News PTSD Rates Increased by 61 Percent After Abortion

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According to a study published in the journal BMC Psychiatry, women who have experienced abortion have high levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which follow findings from earlier studies linking abortion and PTSD.

The study of 155 women in South Africa who had abortions looked at symptoms before abortion and at one month and three months after abortion. Almost one-fifth of the women had symptoms that met the criteria for PTSD, leading the authors to note that "high rates of PTSD characterize women who have undergone voluntary pregnancy termination." Further, at three months after the abortions, the number of women with PTSD had increased by 61 percent compared to before the abortion.

The researchers compared levels of pain and psychological outcomes among women who had received a local anesthetic versus those who had received IV sedation. Women who had received a local anesthetic had higher levels of pain before and during abortion and were more likely to experience PTSD symptoms, but researchers found no difference in symptoms over a longer period of time.

In other words, what the study found was that using one form of pain management over the other did not effect rates of psychological trauma experienced by women after abortion. These findings lend credence to the theory that abortion itself is the cause of trauma for women, not the amount of physical pain they experience.

This study is not the first to link abortion with increased levels of PTSD. In a 2004 study published in the Medical Science Monitor, 65 percent of American women who had undergone abortions reported symptoms of PTSD, which they attributed to their abortions, and slightly over 14 percent reported all the symptoms necessary for a clinical diagnosis of PTSD.

Other studies have linked abortion to higher rates of sleep disorders, which are often associated with PTSD, as well as higher rates of anxiety disorders, clinical depression, substance abuse, suicide, and other problems. One study found increased rates of death from cardiovascular rates among women who had abortions up to eight years earlier compared to women who gave birth, which the researchers speculated could be related to trauma symptoms.

The authors of the BMC study called for more screening to be done on women prior to abortion in order to "help identify women at risk of PTSD and provide follow-up care." However, there is no evidence that abortion alleviates any psychological symptoms in women and abortion has been in fact linked to increased mental health problems - including PTSD - after abortion.

The Elliot Institute's model legislation, the Protection from High Risk and Coerced Abortion Act, would require abortion businesses to screen women for evidence that they are being coerced or forced into unwanted abortions and for other risk factors that are likely to put them at risk for post-traumatic stress and other problems after abortion.

"The abortion industry should not be subjecting women to a procedure that is likely to increase or cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress or other mental health problems," said Elliot Institute director Dr. David Reardon, who has worked on more than a dozen studies documenting the psychological impact of abortion on women. "Furthermore, the evidence shows that many of these abortions are unwanted and the result of pressure or coercion from others. The industry should be held liable for putting women at risk and performing unwanted and dangerous abortions."

Source: Lifesite News
The industry should be held liable for putting women at risk and performing unwanted and dangerous abortions."

Source: Lifesite News

I'm sorry, but that sounds scary to me. "Lifesite News", now that wouldn't be a religious pro-life circulation, would it?

Is there really a way to tell if someone is going to "get" PTSD? I didn't think that was possible, but I'm fairly ignorant to my own illness.
Well, I have a bit of trouble with these types of studies. I must admit, however, that I am a bit biased, as I am a strong pro-choice feminist/activist. However, I did a lot of research on this as an undergrad, and I also have a background as rape crisis counselor, so my "opinion" IS backed up through data.

That being said, this is what I find troubling about the study:

1. Many of these studies are either led, funded, or otherwise supported by anti-choice groups and/or the religious right. Therefore, I wonder if there may be any bias in how the study is conducted and/or how the results are interpreted.

2. Women who choose abortion may be at a higher risk for PTSD even without the abortion. For example:
- There are many women whose pregancy is the result of rape/incest, and very often these women will not report sexual assault as the cause of the pregnancy
- There are many women who choose abortion due to incliment home situations, such as domestic abuse
-(Especially in young women), many become sexually active before they're ready due to difficulties during childhood (family issues, etc.) and these women tend to be less likely to use proper controception, and therefore are at a higher risk for pregnancy and PTSD in itself
- Many, (in fact most), women who choose abortion do so because they cannot provide what is needed for a child, financially and/or emotionally. If these women are more likely (than women who choose to bring the fetus to term) to have an unstable background, (again financially, emotionally, etc.), then it would make sence that they would also be at a higher risk for PTSD
3. These types of studies often influence both the medical community as well as women deciding on abortion. It's as if a warning is attached. However, we will never know the psychological impact of THESE women had they chosen to carry the fetus to term. Yes, we may compare them to those who decided not to abort, but these two groups of women are NOT the same and should not be treated as such.

4. Studies like this often sway policy and law, which may then make it harder for women to obtain abortion. This may then cause more cases of PTSD in the future.

5. Basically, studies such as this make it seem as though women are unable to make the choice for themselves. Believe it or not, (as Rosie the Riveter stated), "we can do it." We do not need doctors, theorists, or anyone telling us what is best for our own bodies, our own lives.

Now I uderstand that there are many women, (especially in certain countries), who are either pressured or forced to abort their fetus. I, as well as pretty much pro all-choice advocates, think this is horrible, as abortion should always be the sole CHOICE of the woman. These cases should be closely examined, and we should work to making sure all abortions ARE, indeed, the choice of the woman.

Anyway, I could stay on this topic forever, and give many more reasons why we must be VERY careful with any study linking PTSD and abortion, but I'm going to stop now.


For some reason, I can't see the smilies but I wanted to give you big applause!!

When a "study" ends on a declarative such as "the industry should be held liable", one can't help but smell a rat. This "study" is so biased I'm almost embarrassed for its authors.

Rachel (a fellow strong pro-choicer)
From the Lifesite web site: ('s writers and its founders, have come to understand that respect for life and family are endangered by an international conflict. That conflict is between radically opposed views of the worth and dignity of every human life and of family life and community. It has been caused by secularists attempting to eliminate Christian morality and natural law principles which are seen as the primary obstacles to implementing their new world order....

...The service was originally started by Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), a Canadian national pro-life organization headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Campaign Life Coalition, founded in 1978, was one of the first pro-life organizations to emphasize the international dimension of attacks on life and family. Along with a few other groups it pioneered pro-life lobbying at United Nations conferences. CLC president, Jim Hughes, is currently also vice-president of the International Right to Life Federation...

My experience of PTSD & Abortion

Hi all,

I'm new here and i'm in absolutely agony as i write on the forum tonight. I am so glad i've stumbled across a place where hopefully i can find help for what i consider PTSD in relation to my abortion i had around 5 years ago.

I suppose the reason i'm so traumatised by it is because my boyfriend threatened to kill himself if i did not have an abortion. I loved my ex boyfriend and i still care about him and know that he is a good person despite him saying that he was going to die and he couldn't be a father.

I at the time was young and naive and trusting of everyone. I noticed i suffered with some degress of anxiety problems, namely panic as i'd grown up with a mother who had a personality disorder and had experienced quite a few unusual situations in my childhood which resulted in me feeling fearful of the world.

Despite this i worked in sales and always functioned seamingly normally. I did go through a period where panic attacks caught up with me and used to find it difficult.

After finding out i was pregnant when contraception failed, my boyfriend insisted that he would die if i did not get an abortion. He was serious. He starved himself for a week. Everyone i turned too told me to abort my child, my friends, family. I was so helpless with noone to turn too.

He took me to the doctors to ask for an abortion and the doctor signed it off on the grounds of my panic. I still feel angry about this that doctors can do that. I never received any councelling. My boyfriend took me to this waiting room where i had an ultrasound. I remember feeling like everything was unreal, like it wasn't really happening to me, like i was just an observer.

It's like that scene is frozen in time and it haunts me as i remember the ultrasound of my unborn child at 6 weeks old. Some may of course debate life at this age, but to me, i had a little girl who was growing in side me and i was already so in love with her. Of course i couldn't know the sex of my baby, but i felt i knew intuatively and called her Amy.

I remember my boyfriend being so supportive, i was suppressing my emotions and the drugs my doctor put me on for panic made it so i could hardly hear the crys below the surface. Never again will i not listen to those crys, never again will i be led like i was to the horrible fate that i would endure for the rest of my life. This to me was something worse than death.

I didn't know at the time. I just knew it was all dreadfully wrong. Looking back i was a child, not an adult, not fully awake to the world. I was living in a fantasy almost of how i thought reality was. I used to think everyone was loving and caring and would do the right thing by me , as this is what i was brought up to believe. I believed others over myself. I trusted so deeply.

Sitting here tonight i can hardly breathe as i write this. It hurts me so deeply. Years have past now, either 5 or six. I can hardly bear to recall the day that i went under anesthetic to have my child aborted. The worst thing is i didn't really know what i was doing. What was a life, what was this abortion, i was totally oblivious.

Now though i'm fully awake to the horror of that day. I walked out of the place bleeding and remember how everything went back to normal quickly. My body knew though. I started avoiding supermarkets. I didn't know why but now i do. I hear the children crying down the isles, i hear them helpless and i know that i'm responsible for mutilating my own child in my womb.

I asked myself what kind of mother could do that, what else was i caperble of. To me i'd murdered my own child. I didn't come to this revalation until years afterwards. The first three years i spent in denial experiencing bodily symptoms but nothing mental except anxiety.

Now there isn't a day that goes by that i don't get triggered by something on the TV. Seeing a baby takes me into a deep despair. Overwhelming thoughts about what a bad person i am , how i murdered my child intrude and i try my hardest to overide them with other equally hurtful thoughts, as no amount of reasoning with my self can dispel the fact that to me i took my own childs life intentionally. I made that choice even if i was coerced and it breaks my heart into millions of pieces.

It's taken me so long to reach out for help and still i sit here crying tonight with noone in the world to hear me. I stumbled across a post abortion healing site, but the agony of being there is too much, people crying and writing and grieving for their lost children. 1000's of women who suffer. I looked today for books on the matter and saw around 6 books on healing after abortion. I felt so hopeless.

The one hope for me though is that i am experiencing all the symptoms of ptsd. I have done the self test in books and sites and my score is through the roof, though i dare not go to the doctors for fear of being humiliated and disbelieved. I do need a diagnosis for ptsd to heal, but it's not allowed for women to grieve about abortions and to suffer after them, everyone is so quiet, so deeply in pain. Noone can speak about this great suffering... it hurts just to part the lips on the subject let alone come forward and stand up for all the women who are experiencing this, which i know is many.

Abortion to me equated to murder and haunts me everyday. It is so traumatic and i don't know if this is ptsd, but i hope it is because i'm so tired of trying to heal something that is imaginary. I'm sat here tonight crying my eyes out and this post may mean nothing to anyone but i so appreciate being able to release some of my feelings here tonight.

I've been such a difficult person to live with lately and my relationship is suffering so badly with my extreme outburst of anger. I'm angry all the time now. Hardly a moment goes by when i'm not feeling intense anger. I can't watch television, because not just babies but anything bad triggers me, like other criminals who have done bad things, anything with a neurological link to my experience of mutilating my child in the womb, for example child abuse etc. I feel as bad as all these people, just because i aborted my child and i'm tortured every single day.

I know it's not normal, but i don't know how to make it stop. I can act as though i'm not going through this, but every now and then i crack. Any stress just intensifys the intrusive thoughts. Although without stress and being alone i feel relatively sane. Forgive me if you think i'm just crazy and not suffering ptsd here. I just wanted to share my story with you. I hope you understand.

I'm neither for or against abortion, i just know the truth, any women who makes this decision and attaches these kind of meanings to the experience is going to endure lifelong suffering based on a values set such as mine. I wouldn't even hurt a moth, let alone a child, and this is killing me inside every single day. I wish i could get help with this i really do.
I wish anyone would understand. Doctors just seem to dismiss me give me tablets for low mood, but i'm not depressed. I'm just tramatised because i let me baby be aborted and there is nothing i can do to turn back the clock. There is nothing i can do to change that decision, it's made and now i've a karmic debt to endure forever.

I don't know if anyone else has experienced this, but i'd appreciate your views on if you think ptsd is what i'm going through. Also obviously anniversary dates like this september are particularly difficult and i have felt diassociated from that part of me that hates myself for what i did. I've almost felt like i've had another personality in my head at times ( not different from my own mind- just like an internal war with myself), I feel like i'm diassociating from that part of me that hates me for murdering my child. As i believe i'm a good person, but a massive part of me affirms that i committed an act that the most inhumane people on the planet would do, not an act of a loving girl, but of someone lacking in empathy and compassion. I know this is not true, but it's difficult to find some logic to help myself based on my belief that my child was a life to me. I wish i could see things differently but i can't.

My christian friend trys to help me telling me it wasn't my fault, and god will forgive me etc, but i'm just truth based, not airy fairy fantasy based, so i believe you are responsible for your actions and that actions have a consequence to endure.

Anyways. I've gone off on a tangent. Please forgive me. This is my first post and i don't really know the moderation rules here so i hope i haven't offended anyone or caused any distress. This is my experience in relation to abortion and ptsd. I hope that i can receive some confirmation here that this is what i am suffering with.

Much Love Janey xx
Hello Ambience,
How I wish I could reach down the computer and hug you. You need to let your precious little baby rest in the arms of an angel.Sometimes it helps to have a special place to remember your baby or plant a flower. It also helps to have a "funeral" sevice or some form of dedication and reverence.
There is a good book called "giving Sorrow Words" which I found after my 2 daughters had abortions. I watch the terrible trauma they go through now and the book helped me as a grieving grandmother.
One daughter now has ovarian cancer and may never have her precious child.The other one was young and attracted to a good looking yet evil man who made girls pregnant and knotched the abortions up on his belt with pride. My daughter so desperatly wanted to keep her baby. We sought psychologists and social workers but they were no help. He held a knife to her neck and made her go through with it. I will never forget that day. Now she has PTSD and has since been raped. She has a dog which is her "child".
I do not want to depress you with our story.Just know that I am reaching out with love and care and feel so much for you.
Thankyou for being brave enough to write your story here. I am crying now as I can feel your pain.
Please take care and know that the angels hold your baby safely.
I have a special angel holding a baby for my 3 grandchildren . I find it helps.
I am crying too much now
Love and care and hugs
Thanks Tessa

I'm feeling abit teary tonight myself to be honest. I used to get triggered by my boyfriend going off to see his ex girlfriends as he put me in a position of no choice like my ex boyfriend did and i linked this to my abortion. So every time he would go i would break down. He thought i was over-reacting but i was flashing back to the immense pain i felt that day of having no choice. I know i have a choice now, but that's not how you feel when you love someone and they are exploiting that love for you by putting you in that position.

My current boyfriend would tell me i should leave him if i couldn't deal with him going off to see his exs. It was like my abortion all over again. I know it wasn't the same, but the no choice thing was awful. I don't know if i've made that clear, because i'm not too great at explaining myself sometimes and can be abit confusing.

Thankyou for the idea of the plant or something to remember her. I think I will have a hard think about this. I did name my business after her and it failed as I wanted to punish myself for what I'd done.

Since my abortion I have lots of replacement children, in the form of my pets, I love them as my children. I do remember anniversaries, but I just ask my boyfriend to promise not to go see his ex's on those days, which he doesn't, but we don't do anything special. I don't really know how I can remember those days in a special way.I just like to curl up in a ball and hibernate.

I will buy the book you recommended- thankyou so much. I'm really grateful you hear my crys. It's nice to know that someone cares. I sometimes feel silly because my sister will say I should just get a grip, but this is so real for me. I don't know why I am so traumatised, but I just am.

Thankyou Tessa, you have brought so much comfort and love to me tonight. That really means alot to me. I almost feel like i don't deserve it after what I did. I do deserve to be punished, but I'm so tired of hurting myself, I don't want to think of myself as I have done anymore. I want to see myself beautiful as I used too before my abortion.

With every tear for her I feel peace, like I'm dedicating that lost part of my own soul to her, am I okay to cry about this really?


Thankyou Tessa x
Dear Ambience

I'm glad some of my hugs reached you. Please don't punish yourself anymore.
I was in so much pain and I needed to do something private to remember the babies.
I took a candle and a Bible to my psychologists visit and asked him if I could have a little service to remember the babies. I lit the candle and said prayers and read a little Bible reading in private where it would not trouble any of the family. I was so grateful to my psychologist for letting me do this as it felt like we had given the babies some reverence.
I hope you find something special too.

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