Post Abortion Syndrome
Post abortion syndrome is a very common phenomenon among women who have had an abortion. Women who have this syndrome experience intense feelings of guilt and depression. Many feel that they did not receive adequate counseling or information about the likelihood that the fetus is a live human being before having the procedure. Those who experience post abortion depression often claim of extreme pressure to go through with the procedure from family and friends. With God there is forgiveness. If a person truly repents of sin he or she can find forgiveness through Jesus. "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me" (Acts 26:18).
Guilt and remorse often leads to depression and destructive behavior. Destructive behavior associated with post abortion syndrome can include alcohol and drug abuse, relationship problems, and can even lead to suicide. Some women experience guilt soon after the procedure is done whereas others may not experience guilt until several years afterwards. In extreme cases a woman may go on to committing other crimes and may even spend some time in prison. While this does not happen to every woman that has an abortion it has happened to some. When a person believes that there is no hope he or she may exhibit behavior that is destructive. People in this position may believe that what they have done is unforgivable. They may not realize that their behavior may stem from the guilt over having an abortion.
Counseling can help to alleviate questions in the mind that many women experience after the procedure. Even if a woman believes that the child was not a living human being and are convinced of that during the procedure may wonder about it later on. Those who suffer with post abortion depression should consider getting some counseling. Christian counseling can help the individual to learn what God's word says and what God's love and forgiveness can accomplish. "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honor thy father and mother" (Mark 10:19). God's word says that murder is a sin but His word also says that forgiveness is found through repentance.
Women who are thinking about having an abortion need to know what is at stake, not only with the unborn child but also with the issues that come up afterwards including post abortion syndrome. The medical community may never be able to answer definitively when life actually begins. Although, they have been able to determine different levels of development that take place at specific times. For instance, the heartbeat usually begins 21 days after conception. Researchers now know that a child in the womb experiences dreams which come from unconscious thoughts. If a child is capable of unconscious thoughts then he or she is certainly capable of conscious thoughts which points to self-awareness. The Bible says that children are a reward and a blessing from God. "Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward" (Psalm 127:3).
Depression brought on by guilt from having an abortion can be very difficult to deal with because it may manifest in other ways so that the person who is suffering has not realized why they are depressed. Women are not the only ones who experience post abortion depression; it can also plague men. Maybe the man was instrumental in convincing the woman to have the procedure done or perhaps he thinks about the child that was his who was never born. God offers those who are hurting a way to find forgiveness, love, and peace from the aftermath. The Bible says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). Forgiveness and salvation comes through Jesus, who shed His blood on the cross for all sins.
Some of the symptoms or disorders associated with post abortion syndrome include but are not limited to obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety disorder, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome include avoidance of anything that serves as a reminder of the stressful event, being hypersensitive to normal life experiences, nightmares, detachment, sleeping problems, and flashbacks. A person suffering with psychological problems often experience difficulty with holding down a job and have relationship problems. They may also exhibit a lot of anger in their life.
A woman who has had an abortion may at times have overwhelming feelings of grief. Feelings of grief may not become apparent at first; it can happen years after the procedure has been done. Post abortion depression may surface along with the feelings of grief and loss. There is hope for those who suffer with grief and bereavement. Losing a child can cause a person to experience feelings of grief but losing a child due to abortion makes the feelings much more intense because along with grief the person is also feeling remorse and hopelessness. The way may seem hopeless but with God nothing is ever hopeless. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Post Abortion TraumaAbortion risks only confirm the fact that aborting is unnatural, destroying life - not promoting it. As with any medical or surgical procedure, errors and complications are always a possibility. Even though this procedure is claimed to be safe, many women still experience traumatic effects. Other women are more susceptible to problems and could be fighting for their life because of aborting their child. Pro-life advocates need to understand both the ethics of the matter as well as the possible risks to women's health. Although dangers and the possibility of traumatic effects, including post abortion trauma, are not reasons to be anti-abortion, they are important to understand in the fight against this procedure.
Despite the claims of medical doctors and researchers about the safety of aborting, there are still major risks. To many, these threats are not worth the "convenience" of aborting a child. Death, though rare, is a possibility. In places like the United States, the number of deaths is extremely low because the procedure is legal and done by a medical professional in a sterile environment. Another of the abortion risks is an incomplete abortion when the fetus and/or pregnancy tissue is left behind. Incompletion requires more medication or even dilation and curettage (D & C). If the child is carried to term following an incomplete attempt to abort, it is possible that the drug could cause deformities in the child. The fact that a child could survive an abortion just further affirms the fact that this is the destruction of human life. Cramping, especially after medically aborting, is another risk. Following a surgical procedure, it is possible to experience heavy blood loss, pain and even infection. Antibiotics will be used to treat an infection. Heavy bleeding can be treated with medication and D & C. Major blood loss can be treated with a blood transfusion although this is a rare occurrence. Another of the threats is perforation. It is possible during surgery to puncture a hole the uterus. If unrepaired, the perforation could cause other complications.
A woman could face even greater threats should she ignore any strange symptoms following the procedure. A woman who experiences foul smelling vaginal discharge, no bleeding within 24 hour of a medical abortion or a fever of 100 degree Fahrenheit or higher will need to call her doctor immediately. A woman should also be wary of more vaginal bleeding than usual with large blood clots and severe back or abdominal pain. Among the abortion risks after surgery, there is a small risk of infertility should the woman face complications like perforation. Typically, though, such complications can lead to difficulty in future pregnancies or result in future miscarriages rather than infertility. Thus, the choice to deny life affects a woman for the rest of her marriage and family life. For answers to other important topics like abortion, click here.
There are physical threats, but there are also psychological risks, now called Post Abortion Trauma, Stress or Syndrome which further prove aborting to be a damaging procedure. This condition can be experienced by both women and men following the procedure. Many women and men feel guilty about the choice to abort because the guilt symptom is just a human reaction to sin. They experience depression, anger and grief. Traumatized women may experience depression and the same cycle of emotions at the anniversary of aborting the child. Others will repress the memory of the procedure all together. In serious cases of Post Abortion Trauma, a woman could have hallucinations, flashbacks and even suicidal thoughts. Sexual dysfunction is also a symptom of this condition. Women may turn to alcohol or drugs for comfort from their grief or guilt as well. This is just another form of denial, a natural human response to sin.
Unfortunately, since Roe vs. Wade, many women have experienced the reality of aborting a child and its many side effects and complications. Some move on from it, without remorse, while others struggle with grief and guilt. Despite the many dangers, side effects, and the possibility of Post Abortion Trauma to the woman, the procedure is about the baby and the termination of a human life. The issue has divided our nation and become a struggle between the unborn's rights and the woman's rights. As pro-lifers encounter those women who are struggling with this issue, they should talk to them about abortion risks and God's will for their child's life. These women need to be reminded about the life of the child they carry. Caring people need to tell them to pray and talk with someone they trust. Their pregnancy doesn't have to end in murder. A child can be a blessing to them or a couple who can't have a child of their own. "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." (Psalm 127:3)