Abortion remains to be one of the most controversially debated issues internationally. Pro-life and pro-choice groups continue to research and contemplate whether the Information of the relationship between abortion and depression has quantifiable data. Pro-life groups advocate that the correlation between abortion and mental distress In women Is In fact valid due to multiple studies. And that this information should be made available to women.
However, pro-choice groups claim hat the data linking abortion and depression is invalid and weak, and that it is no more damaging to the mother than if she were to carry the child to full term and to birth the child. Pro-life supporters debate that the unborn fetus is in fact a human life, and if the mother is to abort, it is essentially murder. Pro-choice groups believe that It Is a woman’s right to choose whether she wants to carry her child to term, and if she cannot make that choice she has then lost a human right.
The pro-choice organizations and supports do believe that the fetus is human life, however, that it is to constituted on the same level of the woman. I chose to analyze these opposing views because it is, and has remained to be, an issue that has yet to be resolved and intrigues my interest as an individual and as a woman. The first article I read from the text book was written by Ian Gentles, entitled, “Poor God-crazed Rwanda: Daring to Challenge the ‘Scientific Consensus,’ The Human Life Review (Spring AY’.
In the article, Gentles speaks In response to the second article written by Emily Baseline, entitled, “Is There a Post-Abortion Syndrome? New York Times Magazine Unary 21, 007)”. Gentles provides evidence to refute Bassoon’s assurance and argument that women who have an induced abortion are not at risk for psychological distress any more than a woman who carries an unwanted pregnancy to term and birth. Baseline claims that due to multiple scientific studies, a causal connection has yet to be found. Gentles argues against this. “Of course a causal connection has not been found.
No epidemiologist worth his or her salt talks about causes, only correlations. Between induced abortion and suicide the correlation has been shown to be massive and rueful, in numerous international studies published in the most prestigious journals. These studies are based on the experiences of hundreds of thousands of women, who have been tracked through record linkage” (Gentles 217). However, in Bassoon’s article, she references sources such as: The American Psychological Association, Roe vs… Wade, The American Medical Association, as well as multiple studies and scientific journals. Academic experts continue to stress that the psychological risks posed by abortion are no greater than the risks of carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term. A study of 13,000 women, conducted in Britain over 1 1 years, compared those who chose to end an unwanted pregnancy with those who chose to give birth, controlling for psychological history, age, marital status and psychological disorders among the two groups” (Baseline 227). Gentles and Baseline both provide compelling arguments as well as data regarding the validity of the existence off post-abortion syndrome.
Continuing research, I come across an article from The Washington Post, written by Brenda Major, entitled, “The Big Lie about Abortion and Mental Health (Sunday, November 7th, 2010)”. Within the article, Major references sources from: The American Psychological Association, Johns Hopkins University, Oregon State University, and Stomacher Institute. Major is a psychology professor at the University of California Santa Barbara and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.
Major provides concrete and credible arguments; even as well as her own clinical research claiming that post abortion-syndrome is a myth. “My research based on clinic interviews in the sass with more than 400 women who obtained a first trimester abortion, shows that omen who terminate and unplanned pregnancy report a range of feelings, including sadness and loss as well as relief. Nonetheless, two years after their abortion, most women say they would make the same decision if they had to do it over again under the same circumstances” (Major).
Major articulates how the debate about the existence of post-abortion syndrome has been researched for decades with still no conclusive data. Major continues to explain the confusion between correlation and causation, and that there is a large amount of research that concludes women who seek to have an abortion are more likely to be unmarried, eave a low income, and have experienced physical or psychological abuse. Major concludes the article, stating that women should be able to voice their decisions and experiences with abortion without fear. Women who think they have made the right decision in having an abortion must be able to say so without fear of condemnation and without feeling that something is wrong with them” (Major). The issue of abortion alone is a very controversial issue that has existed internationally for hundreds of years. The existence of a post-abortion syndrome is an issue that has been debated or decades, becoming more relevant due to emerging studies and findings in mental health. After reading these three articles, two from the text book and one from the Washington Post, my initial opinion upon the existence of a post-abortion syndrome has changed.
Before conducting my research, I felt as though post-abortion syndrome was a prevalent and credible issue. I believed that the experience of mental distress after having an induced abortion was, in fact, inevitable. However, my opinion was Just solely based off of my morals as an individual and as a woman. I equalized myself carrying an ‘unwanted’ pregnancy and having an induced abortion. I contemplated how I would feel afterwards, and I concluded that I would likely have feelings of regret, severe loss, and ultimately clinical depression.
I had not assessed the numbers and figures based off of a substantial amount of research and clinical studies as well as the psychological predispositions of the women involved. From researching and reading these articles, I have found that there are many factors that play a part in leading to a woman’s decision to have an abortion. After controlling for a wide range of variables, Coulee and Reardon ascertained that post-abortive women were 41 percent more likely to score in the ‘high-risk range for clinical depression.
Aborting women were 73 percent more likely to complain of ‘depression, excessive finding is buttressed by a Canadian study of 50 post-abortive women in psychotherapy. The researchers found that ‘although none had entered therapy because of adverse emotional reactions to abortion, they expressed deep feelings of pain and bereavement about the procedure as treatment continued. Typically, the bereavement response emerged during the period when the patient was recovering from a presenting problem” (Baseline 219).
After reading about multiple studies that involve women with predispositions for psychological distress, I now believe that abortion Just exacerbates existing mental health issues. There is no conclusive evidence to date that gives the existence of post-abortion syndrome credibility. The controversy regarding post-abortion syndrome has been heavily researched for decades. However, I do believe that the risk factors for women should be made available. Education upon the research involving abortion should be studied before making the decision to abort.
As a woman myself, I feel that it is necessary to exacerbate all options before making such a permanent decision. My opinion is not based off of the belief of the existence of a post-abortion syndrome; it is based off of my morals an individual. From the evidence regarding these articles, I have concluded that I do not believe there is a post-abortion syndrome. I believe that the women who experience depression, worry, and feelings of pain after aborting is reverent from present mental health issues and past physical and psychological abuse.