Frequently Asked Questions

What are symptoms of distress?

Possible symptoms include indicators that are physical, emotional, spiritual and/or relational.

Possible Physical Symptoms

  • Depression
  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fertility complications
  • Increase risk of miscarriage in subsequent pregnancies
  • Sleep, appetite and sexual disturbances
  • Mutilation of female organs and/or genitalia
  • Untreated severe bleeding or infection

Possible Emotional symptoms, indicative of Post-Traumatic Stress:

  • Self-destructive abuses of drugs, alcohol, food
  • Cutting, self-mutilation
  • Promiscuity
  • Neglecting health
  • Unexplained depression, crying, or rage
  • Bringing on unwanted consequences (absenteeism or incompetence resulting in job loss)
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Preoccupation with pregnancy or getting pregnant again
  • Nightmares
  • Trigger events produce an increase in symptoms. These events can include the following: Mother’s Day, a baptism, Christmas, pregnant women, menopause, the sound of a vacuum cleaner, a baby crying, the sight of doctors’ offices, bleeding, fetal pictures, the smell of cologne, food, disinfectants associated with the abortion, a touch from doctor, or intercourse.

Possible Spiritual symptoms:

  • Feeling aliened from God
  • Withdrawal from Lord’s Supper, church, pastor and church friends
  • "If the people at church knew, they would think I’m such a hypocrite"
  • Inability or reluctance to pray
  • Survival guilt "It was me or you and I chose me"
  • Inability to believe God’s forgiveness is for her; despair of God’s mercy
  • Anger at God for not stopping her pregnancy or for not stopping her from having the abortion
  • Belief that God will punish her

Possible Relational symptoms:

  • 80% of the intimate relationships leading to pregnancy end after an abortion
  • Friendships and familial relationships become more stressed due to complicity in the abortion decision or due to the shame and secrecy of having the abortion
  • Repeatedly entering and/or sustaining destructive and abusive intimate relationships
  • Inability to bond properly with current or future children