When facing an unplanned pregnancy, many women feel overwhelmed by the pressure of their circumstances or lack of support. There are so many questions and the best choice for their future can be unclear.
Many women feel that the best or easiest alternative is to terminate the pregnancy through abortion, and sometimes are made to feel that this is the only realistic option available for them.
Research now reveals that there is a real risk of psychological, emotional and physical side effects that can be suffered by women who undergo an abortion, especially if it was carried out against the woman’s own values and instincts or under pressure from their partner or family.
Approximately 95% of all abortions are undertaken for ‘psychosocial’ (psychological and social) reasons, which generally means a lack of resources to continue a pregnancy, whether these are practical, economic, relational or supportive.
When this is combined with gentle or strong coercion by other people, and by a health system that offers abortion as the main solution for these social inequities, coercion can be subtle but significant.
One of the most powerful coercions for a woman is obscurely hidden in this common, yet seemingly respectful response from a partner; ‘I respect that this is your body and your choice, but I don’t want to be a father’
Or even more common; ‘You’re going to have a termination aren’t you?’
Coercion also exists in the absence of vital information and support.
The fact that women are citing coercion as a factor in terminations they have undertaken is a sign that effective screening and informed consent for pregnancy termination in our system is lacking.
That is why Genesis strongly recommends counselling prior to a termination procedure.
MEDICAL ABORTION PILLS (MS-2 Step) ARE NOT EASIER AND SAFER
Medical abortion pills are serious medications with high complication risks.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration stands by the Product Information for MS-2 Step which contains numerous important safety warnings.
Please see: Medical Abortions
UNEXPECTED ABORTION COSTS
The impact of an abortion, even when voluntarily chosen, can include the following:
- Initial relief that later gives way to sadness
- Depression and grief
- Emotional numbness or breakdown
- Low self esteem
- Flashbacks, dreams or nightmares
- Change in eating habits (eg, comfort eating or loss of appetite)
- Anxiety attacks, regret or guilt
- Promiscuous activity
- Relationship difficulties or difficulty with intimacy
- Miscarriages with future planned pregnancies
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Frustration and anger towards existing children
- Unexplained anger at their partner and family
- Increase in drug and alcohol use
- Suicidal thoughts or self harm
- Other mental health problems
There are now at least 24 published studies linking induced abortion to substance abuse and growing international research linking it to psychiatric illness, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, relationship problems, domestic violence and premature death in the categories of suicide, accident, homicide and natural causes.
Abortion Quantitative Synthesis and Analysis of Research Published 1995-2009, Dr Priscilla Coleman, British Journal of Psychiatry 2011
It is often overlooked that women (and men) may experience grief and loss following an abortion because it is something they have chosen to do.
Commonly, sympathy and understanding is offered after a miscarriage because of the loss of a child but it is important to recognise that abortion can have the same kind of emotional impact. Many women bury their feelings or keep the abortion a secret fearing family or friends’ possible reactions being unsupportive, insensitive, dramatic or judgemental.
The important thing to realise is that there is help available and people who will support you in a understanding and caring way. If you think you may be suffering some of the impacts from an abortion as listed above, please don’t feel alone.
CALL 1300 139 313
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