Want to see a true war on women? Post a comment anywhere on social media that says that women who have had an abortion are wounded victims and then step back to watch. The left will scream and rant that women who have abortions are just fine and saying otherwise is a big lie perpetrated by the right to outlaw “what I can do with my body.” The right will rant that women who have abortions should suffer from disgrace and shame forever as they burn in hell. Both are disgusting, harmful and wrong. I don’t condone any reason for abortion, but why should women who survive it be stuck between a rock and hard place while trying to cope?
A recent news piece caught my eye and broke my heart. Charlotte Dawson, Australian actress, model and former wife of Olympic swimmer Scott Miller, committed suicide after a long battle with depression. The depression was caused by an abortion she had at Miller’s behest so there was no interference with his preparations for the 2000 Olympics. While the Australian and New Zealand press openly attributed the depression to the abortion, over here in the US, it wasn’t even mentioned. As I said above, pro-aborts here are downright hostile to any mention of after effects on the psyche of a woman.
Numerous studies have been done that show that women who have had one or more abortions are much more likely to suffer from depression, PTSD, Post Abortive Stress Syndrome (PASS), and have higher rates of substance abuse, self-harming, anxiety disorders and suicide. The American Psychological Association Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion released a report in 2008 that found that “25% of women who had abortions made visits to psychiatrists as compared to 3% of the control group. Women who have had abortions are significantly more likely than others to subsequently require admission to a psychiatric hospital. At especially high risk are teenagers, separated or divorced women, and women with a history of more than one abortion.”
Researchers in Finland found that 60% of women experience post-abortion suicidal ideation and 28% actually attempt suicide. Women who have never been pregnant had a suicide rate of 11%. Over twenty studies have linked abortion to increased rates of drug and alcohol use. Many others have found that there is an increased risk for all of the above and many more.
Then there is the flip side to that coin: Vociferous pro-lifers who are incredibly ugly to post-abortive women. I have seen the nastiest comments: everything from they are doomed to Hell, to their shame can never be forgiven, or that any infertility or complications/death in later pregnancies are “deserved” and worse. Pro-aborts who deny physical or mental consequences do so to remain able to continue to support a procedure that harms women. I get that. What I don’t understand is the total lack of compassion from people who say they value life.
Do you know why she had the abortion? Do you know if she was “forced,” pressured or coerced by family or the father? Was she ill and needed it therapeutically? Was she part of the 2% of women who had an abortion because she got pregnant from rape or incest? I’m not, nor would I ever condone abortion. That child doesn’t deserve a death sentence for merely being conceived. But doesn’t that lone survivor need our compassion and caring?
No one knows where that woman may be in her journey towards forgiveness. We all know that God forgives as soon as we ask Him. Satan uses guilt as a weapon to keep us from asking, or continuing to deny ourselves to feel the relief of God’s forgiveness from any sin. He creates distance between that woman and God with guilt and uses the condemnation of other people to enforce it. Even women who appear the strongest may be holding on by a mere thread to their sanity, life and soul. Do you really think your harsh words are helping her?
Many women, especially if they were young when they had their abortion, have no idea of the gravity of their actions. Many are in denial, a lot of times just to cope with what happened. For others, they may be ok until later when they finally do become a mother. Can any woman who has never had a child (or adopted one) really understand the gravity of the act of abortion? Many of those psychological issues start after motherhood.
Be compassionate to those who have survived abortion. For women who are suffering there are resources as well. One place to look is Rachel’s Vineyard. It is a Catholic ministry, but it is open to all women, regardless of their faith. They provide counseling, retreats and much needed support. Support your local crisis pregnancy centers. Conservatives are constantly accused of only caring about life before birth and abandoning women and children afterward. CPC’s prove them wrong – they provide food, clothing, medical care and supplies to women and children usually for up to three years. More importantly, they provide options other than abortion, and do all of it completely on donations, not taxpayer money! Work to fund them, not shut them down.
If you can’t find it in your heart to forgive post-abortive women, then do everyone a favor and keep your comments to yourself. If you utterly deny any psychological or physical damage to post-abortive women, please also keep your comments to yourself. No matter which side you fall, you are waging a true war on women.
Image: Courtesy of: http://ttoes.wordpress.com/2010/03/