Experiencing Post-Abortion Syndrome

Recently a young woman came to see us who was pregnant and very conflicted about what to do. As she talked it became apparent that she was trying to choose between parenting and abortion. On the one hand she shared that she and her sister were due only three days apart. But then she indicated that she wasn’t sure she was able to handle a pregnancy. As I listened to her, I thought, “If she decides to abort, she will probably be reminded of this baby every single time she looks at the nephew or niece who would be the same age.”

Post-abortion syndrome is very real. According to Ramah International (http://ramahinternational.org/post-abortion-syndrome.html) Post-Abortion Syndrome is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. Making an abortion choice, experiencing the procedure, and living with grief, pain and regret is a traumatic experience. Symptoms may include guilt; anxiety attacks; avoiding children or pregnant women (especially children the around the age of the aborted child); feeling numb; depression; thoughts of suicide; anniversary reminders; experiencing the abortion again; wanting to get pregnant again; fear of infertility; inability to bond with present or future children; fear that future children will die; eating disorders; and drug and alcohol use. These symptoms may not appear at the same time nor is it likely that someone will experience the entire list. Some may occur right after the abortion while others much later. If you are experiencing two or more of these symptoms, you could be experiencing post-abortion syndrome.

Help is available. At Your First Look we have counselors available (including women who have experienced an abortion) who can talk to you. Give us a call at 419-720-3338. Helpful websites are also available. They include www.ramahinternational.org, www.hopeafterabortion.com, and www.silentnomoreawareness.org.

Your First Look Women’s Center provides free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds to confirm viability, and information on all your options—abortion, adoption, and parenting. We do not provide or refer for abortion services. All services are free and confidential.