26 January 2007

Abortion: One dead, one wounded (part 3)

The last part of the article "A List of Major Psychological Sequelae of Abortion", from the Elliot Institute, available at their website afterabotion.org

SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION: Thirty to fifty percent of aborted women report experiencing sexual dysfunctions, of both short and long duration, beginning immediately after their abortions. These problems may include one or more of the following: loss of pleasure from intercourse, increased pain, an aversion to sex and/or males in general, or the development of a promiscuous life-style. (12)

SUICIDAL IDEATION AND SUICIDE ATTEMPTS: Approximately 60 percent of women who experience post-abortion sequelae report suicidal ideation, with 28 percent actually attempting suicide, of which half attempted suicide two or more times. Researchers in Finland have identified a strong statistical association between abortion and suicide in a records based study. The identified 73 suicides associated within one year to a pregnancy ending either naturally or by induced abortion. The mean annual suicide rate for all women was 11.3 per 100,000. Suicide rate associated with birth was significantly lower (5.9). Rates for pregnancy loss were significantly higher. For miscarriage the rate was 18.1 per 100,000 and for abortion 34.7 per 100,000. The suicide rate within one year after an abortion was three times higher than for all women, seven times higher than for women carrying to term, and nearly twice as high as for women who suffered a miscarriage. Suicide attempts appear to be especially prevalent among post-abortion teenagers.(13)

INCREASED SMOKING WITH CORRESPONDENT NEGATIVE HEALTH EFFECTS: Post-abortion stress is linked with increased cigarette smoking. Women who abort are twice as likely to become heavy smokers and suffer the corresponding health risks. (14)
Post-abortion women are also more likely to continue smoking during subsequent wanted pregnancies with increased risk of neonatal death or congenital anomalies. (15)


ALCOHOL ABUSE: Abortion is significantly linked with a two fold increased risk of alcohol abuse among women. (16) Abortion followed by alcohol abuse is linked to violent behavior, divorce or separation, auto accidents, and job loss. (17) (see also New Study Confirms Link Between Abortion and Substance Abuse)

DRUG ABUSE: Abortion is significantly linked to subsequent drug abuse. In addition to the psycho-social costs of such abuse, drug abuse is linked with increased exposure to HIV/AIDS infections, congenital malformations, and assaultive behavior. (18)

EATING DISORDERS: For at least some women, post-abortion stress is associated with eating disorders such as binge eating, bulimia, and anorexia nervosa. (19)

CHILD NEGLECT OR ABUSE: Abortion is linked with increased depression, violent behavior, alcohol and drug abuse, replacement pregnancies, and reduced maternal bonding with children born subsequently. These factors are closely associated with child abuse and would appear to confirm individual clinical assessments linking post-abortion trauma with subsequent child abuse. (20)


DIVORCE AND CHRONIC RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS: For most couples, an abortion causes unforeseen problems in their relationship. Post-abortion couples are more likely to divorce or separate. Many post-abortion women develop a greater difficulty forming lasting bonds with a male partner. This may be due to abortion related reactions such as lowered self-esteem, greater distrust of males, sexual dysfunction, substance abuse, and increased levels of depression, anxiety, and volatile anger. Women who have more than one abortion (representing about 45% of all abortions) are more likely to require public assistance, in part because they are also more likely to become single parents. (21)

REPEAT ABORTIONS: Women who have one abortion are at increased risk of having additional abortions in the future. Women with a prior abortion experience are four times more likely to abort a current pregnancy than those with no prior abortion history. (22)
This increased risk is associated with the prior abortion due to lowered self esteem, a conscious or unconscious desire for a replacement pregnancy, and increased sexual activity post-abortion. Subsequent abortions may occur because of conflicted desires to become pregnant and have a child and continued pressures to abort, such as abandonment by the new male partner. Aspects of self-punishment through repeated abortions are also reported. (23)
Approximately 45% of all abortions are now repeat abortions. The risk of falling into a repeat abortion pattern should be discussed with a patient considering her first abortion. Furthermore, since women who have more than one abortion are at a significantly increased risk of suffering physical and psychological sequelae, these heightened risks should be thoroughly discussed with women seeking abortions.

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