“Some studies suggest that women who have had an abortion may be more likely to have psychiatric illness or to self-harm than other women who give birth or are of a similar age. However, there is no evidence that these problems are actually caused by the abortion; they are often a continuation of problems a woman has experienced before.”
Later, the RCOG states that a woman should be offered “further counselling if you experience continuing distress (this happens to a few women and is usually related to personal circumstances)".
- “I just felt very relieved after the abortion. I still do!”
- “Sometimes I wonder what having a baby would have been like. But, no, I don't regret it.”
- “I was surprised how sad I felt, but I must admit we were both really relieved.”
The confusion expressed on the website, however, only serves to highlight the conflict that exists within the abortion movement itself. For example, readers are informed that “most psychiatric experts doubt the existence of 'post-abortion syndrome' and point out that abortion is not significantly different from any other stressful life experience that might cause trauma in some people.” So, is there a risk of a trauma response after abortion or isn't there? Straight after assuring readers that “most women who have abortions experience little or no psychological harm”, the FAQ reads: “What can I do to help myself heal after an abortion?” Is this the healing that women only rarely need? Healing from an overwhelming sense of relief perhaps?
“I chose to pretend like nothing happened,” wrote one. “I had a mask in place to make it look, to the outside world any way that I had it all together. No one even knew I went into deep depression every year around Easter and then again in December, when my little girl would have been born.” “Whoever is thinking about having an abortion, please THINK OVER AGAIN. It's your baby. Or else you'll regret later like me and some others.” “Every day I live with regret, shame, and sadness. I hate myself for what I've done.”