Post Abortion Stress Syndrome

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In America, 24% of all pregnancies end in abortion annually. Further, 46 million babies are aborted worldwide each year. (French, 2009) These figures are made all the more weighty by a third statistic: 98% of all abortions are because of a personal choice. 98 out of 100 aborted babies were unwanted or an inconvenience to the mother. Setting aside personal pro-life or pro-choice preferences, what kind of affects does an abortion have on the mother of the aborted baby? That decision can’t be easy to make even if the baby is an “inconvenience” and many ex-mothers claim to experience nervous disorders, loss of sleep and depression, increased substance abuse, suicidal behaviors, and guilt about prematurely terminating the life of their baby. These symptoms have been given the name “Post Abortion Stress Syndrome”. Studies haven’t been able to exactly pinpoint whether or not this disorder really exists, they have had mixed results thus far. Having said that, the bulk of studies and research have found that there doesn’t appear to be an actual mental illness associated solely with abortion.

A little background on the legal issue surrounding abortion: the pro-life/ pro-choice battle has been raging for decades, especially since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. (The OYEZ, 2006) This court battle eventually gave women the freedom to choose the fate of their baby during the first trimester of pregnancy (first 12 weeks after last day of last menstrual period) and during the second and third trimesters, it was up to the individual state to decide. Many considered this a great leap forward in women’s rights, while others considered it a great leap back. This decision sparked many heated debates that are ongoing and no one seems to be able to find a happy medium with this issue.

Despite extensive research that has been done to prove or disprove the theory of Post Abortion Stress Syndrome, there hasn’t been a solid answer yet. (Robinson and others, 2009)...
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