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Study Challenges Abortion Trauma
New York Times 2/97 by Jane Brody summary
Yet another study confirms the 1992 JAMA published study (details below).
The 1997 study again, shows "Abortion does not trigger lasting emotional trauma
in young women who are psychologically healthy before they became pregnant"
this newest eight year study of several hundred women by two Arizona researchers
The study, researchers say, challenges the validity of laws that have been proposed
in many states, and passed in several, mandating that women seeking abortions be
informed of mental health risks.
Two psychologists, Drs. Nancy Felipe Russo of Arizona State University and Amy Dabul
Marin of Phoenix College, examined the affects of race and religion on the well-being
of 773 women who reported in sealed questionnaires that they had undergone abortions,
and they compared the results with the emotional status of women who did not report
The women, ages 14 to 24 at the end of the survey, were interviewed each year for
eight years, ~starting in 1979. In 1980 and in 1987, the interview also included
a standardized test that measures overall well-being, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem
"Given the persistent assertion that abortion is associated with negative outcomes,
the lack of any results in the context of such a large sample is noteworthy,"
the researchers wrote.
"Although highly religious Catholic women were slightly more likely to exhibit
post-abortion psychological distress than other women, this fact is explained by
lower pre-existing self-esteem,'' the researchers wrote in the current issue of
Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, a journal of the American Psychological
Overall, Catholic women who attended church one or more times a week, even those
who had not had abortions, had generally lower self-esteem than other women, although
within the normal range, so it was hardly surprising that they also had lower self-esteem
after abortions, the researchers said in interviews.
The Journal of American Medical Assn 10/21/92 details 23 references which claim
that there is no Post Abortion Distress Syndrome
UNLESS it is caused by fanatical religious or emotionally involved people who have
a vested interest in MAKING the women feel guilty. It agrees that
a some women to suffer from emotional distress, but were either mentally unstable
before abortion, were forced into it against their will, or belonged to socio-religious
groups where abortion was considered sin. The report is referenced by many studies
both in the U.S. and Britain. To my knowledge, there has been no major studies published
in scientific (not religious biased) journals that indicate anything different.
Some women do have problems after abortions, but the vast majority feel only relief.
Dr. Nada Stotland's research shows most post abortion distress a myth and the 'problems'
blamed on the abortion were inevitably the result of other factors, such as other
emotional problems, not the abortion. The amount of and degree of emotional problems
were far more prevalent in women who were denied abortions.
If the moralist and judgmental anti-women's choice'ers would stop calling women
"killers" and "murderers" there would be no Post Abortion Distress
at all. Many care more about a one inch piece of tissue than a living breathing
Some studies done over the last 20 years do show emotional problems - due to circumstances
of older ILLEGAL abortions, not the legal, safe, legal abortions since the freeing
of women from male bondage of Roe vs Wade.
A response on Prodigy concerning why not just adopt:
"..my friend went through both (abortion and adoption). Given the choice she'd
never put another child up for adoption. She can't go to the mall without studying
every child she sees..The child she gave up is now about 25...and for 25 years,
my friend has mourned the day she gave birth. She feels nothing about abortion."
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