suffered the same fate of the majority of post-abortive studies with a 50% drop-out rate* “TSD is a psychological dysfunction which results from a traumatic experience which overwhelms a person's normal defense mechanisms resulting in intense fear, feelings of helplessness or being trapped, or loss of control.” Characterized by: “Fight or Flight” (always wary of danger) Intrusion (re-experiencing the traumatic event unexpectedly, such as on the anniversary of the abortion) Constriction (the numbing of emotions, withdrawing from society, avoidance behavior)

Suicidal Thoughts/Suicide: 

Suicidal Thoughts/Suicide 60% of women who experience PAS think about suicide and 28% attempt to take their own lives A recent study in Finland found: The suicide rate within one year for a woman who had an abortion was 3 times higher than it was for all women, 7 times higher than it was for pregnant women who carried their babies to term, and twice as high for women who suffered from a miscarriage

Post-Abortive Syndrome: 

Post-Abortive Syndrome Women may experience abortion as traumatic because they may have been forced into it, or have gotten pregnant from an abusive situation or rape. Often women describe the experience of abortion, which they feel to be the invasion of their body by a stranger to feel the same violation they would have felt with rape. Regardless of the reasons they are compelled to abort, women are often overwhelmed by guilt and anxiety and view the termination of their pregnancy as the violent destruction of their child. Not surprisingly, victims of sexual assault have an even more traumatic time in most cases dealing with the violence of the attack and then the abortion. After becoming aware of the psychological consequences women can have from an abortion, doctors have named this condition “Post-Abortive Syndrome”

Other Damaging Behavior Found in Post-Abortive Women:: 

Other Damaging Behavior Found in Post-Abortive Women: Increased smoking Sexual Dysfunction 30-50% of women experience sexual problems, most prominently either a complete aversion from men, or throwing themselves into a lifestyle of promiscuity Alcohol abuse -Two-fold increase in alcohol abuse for post abortive women Drug Abuse Eating disorders Child Neglect/Abuse depression, violent behavior, alcohol and drug abuse, replacement pregnancies, and reduced maternal bonding with children born subsequently Divorce and Chronic Relationship Problems Repeat Abortions -post abortive women 4 times as likely to abort future children

Abortion’s effects on Men: 

Abortion’s effects on Men


Feelings of grief and helplessness Feelings of guilt and shame Depression Sexual dysfunction Substance abuse Self-hatred Self-esteem and confidence problems Fear of relationships Increased risk taking and suicidal behavior Greater tendencies to becoming angry or violent A sense of lost manhood


Talking about abortion is a great taboo for men - Typical male grief is silent grief, which can turn into aggression and/or violence The attitude of the male partner is an important factor in how a woman might adjust after the abortion - Some studies found support from the partner to be an important predictor of good adjustment afterwards, but more recently, research findings indicate that his accompanying her to the abortion is often a predictor of greater post-abortion depression.

The Male Psyche: 

The Male Psyche Men instinctively look to protect, procreate, and provide; abortion denies the father each of these biologically inborn roles The most consistent response to this loss of identity is anger

Anger can lead to…: 

Anger can lead to… The use of alcohol and drugs to dull the pain Becoming a workaholic in an attempt to regain lost feelings of success Violence, both in a self-destructive manner and toward the woman involved

Coping – For men: 

Coping – For men Counseling one-on-one between two post-abortive men has shown to be effective Bible studies and other church groups are often tailored toward men and the specific issues they are dealing with. There is hope for men too!

Project Rachel: 

Project Rachel -Post-abortive ministry of the Catholic Church -Offers post-abortive counseling nationwide - Generally multiple branches in every state -Support branches in Post-Abortion Ministry, Post-Abortion Counseling, Catholic Charities, etc. -Trained counselors and priests coach women through coping with the loss experienced through an abortion

Project Rachel: Case Studies: 

Project Rachel: Case Studies Create awareness “You are not alone” Jubilee Program/ Ad campaign Stories on site/in brochures “Mary, thirty years old and pregnant, had a chronic physical illness and strongly wanted an abortion. After the abortion she experienced guilt and self-hatred and called it ‘the least desirable solution.’” “These cases are taken from psychiatrists’ casebooks and crisis intervention hotline logs. The names are fictitious: the problems are real.”

Project Rachel Resources: 

Project Rachel Resources Details signs of post-abortive trauma Depression symptoms, etc. Book suggestions Hotlines- for Suicidal feelings, etc. Prayers How to Talk to a Friend


90 teams Offer weekend retreats in the U.S., Canada, Portugal, New Zealand and Australia Seek to examine an abortion experience and allow for healing Not just for the post-abortive woman herself, but also for family and friends Those who were involved in the abortion industry have also attended retreats


Retreats 12-15 people- Group is used as part of a way to deal with a trauma Unearth natural grief that is often turned into the numbness the world encourages, to avoid facing the truth Safe, loving, nonjudgmental environment Memorial service for lost child Mothers can read writings, present artwork

Rachel’s Vineyard: How and Where: 

Rachel’s Vineyard: How and Where Non-profit 501 C(3), funded by private grants, individual donations and assistance from Priests for Life Retreats are hosted by: Church-based ministries Counseling outreach programs Project Rachel offices Respect Life groups Crisis pregnancy care centers Catholic and interdenom. locations

Dr. Theresa Burke, Phd.: 

Dr. Theresa Burke, Phd. Brains behind the operation  Wrote the book Rachel's Vineyard: A Psychological and Spiritual Journey for Post Abortion Healing Model for the retreats, support groups, etc. Used by mental health professionals, post abortion ministries, crisis pregnancy centers, pastoral care and faith based outreach programs.

Beyond Retreats: 

Beyond Retreats 13-week support group model Oaktrees E-letter for alumni of the program Another resource for a grieving woman: The Elliot Institute at


National Silent No More Awareness Campaign Mission: To make aware the emotional and physical harm abortion brings to women, men, and families. “To make abortion unthinkable and to persuade society that women deserve better than abortion.” How they do this: >speaking events where women who regret their abortion share their stories. >reach out to women who are hurting because of abortion. >work through pregnancy resource centers and post-abortive support groups. Silent No More believes that since women are led to believe that abortion is the rational choice, they are not prepared for the negative feelings they experience afterward. “Their voices have been locked in silence due to pain, shame, denial and fear of judgment.”


How it all started: Georgette Forney, Pres. of NOEL, and Janet Morena, Assoc. Dir. of Priests for Life, co-founded Silent No More when, because of their personal experience with abortion and working with post-abortive women, they felt someone needed to let the public know that women do regret their abortion and that NOW and NARAL are not the sole voice of women. The Butterfly Logo: A caterpillar’s growth from cocoon to butterfly represents the change a women goes through when she experiences hope, healing, and God’s love and forgiveness after abortion. “This campaign creates a safe place for women to break their silence about the pain of abortion. It is an honor to speak the truth and let others know they’re not alone.” – Jennifer O’Neill, Silent No More’s celebrity spokesperson

But what can YOU do if you have a friend in need? : 

But what can YOU do if you have a friend in need? The problem with abortion is women can’t grieve to anyone. Affirm the Pain feel sorry for them, be empathetic, put yourself in their shoes move past the fact that someone would commit the crime of abortion she knows that it’s not ok; that’s why she wants to talk to you don’t just say, “Move on, it’s ok,” because she’s not ok


Help her get Activity Get her to go out with friends Have her go on walks with you Help her get her Feelings out Suggest she start a journal Suggest she write a letter to the father, the abortionist, her parents, whoever, that she doesn’t mail Find out what specifically is troubling her. Women often lose their dignity – reaffirm this for her. Watch for suicide She’s at a higher risk of suicide for the first year. Ask Concerned Questions Are you eating? Sleeping? Treat it like a death in the family.

Remember the Physical Side: 

Remember the Physical Side Make sure she takes all her antibiotics Her hormone level is probably wacky Abortion is an invasive procedure and her body is going to be off for a bit – remind her of that Remember the Father!! Reach out to him too.

La Biblioteque: 

La Biblioteque 1. Aborted Women: Silent No More, David Reardon, Loyola University Press, Chicago, 1987 2. A Study of Abortion in Primitive Societies, George Devereux, The Julian Press, New York, 1955, 3. The Effects of Abortion on Marriage and Other Committed Relationships, Teri Reisser, Association for Interdisciplinary Research in Values and Social Change, 6(4):1-8, 1994 4. Restoring Fatherhood Lost, Warren Williams, Post Abortion Review, Vol 4, No.4, Fall 1996 5. Expectant Fathers, Sam Bittman & Sue Rosenberg Zalk, New York:Ballantine Books, 1978, 1980 6. Sixty Battered Women, Elaine Hilberman, Victimology 2:460, 1977-78 7. Husbands of Abortions Applicants: A Comparison With Husbands of Women Who Complete Their Pregnancies, F Lieh-Mak, Social Psychiatry, 14:59, 1979 8. Men and Abortion, Losses and Love, Shostak, Arthur, Praeger 1984 9. Men and Abortion - A Path to Healing by C.T. Coyle, Ph.D. Life Cycle Books, Canada 1999 10. Portraits of Post-Abortive Fathers, Devastated by the Abortion Experience, Strahan, Thomas, Assoc. for Interdisciplinary Research in Values and Social Change, 7(3), Nov/Dec 1994 11. The Effects of Abortion on Men, Rue, Vincent, Ethics and Medics 21(4):3-4, 1996 12. Psychosocial and Emotional Consequences of Elective Abortion: A Literature Review, in Paul Sachdev, ed., Abortion: Readings and Research, Toronto: Butterworth, 1981, p65-75 13. The Abortion Choice: Psychological Determinants and Consequences, God, et al., 1984, 14. Identifying High Risk Abortion Patients, Post Abortion Review Vol 1, No 3, 1993 15. Rachel’s Vineyard at 16. Catherine Barnard, The Long-Term Psychological Effects of Abortion, Portsmouth, N.H.: Institute for Pregnancy Loss, 1990,

More References: 

More References 17. 18. 19. 20.

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