Can We Really Say That Access to Abortion Is for the Good of Women?
The industry presents a false promise and society repeats it ad nauseam.
The focus of discussions about abortion from the pro-life perspective usually understandably center on the death of the child. Pro-abortion groups instead focus their attention on the mother. It’s an angle that is ignored outright by most pro-life people, but it’s worth addressing because the argument that attests to be based on compassion is foundationally flawed.
It’s not true that women gain happiness, peace, and dignity from the termination of their children. While some women choose not to have children (and to abstain sexually) for the sake of careers, that’s a very different judgment call from those who choose abortion, which holds a different set of consequences.
Let’s work on the presumption that a woman decides to have an abortion on the basis of any of the litany of usual reasons: career, abandonment by partner, financial strain, unsettled relationship, etc. The societal acceptance of abortion therewithin states that if a woman does so, that she will find peace, for her life can return to normal. But is it true? Can a woman return to a pre-pregnancy state? Is happiness to be found in the rejection of one’s child?
What We Know
An untold number of women come to profoundly regret aborting their children. It’s not surprising, for an abortion is a decision usually made in the midst of tremendous pain and fear — which are not emotions that tend to lead us toward God or toward decent decision-making of any sort.
The Michelle Williams speech at the Golden Globes wherein she lauded her abortion as being pivotal to her career, awhile clutching the trophy that she had sacrificed her child for, is not the norm. Similarly, the “shout your abortion” crowd are a minority among the millions of women who aborted their children.
Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS) is the name given to the constellation of psychological symptoms that women oft experience in the months and years after an abortion, including guilt, depression, anxiety, and suicidality. Pro-abortion advocates maintain that the condition does not exist, as if regret after an abortion would be inexplicable.
When the left-leaning website FiveThirtyEight took to Twitter seeking abortion tales that they could herald around Christmastime, they received a litany of stories from those who lived with the aforementioned regret and grief. Here are a few:
The abortion industry (and make no mistake, it is an industry) avoids studies on what happens to women afterward. Therefore, it’s rare to find anything worthy of repeating. However, a study in Finland evaluated suicide rates after pregnancy, comparing women who had children with those who miscarried or who had abortions. The mean annual suicide rate among reproductive-age females was 11.3 per 100,000. The suicide rate after birth plummeted to 5.9. After a miscarriage, the suicide rate shot up to 18.1, but was highest after an induced abortion, at 34.7. That’s three times higher than the regular population of women in that age group.
To the degree that suicide is obviously an indicator of depression, most would expect a rise after miscarriage, for the woman is grieving. In the case of abortion, however, the women should have been happy, if the abortion industry is correct in its notion that an abortion is an empowering act that allows a woman to live a happy, fulfilling life. The suicide rate should have been around the average for women at that time, because after all, the pregnancies had been ended and the woman reverted back to her pre-pregnancy state. Yet, that didn’t happen. The abortion industry promises a lie.
A woman never returns to a pre-pregnancy state. She can be post-pregnant, but her body and mind are forever altered thereafter. There is no “undoing” a pregnancy.
The Physical Toll
It’s not only an emotional and spiritual toll that burdens the woman who has had an abortion, but there are physical dangers too. They are usually downplayed or denied by those who promote abortion. It should come as no surprise that an industry whose purpose of existence is death would marginalize the risks and dangers of its procedures. To diminish those risks while proclaiming to operate in the best interest of those women is audacious, however.
There is a well-established association between abortions and a heightened risk of breast cancer, which is why Susan G. Komen’s donations to Planned Parenthood rightly generated such outrage and disbelief in years past.
We likewise know that women who have had abortions are significantly more likely to have future children born prematurely, though the mechanism through which this occurs is not well understood.
Later term abortions come with greater risks, most commonly including ruptured uteruses and hemorrhages. Abortion clinics are usually ill-equipped to handle such events when they occur. The industry that pretends to help women rejects every effort to mandate that clinics be equipped to handle the medical emergencies that occur from the barbarous procedures that they perform.
“As a gynecologist on call in the emergency room, I personally treated women experiencing severe complications, including life-threatening hemorrhage and infection from abortions, because no one at the abortion clinic had admitting privileges. No abortion clinic personnel ever called to give me information on a patient they were sending to the ER. This is not a safe way to practice medicine.”
— Kathi Aultman, contributor for USA Today
Those who arrange prayer vigils outside abortion clinics have often noticed that ambulances visit the back of the clinic whenever such events occur, lest any woman arriving in search of an abortion should be dissuaded from the procedure that she has been falsely told is safe.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker just signed a bill ending parental notification when a teenage girl gets an abortion; the Orwellianly-named Youth Health and Safety Act (HB 370). The aim of the bill assumes the lie of the abortion industry: that a woman (or girl) who has an abortion will be unaffected by it, and will go back to her life afterward as if nothing had happened, empowered.
Abortions Encouraged By Physicians
In the same Twitter thread started by FiveThirtyEight were stories of those who were encouraged to have abortions by their physicians, but who gave birth to their children anyway. They serve as further harbingers against blindly “trusting the science”:
To have compassion for pregnant women is not to encourage them to make a decision that will be the biggest regret of their lives, but as with all compassion, to enable them to see beyond the pain of today to a brighter future. It is to offer grounded emotional and spiritual support during a time of immense turmoil. It is to offer solutions to their fears, such as in the presentation of the many charities that exist to help with the financial strain of birth and raising a child, along with those that facilitate adoption to a good home. The Catholic church has crisis pregnancy centers throughout the United States. National Right to Life helps women to find the resources and connections that they need. Women who are actively struggling with the pain and regret of abortion can seek help from Rachel’s Vineyard.
To do the opposite and to remind mothers of their fears while assuring them of the peace that will come from killing their children is evil. It is also untrue.