Home » Abortion » Psychological Effect of Abortion

Psychological Effect of Abortion

The subject of abortion is a sensitive and filled with opinion, Judgment and criticisms; however, there are times when a woman becomes pregnant where she will not want to go through with the pregnancy. This can be for any number of reasons, be It financial circumstances, maturity level, emotional stability, psychological state, who the father is or any personal reason a woman may make that choice. When a woman decides not to keep a child, she will often choose to have an abortion. Abortion is defined as “a medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the death of the tees” (Merriam Webster Dictionary, n. . ). There are opposing views on whether or not going through the experience of having an abortion will cause a woman to experience adverse psychological effects and It can be difficult to find concrete data on the subject. This is largely due to the fact that a woman’s psychological effects from abortion are difficult to measure and women are often reluctant to participate in such studies. This leads to little research into the area making it difficult to come to a solid conclusion.

In addition to research being difficult to conduct, due to the epics sensitive and controversial nature, Individuals and groups often have strong personal beliefs that can lead to biases being Inserted into articles (Astray-Ward, 2008). Many people think that an abortion, In and of Itself, causes psychological distress when it reality, there is more to it than that. Some psychological ramifications, including anxiety and depression, can originate from the experience itself; however there are a number of additional interrelated factors.

This paper will discuss a few of the many external circumstances, such as predisposition to or pre- existing risk factors and the perception of social stigmas that are large factors in the psychological effects a woman will experience after an abortion. Two of the most common psychological effects of abortion are depression and anxiety. Depression is when an individual experiences a depressed mood and loses his/her interest and ability to enjoy life to the point that it significantly Impacts his/ her quality of life.

Many women who suffer from depression also experience it commodore with anxiety. Anxiety Is a constant state of fear or worry that is out of reapportion with the amount of fear expected In a situation. It Is different from fear In that It occurs regardless of the presence of actual danger (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Even though some women develop these, and other mental disorders following an abortion, it has been found that less than 10% of women who have an abortion actually deal with long term distress following their abortion.

Of those women, it is not necessarily the act of going through with an abortion but a compilation of external circumstances (Hammering, Sentience, Studentship, 2005). Many women feel depressed or anxious after their decision to have an abortion and It can be worsened by their pre-existing risk factors. For example, If a woman has pre-existing medical condition and already suffers from a mental illness, such as a depression or anxiety, it increases the chances that she will become depressed or anxious after having an abortion.

In addition to this, women who suffer from other psychiatric illnesses are also more susceptible to experiencing psychological distress post-abortion(Salesman, Kill, Kanata-Pesetas, Wilma, 2010). There is some speculation anxiety, after receiving an abortion, developed the disorder because of the abortion or if she already had the disorder beforehand. At times, it is possible that a disorder may already be present and undiagnosed, therefore causing it to appear as if an abortion caused the disorder if symptoms worsen after the event.

One study (Burnett, Moat & Shares, 2010) claims that the majority of the time, a mental disorder that is displayed after an abortion was already present before the abortion was carried out. They go as far as to suggest that patients would benefit from it if doctors ere to pre-screen for mental disorders before performing the termination of pregnancy. A woman’s ambivalence beforehand towards whether or not she will have an abortion also makes a difference in the chance that she will experience psychological distress.

A woman with an unwanted pregnancy will sometimes experience uncertainty regarding whether or not to go forward with the pregnancy and this pre-abortion uncertainty is enough to cause significant distress afterwards (Miller, 1992). This can be due to thinking and wondering whether the decision made was the correct one. There is a chance that post-pregnancy she may consider the other options that she could have chosen. For instance, a woman might decide that rather than going through with a pregnancy and having a baby she wants to focus on her career aspirations and wait until she is emotionally prepared to raise a child.

Or perhaps she is in a relationship where they are not serious enough to consider having a baby together and they decide not to go through with it. Afterwards, she could wonder what her life would be like if she had kept the baby and be concerned about whether or not she made the right choice. Pre-abortion ambivalence can be particularly prevalent if there is someone else involved in the decision making process that could be affecting her decision. Since pregnancy is such a serious life- issue, oftentimes, women turn to others for advice and can feel pressured into making a decision to terminate a pregnancy (Miller, 1992).

There are a multitude of people who can make a woman feel as if she’s being pressured into an abortion. The relationship with her current partner may not be a serious relationship, or he may not be prepared to raise a child because of where he is at his level of emotional authority and that could make her feel like she should terminate the pregnancy. Furthermore, if she is younger, her loved ones could convince her that it is not the right time in her life for a child and convince her that she should experience life before she takes on the responsibility of another human being.

Many people around the world have opposing views when it comes to abortion, some label themselves as pro-life and others label themselves as pro-choice. Even though there are many people who are pro-choice there is still a negative abortion stigma that can cause a large amount of post-abortion distress. Since today’s society is one where people tend to care deeply about how they are portrayed to others and how others perceive them, this negative stigma towards abortion can cause women to feel shame which can cause women psychological distress.

The aforementioned feelings of ambivalence can also be stronger do to a negative perception from others. The social judgment theory (Gaylord, Syrup & Scanner, 1991) claims that if an individual does not hold a passionately strong belief in an argument then his/her perceptions are more easily swayed by the opinions of those around them. Therefore, if a woman terminate her pregnancy but the people around her are telling her that abortion is wrong then she is very likely to be swayed by the perception of others and also feel as if the choice she is making is wrong.

This can create shame, and cause her to keep secret her choice to go forward with an abortion and leave her with little to no support afterwards. One study (Hammering, Sentience & Studentship, 2005) found that the amount of support a woman receives following an abortion has a strong impact on how she will manage the emotions afterwards. Specifically, with a strong purport system, women will usually have less trouble over coming any sadness and avoid slipping into a depression or developing anxiety.

With people around her (a husband/partner/family members, parents/friends) reassuring her that the decision she made was the right one, and being there to support her if she is feeling confused or sad there is a higher chance that she will be able to avoid feeling intense or prolonged psychological grief. Due to the fact that there is such a large amount of conflict and controversy regarding the psychological effects of abortion, there is a deed for more unbiased research into the topic in order for women to be aware of all of the possibilities.

Although women run the risk of dealing with negative psychological consequences after an abortion, they could benefit from prior information into how interrelated external factors can add to their grief. Perhaps if a woman experiencing emotional pain after an abortion knew that her pain was being intensified because of a predisposition towards depression or her reaction to negative stigmas around her she would be able to identify why she was feeling distressed. Many people think that the act of abortion itself causes psychological ramifications, including depression and anxiety when in fact there are many other factors that contribute.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this essay please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Leave a Comment