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http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J015v27n03_06

Abortion and Mental Health

What Therapists Need to Know

DOI:
10.1300/J015v27n03_06
Lisa Rubina & Nancy Felipe Russob 

pages 69-90


Publishing models and article dates explained
Version of record first published: 25 Sep 2008
Article Views: 162

Abstract

Unwanted pregnancy and abortion are common life events, and therapists are likely to work with clients who experience them. Legal abortion currently entails little physical or mental health risk; most women currently cope effectively with these life events without need of clinical intervention. But current abortion politics include efforts to make abortion a more threatening, stressful, and stigmatized experience and to create a “postabortion syndrome.” Using a stress and coping framework, we examine how antiabortion activists spread myths and misinformation aimed at women's appraisal processes, and discuss approaches therapists can use to enhance women's strategies for coping with abortion. We also discuss specific issues and useful techniques for counseling about abortion concerns, including cultural sensitivity and strategies for promoting positive sexual health.




What do you think poses more of a risk, the abortion itself or the stigma that many on the pro-life side of the house put on it and the woman?  

by on Jan. 26, 2013 at 8:06 PM
Replies (41-50):
blues_pagan
by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Actually you are very wrong here.  

If someone constantly comes up to you almost every day and says, "you're ugly" you may at first think, "no, I'm not".  Then a little later on that same person or someone who is friends with that person comes up and says the same thing, after a while you will start to believe it even if you are not.  It is human psychology.  

Quoting Paperfishies:


No one can make another feel a certain way.  If someone feels a certain way, then it is usually because there is some truth to that feeling they are experiencing.

all damn day choices drive home the idea that an abortion is a legal medical procedure that is no different than any other medical procedure...if this was the case then there would be no reason for a woman who has an elective abortion to feel any guilt.  I mean if a fetus is nothing more than a non-viable parasite, a woman who aborts should feel no differently about her abortion than I did about having my tonsils removed.

abortion either isn't a big deal or it is.  Choicers need to make up their god damned minds.


Bella_Madre
by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 9:27 AM

I think the judgement, ridicule and misinformation spewed by anti-choice groups contribute the most to any mental illness a person might have after having an abortion. That's not to say the abortion itself might not be traumatizing, it could be but I think the stigmas probably one of the worst things to have to endure on top of it. also, the reason for having one is something to be considered too. If someone is living in a dangerous situation or extreme poverty they are already at risk before they have to have the abortion. 

blues_pagan
by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 9:29 AM

To add to that, you are also dealing with a woman who is pregnant.  That means you are also dealing with the hormones.  

So remember how you felt when you were pregnant, typically most women feel more vulnerable, overreact to situations and are generally very emotionally turbulent individuals.  Now add to that having people call you a baby killer, a murderer and tell you that you are going to burn in hell for the decision that you made.  

Doesn't make for a very nurturing environment.

Quoting Paperfishies:


No one can make another feel a certain way.  If someone feels a certain way, then it is usually because there is some truth to that feeling they are experiencing.

all damn day choices drive home the idea that an abortion is a legal medical procedure that is no different than any other medical procedure...if this was the case then there would be no reason for a woman who has an elective abortion to feel any guilt.  I mean if a fetus is nothing more than a non-viable parasite, a woman who aborts should feel no differently about her abortion than I did about having my tonsils removed.

abortion either isn't a big deal or it is.  Choicers need to make up their god damned minds.


momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 9:30 AM

 The stigma is worse, IMO.   

blues_pagan
by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 9:32 AM

This may be of interest to you and help you with your opinion.

It was a group of studies and this piece is free.  

http://www.camft.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Archived_Articles&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&CONTENTID=10974

Quoting rfurlongg:

I tried to download the study, unfortunately it is not a free study and cost $37 to download. Without reading the study it is difficult to formulate an informed response. I will say, that abstract is incredibly narrow and leaves little room for discovery. I suspect her conclusion reads very similarly. I am curious about her methodology. 

Quoting blues_pagan:

I linked it since I didn't want to violate copyright laws.

Quoting rfurlongg:

This looks like an abstract from a study. Where is the methodology and conclusion?




calcalmommy
by Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 9:33 AM
It is my opinion that while some prolife tactic are too extreme and possible not even true, the fact these women actually feeling guilt or remorse over their abortions is a good thing. In a way it does kind of prove that deep down, we know it's wrong, despite being legal.
blues_pagan
by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 9:34 AM

http://www.camft.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Archived_Articles&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&CONTENTID=10974


Social stigma is also a recurring theme in the literature concerning abortion and emotional health. Stigma is 

defined as a social process in which a certain characteristic taints the identity of an individual. Women who 

have abortions may perceive or anticipate judgment or disappointment from peers, family or the larger 

community. They may also experience or anticipate poor treatment such as verbal abuse or gossip. 

Additionally, women may internalize stigma around abortion. Abortion researchers Kumar, Mitchell, and 

Hessini (2009) point out that abortion stigma varies depending on the local culture but argue that in most 

cultures “ ...a woman who seeks an abortion is inadvertently challenging widely-held assumptions about the 

essential nature of women.”(p.4) Therefore, women may view their decision to abort as conflicting with the 

role of mother and caregiver, resulting in self-judgment and feelings of disappointment in 

themselves.(Kumar et al., 2009)

blues_pagan
by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 9:36 AM
1 mom liked this

How do you know that the regret is simply that the woman found herself in that position due to poor relationship decisions.  

The regret may not be about the abortion itself but the life choices that brought the woman to that decision.  With that regret she can now mature, learn from her mistakes and move on to make a positive life decision.

Quoting calcalmommy:

It is my opinion that while some prolife tactic are too extreme and possible not even true, the fact these women actually feeling guilt or remorse over their abortions is a good thing. In a way it does kind of prove that deep down, we know it's wrong, despite being legal.


jaxTheMomm
by Platinum Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 10:16 AM

This seems to be a very delusional statement.

Rediculous.  Over half of women getting abortions are already mothers, so I'm pretty sure they know what's happening.


Quoting Kelseyciarah:

 Yeah, until you fast forward 30 years after the abortion, when the women FINALLY understands what she did.

I could see how it does not cause trauma mentally, because I'd bet over half the women getting abortions don't know what they are doing, its usually vaguely explained to them during the first visit and they think its nothing more than a period.

And I can ALSO see how the new legislation can make it MORE traumatic, a woman goes in selfishly and then has to see face to face what she is killing. Its a lot easier not to have a face to the life you are ending.

For my sister that holds true, she went in, got the cervidil, had the vaginal ultrasound and then CHANGED HER MIND after seeing her sweet little gummy bear, but it was TOO LATE at that point. Very heartbroken that she has to live with that, and that the child had to perish.



desertlvn
by Silver Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 10:17 AM



Quoting Kelseyciarah:

 

Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:


Quoting Kelseyciarah:

 Yeah, until you fast forward 30 years after the abortion, when the women FINALLY understands what she did.

I could see how it does not cause trauma mentally, because I'd bet over half the women getting abortions don't know what they are doing, its usually vaguely explained to them during the first visit and they think its nothing more than a period.

And I can ALSO see how the new legislation can make it MORE traumatic, a woman goes in selfishly and then has to see face to face what she is killing. Its a lot easier not to have a face to the life you are ending.

For my sister that holds true, she went in, got the cervidil, had the vaginal ultrasound and then CHANGED HER MIND after seeing her sweet little gummy bear, but it was TOO LATE at that point. Very heartbroken that she has to live with that, and that the child had to perish.

20 years a marriage and two healthy children later I still will say that the abortion I had was one of the best decisions I made in my adult life.

 Thats a sad way to look at it. I will never understand how someone can look at ending the life of the child within them was the "best decision" regardless of situation. To basically say "Yep, I had a doctor scrape out my uterus and end the life of the human being that was growing and developing in me" with a smile on is just very sad to me.

Good for you on the choice to continue your other pregnancies and becoming a mother though.


And that is the problem. People like you are unable to walk in other women's shoes. You are unable to see the many and varied difficult life circumstances that lead a woman to make the hard choice of abortion. I assure you that for many (I can't speak for all) women, the choice isn't an ignorant one, an easy one, or a thoughtless one. It is a decision that is made after lots of discussions, sleepless nights, praying, tears, and introspection. And because of the thought that goes into it, most women walk away from it mentally secure and happy with the decision they had wrestled to make. 

In my case it certaintly was the best decision I could have made. I have no regrets. It was a kind of turning point in my life. I stopped abusing drugs and alcohol, I buckled down and completed 3 college degrees, in short.... it was a much needed wake-up call that transformed my future. 

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