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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What may happen after an abortion?
  2. What are symptoms of distress?
  3. Who experiences distress?
  4. What is post-abortion stress?
  5. RU-486 and MAP
What may happen after an abortion?

“After an abortion, some women may exhibit a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is the result of having suffered an event so stressful and so traumatic that the person is taken beyond his or her ability to cope in a normal manner. Victims of PTSD are unable to simply resume their lives where they left off before the traumatic event. Instead, they experience a variety of reactions that do not go away merely with the passage of time.” www.inourmidst.com

After an abortion, a woman may feel initial relief since the immediate crisis is over, leading to denial that enables her to carry on with life as though nothing important has happened. This denial can last a few hours or decades. Until the denial is broken, healing never has a chance to occur, or at least not to fully occur. Many of the symptoms during this time seem to be due to other things, in the same way that other manifestations of post-traumatic stress disorder occur. Symptoms may take a long time to develop or gradually increase over time.

In other women, symptoms happen suddenly. Some women may have immediate regret and complete devastation. The woman may have gone into the abortion procedure knowing deep down that it is wrong, but she may have felt powerless to make any other choice. Often this woman will regret her decision before the procedure is even complete. She may even try to stop the procedure, only to be restrained or “comforted” by a reminder that it will all be over soon. Her guilt is overwhelming, and shame sets in to secure that the secret is kept locked away. The post-traumatic stress sets in immediately, and she is devastated.

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
  • Increased 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  

  • Self-destructive abuses of drugs, alcohol, food
  • Cutting or 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: Special days like Mother’s Day, Christmas, or a baptism; the sound of a vacuum cleaner or a baby crying; menopause or bleeding; the sight of pregnant women, fetal pictures, or a doctor’s office; the smell of cologne, food, or disinfectants associated with the abortion; a touch from a doctor; or intercourse.

Possible Spiritual Symptoms:

  • Feeling alienated from God
  • Withdrawal from Lord’s Supper, church, pastor, and church friends
  • Feeling like 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 real; despair of God’s mercy
  • Anger at God for not stopping the pregnancy or for not stopping the abortion
  • Belief that God will send punishment

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.
  • Victims repeatedly enter and/or sustain destructive and abusive intimate relationships.
  • Victims have an inability to bond properly with current or future children.
Who Experiences Distress?

There are many victims of abortion who may experience distress:

  • Mothers
  • Fathers
  • Baby’s grandparents
  • Baby’s siblings
  • Patents’ siblings
  • Friends
  • Medical personnel
  • Anyone who participates actively or passively in the decision-making for an abortion
What is PAS – Post-Abortion Stress?

After an abortion, some women may exhibit a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) called post-abortion stress. PTSD is the result of having suffered an event so stressful and so traumatic that the person is taken beyond his or her ability to cope in a normal manner, and PAS affects post-abortive women in a similar way. Victims of PAS are unable to simply resume their lives where they left off before the traumatic event. Instead, they experience a variety of reactions that do not go away merely with the passage of time.

RU-486 and MAP

Although commonly believed to be the same thing, RU-486 is not the morning after pill (MAP)

RU-486

The effects of taking RU-486 are devastating for many women.

The Morning after Pill (MAP)

If you’re not sure what it is and how it works, click on this great resource: www.optionline.org/map.