Post-Abortion Syndrome: Abortion's lasting Hold on Women

Author: A.L.L.


American Life League

And I am angry. I am angry at Billie Jean King and Gloria Steinem and every woman who ever had an abortion and didn't tell me about this kind of pain. There is a conspiracy among the sisterhood not to tell each other about guilt and self-hatred and terror. Having an abortion is not like having a wart removed or your nails done or your hair cut, and anyone who tells you it is a liar or worse.

                                                         "An Apology to a Little Boy I Won't Ever See."[1]

Anti-Life Philosophy.

[Post-abortion syndrome is a] largely non-existent phenomenon [circulated by] anti-family planning extremists ... emotional responses to legally induced abortions are largely positive.

                                                                                                Planned Parenthood.[2]

The decision to have an abortion is made only after a great deal of serious thought, and is never made lightly. It is a tragic choice, but a necessary choice. It must remain available for women with no other option.

We have been hearing a lot lately about the so-called post-abortion syndrome (PAS). This is a myth designed by WEBA, Victims of Choice, and similar anti-choice propaganda fronts. These fanatics cannot make abortion illegal, so they try to make women feel guilty about exercising their fundamental Constitutional right to choose abortion.

Contrary to what these groups allege, abortion is a great stress reliever, and gives peace of mind to a woman by relieving her of an unwanted pregnancy. Post-abortion syndrome simply does not exist, and this is why post-abortion counseling is completely unnecessary.

A Serious Decision?

Whatever the differences in conscious or unconscious motivations for abortion, the experience of abortion inevitably arouses an unconscious sense of guilt.

Flaunders Dunbar, M.D., M.SC.D., Ph.D., Director of Psychosomatic Research, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.[3]

For Some Women, Perhaps ...

It is certainly true that many women arrive at the decision to abort only after an intense period of soul-searching and reflection. And many other women are simply not allowed to reflect or even to have a truly free choice: they are indirectly or even directly pressured into abortion by husbands or boyfriends, or, even more despicably, by parents who want to preserve their family's 'good name' by shedding the blood of their own grandchildren.

However, not every woman aborts after careful consideration of all the options. Every sidewalk counselor has encountered many women who are totally cold towards their preborn babies and literally could not care less about them. Every sidewalk counselor has been cursed at, ridiculed, and told by these women words to the effect of "Yes, I use abortion for birth control. This is my fourth. So what? I couldn't care less. It's my choice, it's legal, and you can f_ck off!"

According to Neofeminist abortion clinic operators, some women were already having their third legal abortion within nine months of the procedure being legalized in New York State.[4] And state abortion statistics consistently show that many women having their fifth and sixth abortions are no more likely to use contraception than when they had their first abortion.[5]

The 'Gifts' of Abortion.

Some Neofeminists even advocate using abortion as a fertility 'self-check.' In other words, they urge women to get pregnant for the sole purpose of insuring that their reproductive systems are functioning properly. Once this is ascertained, of course, their babies must be consigned to the garbage can.

This "fertility self-check" is one of the "many gifts of abortion" described by author Rebecca Altafut.[6] She also says that another of the alleged "gifts" of abortion is that women don't have to be bothered with the inconvenience of birth control. Talk about aggressive rationalization!

Even Abortionists Can Be Disgusted.

This totally callous and selfish attitude has been extensively documented and has even distressed many hardened abortionists over the years. Women who couldn't care less about their preborn babies have been using abortion for birth control even when contraception was easily available to them.

Therefore, pro-life activists should not fall for the propaganda that it is an "agonizing decision" for every woman.

Some sample quotes from pro-aborts who believe that abortion is trivial in nature, and from those abortionists who are disgusted by this cavalier attitude, are listed below.

How come they [right-to-lifers] don't get upset over a little kid having its tonsils out? That's worse than having an abortion any day!

"Abortion Eve," 1973 anti-Catholic comic book by Chin Lyvely and Joyce Sutton, promoted by Planned Parenthood, page 20.

'Women don't do this [abortion] lightly.' I'm sick and tired of hearing this. 98 percent of the women do do it lightly in here, but I never say that. And they do it lightly. They think of abortion like brushing their dime teeth, and that's OK with me.

Marilyn Buckham, director, Buffalo GYN Womenservices Clinic, quoted in the Revolutionary Worker (Revolutionary Communist Party newspaper), March 6, 1989.

I do dislike a certain type of modern young woman who indulges promiscuously, uses contraceptives rather reluctantly, preferring repeat abortions, which she regards as lightly as tossing down a cocktail or a glass of whiskey.

British abortionist William Robinson, quoted in the Critic and Guide, 1921, page 24.

Abortion is so routine that one expects it to be like a manicure: Quick, cheap, and painless.

Sallie Tisdale, abortion clinic nurse, October 1987 Harpers Magazine article entitled "We Do Abortions Here."

On Abortion and Childbirth.

As described in Chapter 59, "Maternal Deaths Due to Abortion," most pro-abortionists wrongly insist that childbirth is anywhere from five to one hundred times more dangerous than their treasured "safe and legal" abortion.

They make such comparisons when discussing the risks of pregnancy and childbirth to maternal physical health. Since the pro-aborts do not even acknowledge the existence of post-abortion syndrome, they make no comparisons between the psychological trauma associated with abortion and childbirth, other than in extremely general terms.

So how do abortion and childbirth compare in terms of causing psychological stress?

Psychiatrists J. Lawrence Jamieson and Martin H. Stein of the Dominion Hospital and Sleepy Hollow Psychiatric Center, Falls Church, Virginia, recently conducted a study of the most traumatic events in the lives of hundreds of women. Each of these women rated a comprehensive list of fifty stressful life events on a scale of one to one hundred, with forcible rape (as the most stressful event) given the maximum value of one hundred points. All other events were keyed to this maximum scale, and the numbers shown below indicate the perceived relative intensity of selected stressful situations to the study group.


[A medium text size on your computer's 'view' setting is recommended, otherwise, the tables may be discombobulated.]

Ranking of Life Event Points

#1. Rape                                                                      100
#2. Parent's suicide                                                         99
#3. Parent's death                                                           95
#4. Parent's divorce                                                        90
#5. Past or present sexual abuse                                     85
#9. Abortion                                                                   77
#18. Pregnancy                                                               60
#20. Child seeing single parent fornicating                        53
#22. Breakup with steady boyfriend                                51
#27. Fear of nuclear war                                                 45
#33. First sexual encounter                                              38
#40. College rejection                                                     28
#43. Fear of AIDS                                                         20

Reference: J. Lawrence Jamieson, Ph.D., and Martin H. Stein, M.D. of Dominion Hospital and Sleepy Hollow Psychiatric Center, Falls Church, Virginia. "The Holmes Personal Stress Scale." This study is described in The Oregonian, December 28, 1986.

It is interesting to note that this large group of women rated "pregnancy" much lower than "abortion" as a stressful life event. Significantly, this study also revealed that ending a pregnancy with abortion more than doubles the stress that a woman must endure from the pregnancy itself.

Other surveys and studies have confirmed that abortion consistently ranks at or near the top of the scale as a life event that causes extremely high levels of emotional distress. A 1992 Gallup poll showed that, of all of the events or situations that would make a person feel "bad about himself," 67% of the women questioned and 55% of the men questioned in the age group 18 to 29 years old stated that having an abortion tops the list.

Note that women in this age group are more likely than those in any other age group to have abortions.[7]

What About the Rest? The Impacts of PAS.

Nobody must find out or they will do that to me again, strap me to the death machine, emptiness machine, legs in the metal framework, secret knives. This time I won't let them.

                                                                                                 Margaret Atwood.[8]


PAS is now a recognized psychological trauma, similar in cause, scope and effect to the delayed shock syndrome (DSS) experienced by many Vietnam veterans. Just as many Vietnam vets do not suffer from DSS, many aborted women do not suffer from PAS. In particular, those women whose only problem with abortion is the cost seem to experience little or no remorse over their decisions. Their consciences have been effectively killed, usually by an amoral, utilitarian lifestyle practiced long before they killed their preborn babies.

This utilitarian worldview is epitomized by women like writer Barbara Ehrenreich, who claims that "Quite apart from blowing up clinics and terrorizing patients, the anti-abortion movement can take credit for a more subtle and lasting kind of damage: It has succeeded in getting even pro-choice people to think of abortion as a "moral dilemma," an "agonizing decision," and related code phrases for something murky and compromising, like the traffic in infant formula mix. In liberal circles, it has become unstylish to discuss abortion without using words like "complex," "painful," and the rest of the mealy-mouthed vocabulary of evasion. Regrets are also fashionable, and one otherwise feminist author writes recently of mourning, each year following her birthday, the putative birthday of her discarded fetus. I cannot speak of other women, of course, but the one regret I have about my own abortions is that they cost money that might otherwise have been spent on something more pleasurable, like taking the kids to movies and theme parks ..."[9]

But a long series of studies show that women with this callous attitude are in the minority. Most women do suffer from PAS especially those women who feel compelled to abort due to very serious reasons, i.e., grave health dangers, rape, incest, or severe fetal deformity. The fact that women who abort for the "hard cases" usually suffer severe PAS contradicts the several pro-abortion "hard cases" arguments for abortion. Therefore, those women who face difficult circumstances are, from a psychological point of view, precisely those who should not abort!

Diagnostic Criteria.

Figure 45-1 lists the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder established by the American Psychiatric Association, adapted by Dr. Vincent Rue for post-abortion syndrome. PAS meets every one of the criteria listed in this figure for post-traumatic stress disorder.


STRESSOR: the intentional destruction of one's unborn child is sufficiently traumatic and beyond the range of usual human experience so as to cause significant symptoms of re-experience, avoidance, and impacted grieving.

RE-EXPERIENCE: The abortion is re-experienced in the following ways:

1. recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the abortion;

2. recurrent distressing dreams of the abortion or of the unborn child (e.g., dreams or fantasies about newborn babies or fetuses);

3. sudden acting or feeling as if the abortion were recurring (including reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative (flashback) episodes including upon awakening or when intoxicated);

4. intense psychological distress at exposure to events that symbolize or resemble the abortion experience (e.g., clinics, pregnant mothers, subsequent pregnancies);

5. anniversary reactions of intense grieving and/or depression on subsequent anniversary dates of the abortion or on the projected due date of the aborted child.

AVOIDANCE: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the abortion trauma or numbing of responsiveness (not present before the abortion), as indicated by at least three of the following:

1. efforts to avoid/deny thoughts or feelings associated with abortion;

2. efforts to avoid activities, situations, or information that might arouse memories of the abortion;

3. inability to recall the abortion experience or an important aspect of the abortion (psychogenic amnesia);

4. markedly diminished interest in significant activities;

5. feeling of detachment of estrangement from others;

6. withdrawal in relationships and/or reduced communication;

7. restricted range of affection, e.g., unable to have loving feelings;

8. sense of foreshortened future, e.g., does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a long life.

ASSOCIATED FEATURES: Persistent symptoms (not present before abortion), as indicated by at least two of the following:

1. difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep;

2. irritability or outbursts of anger;

3. difficulty concentrating;

4. hypervigilance;

5. exaggerated startle response to intrusive recollections or reexperiencing of the abortion trauma;

6. physiologic reactivity upon exposure to events or situations that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the abortion (e.g., breaking out in a profuse sweat upon a pelvic examination, or hearing vacuum pump sounds);

7. depression and suicide ideation;

8. guilt about surviving when one's unborn child did not;

9. self-devaluation and/or an inability to forgive one's self;

10. secondary substance abuse.

COURSE: Duration of the disturbance (symptoms described above) of more than one month's duration, or onset may be delayed (greater than six months after the abortion).

Reference: Vincent Rue, Ph.D. Specifications for post-abortion syndrome adapted from diagnostic criteria under the heading "post-traumatic stress disorder," American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (revised), DSM III-R: criteria 309.89. American Psychiatric Press, 1400 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005. 1987, pages 247 to 251.

Symptoms of PAS.

PAS had not been categorized and documented until recent years, because typical early studies had been conducted during the denial phase immediately following abortions (anywhere from a day to a month after the act, when most women may indeed feel relief).

However, physicians recognized the lingering signs of post-abortion syndrome as early as 1870, and this was one reason that the AMA continued to vigorously oppose abortion as late as the mid-1950s. In the late 19th Century, one doctor noted the pervasive and lingering psychological impacts of abortion as he wrote that "We cannot recall to mind an individual [woman] who has been guilty of this [abortion] crime (for it must be called a crime under every aspect), who has not suffered for many years afterward in consequence. And when health is finally restored, the freshness of life had gone, the vigor of mind and energy of body have forever departed."[10]

The relief that many women feel immediately after their abortions is definitely temporary.

A fairly typical sequence of emotions and feelings was described in Mademoiselle Magazine several years ago; "At first, physical sensations overpowered her emotions; soon, however, her emotions came up. Even today, nearly two years later, she says she still thinks about what happened. A lot. She knows she did the right thing. But now, as she did that day riding home with her lover, she feels an ache that is not physical but emotional, as if there were some part of the process left undone."[11]

If this is the reaction of a woman who believes that abortion was the right decision for her, imagine the psychological impact on a woman who was forced into abortion; lied to by clinic personnel about fetal development; or who converts to a pro-life position later!

The above quote might have been written about the woman described in the Scripture passage in Jeremiah 21:17. This passage, which prophesies the massacre of the Holy Innocent, is also an apt description of the woman bereaved by abortion. These women often have the clinging feeling that they are 'forever pregnant,' even years after the loss of their preborns.

Despite intense pressure from Planned Parenthood and other abortion pushers who did not want her findings published, Dr. Anne Catherine Speckhard of the University of Minnesota revealed the results of a study on the psychological effects of abortion upon women that occur after the initial emotions have subsided. These results are shown below.[12]


                                                                                 Percent of
Psychological Effect                                           Women Affected

Preoccupation with the death
   of the unborn child                                                         81%
Unwanted flashbacks of the abortion                                 73%
Feelings of 'craziness'
   after the abortion                                                           69%
Nightmares related to the abortion                                    54%
Received visitations from the
   aborted child                                                                 35%
Uncontrollable hallucinations
   related to the abortion                                                   23%

Reference: Anne Speckhard. Psycho-Social Stress Following Abortion. Kansas City, Missouri: Sheed and Ward, 1987.

Dr. Speckhard found that, although 72 percent of the aborted women in this study reported no religious beliefs at the time of their abortion, a full 96 percent now believe that their abortions were acts of murder.[12]

The Experts Speak.


When confronted with evidence regarding PAS, pro-abortionists will invariably point out that there is no "consensus of opinion" regarding even the existence of Post-Abortion Syndrome.

This is certainly true, of course. Some cigarette manufacturers also claim that there is no "consensus of opinion" regarding whether or not smoking is healthful.

Generally, those who profit from abortion or who are pro-abortion idealogues deny the existence of PAS. Experienced and impartial field workers, however, have seen the evidence with their own eyes.

This section contains quotes from eminent psychiatrists, a suicide worker, and abortionists regarding their experiences with women who suffer from PAS.

The Psychiatrist's Experiences.

It is interesting to note that eminent psychiatrists, before their profession got entangled with the abortion business, accurately and honestly assessed the various aspects of the psychological impacts that abortion can have on women.

The problem of post-abortion psychiatric trauma was so prevalent that hundreds of psychiatrists held conventions to address and analyze the problem.

One of these conferences was convened by the Conference of the National Committee on Maternal Health on June 19 and 20, 1942, and was entitled "The Abortion Problem." Many of the psychiatrists who attended this gathering outlined some of the more common aspects of abortion-related psychiatric sequelae.

Theodore Lidz, M.D., professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, stressed that the trauma caused by an abortion may last for the rest of a woman's life unless she comes to grips with the guilt it causes; "At times the guilt over the abortion draws into its dragnet many old guilts, leading to severe depression. In other instances, the overwhelming guilt cannot be managed and leads to pathologic projection. The immediate assimilation of the trauma is no assurance of successful integration: In later years new guilts may reawaken the dormant and one sees women at the menopause suffering torment over an abortion performed many years before."[3] David C. Wilson, M.D., chairman, Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Virginia, concurred with Dr. Lidz' theory; "The reaction of guilt and depression is out of proportion to the woman's apparent attitude and may frequently occur months afterward, although she denies any feelings of guilt or concern."[3]

More than 80 percent of all relationships break up within three months after a woman has an abortion. Although men probably instigate the majority of these breakups, Dr. Harold Rosen outlined how women may be compelled to reject their "partners" in some way as a direct cause of abortions; "Some women, married or unmarried alike, may reject even the very thought of motherhood. Nevertheless, if they do conceive and manage to have their pregnancies interrupted, they may at some future date repeat the pattern. This later urge to motherhood seems greater and more powerful than their previous rejection of the unborn child. Or, if they cannot again become pregnant, they may grow furious at their 'sacrifice' and turn their anger and rage, on the one hand, against themselves by developing a suicidal depression or, on the other, against their sexual partners by becoming frigid and punishing them either by developing severely neurotic or psychotic symptoms or by leaving or divorcing them."[3]

Although there are many common characteristics of the depressions that women suffer after abortions and after miscarriages, there is one decisive difference: In the former case, women take an active role in planning the demise of their preborn children. May E. Romm, M.D., Institute of Psychoanalytic Medicine of Southern California, recognized this difference; "She [any woman] may later equate the abortion with murder and react to the guilt entailed in it with a reactive depression or, in extreme cases, with a psychosis. Early inculcated concepts, whether religious or ethical, which are consciously submerged, may assert themselves with intense impact after the deed has been accomplished. There is a cardinal difference between the emotional reaction of sadness and regret accompanying a spontaneous miscarriage, and an abortion which was deliberately performed. Reassurance by the physician that it was indicated does not, at all times, neutralize the guilt following the operation. The patient is consciously or unconsciously aware that she participated in the decision."[3]

At the 1955 conference on induced abortion held by Planned Parenthood, Dr. Iago Gladston summed up the damage that can be caused by abortion when he said at his talk that "If and when a so-called adult woman, a responsible female, seeks an abortion, unless the warrant for it is overwhelming as say in the case of rape or incest we are in effect confronted both with a sick person and a sick situation. Furthermore, and I want strongly to underscore this point, neither the given person nor the given situation is likely to be remedied by the abortion, qua abortion. It is of course true that both the person and the situation may be relieved and somewhat ameliorated by the abortion,just as an individual suffering from a gangrenous foot may be relieved by the amputation of the affected member, but I would like to go on record that in numerous instances both the individual and the situation are actually aggravated rather than remedied by the abortion. Bad as the situation was initially it not infrequently becomes worse after the abortion has taken place."[13]

A Suicide Expert Speaks.

M. Uchtman, Ohio Director of Suiciders Anonymous, painted a pitiful picture of what has happened to many aborted women who have come to her for help in her September 1, 1981 Report to the Cincinnati City Council;

After years of listening to their [would-be suicide] stories, we know there are thousands more out there being brave. By holding a tight reign on their emotions, they tuck all that unexpressed emotion and unshared experience deep down inside themselves, where it keeps growing, like a pressured tumor of pain.

Of all the emotions they experienced during the abortion crisis, none brings more pain and distress than the one they now know and identify five to ten times more than any other feelings. These women always tell us the same thing. 'Oh, my god, I am evil. I have to be evil to have done this thing. I feel so alone, so forsaken.'

Panic and distress grips them after an abortion, because the feelings are allowed to remain shadowy, ominous, ghost-like. They are shapes dancing around the edges of their consciousness. They commonly postpone the moment of truth as long as possible. But when the subconscious throws it forward, they go through mental hell! Even at age 87, the critical moment comes when the chilling reality overwhelms them and cold reality numbs their spirit and casts them into those dark 'pits' of despair and pain!

They fantasize that the 'cancer' will disappear. But it cannot! So feelings cannot be denied and repressed without doing violence to every other area of their living. And to all of those they touch!

Here are the two questions they always ask us: "Will this pain never die?" and "How many years does it take to get over this pain?"

Margaret Wold writes: "This pain remains as a counterpoint to the rest of their lives, even though time mutes its sharpness."

Many women purposely keep the pain alive by never forgiving the spouse or mate after the decision. He rejects her, leaving her to live in the pits alone, in the depths and in deep depression!

They become more and more depersonalized, superficial, and artificial. Suicide is now more desirable for them than a lifetime of false pretense and hopelessness.

The Abortionists Speak.

Certainly nobody is more qualified to speak on the psychological aspects of abortion that a veteran abortionist who is also a practicing psychiatrist.

Probably only one person in this country fits this description Washington abortionist Julius Fogel, who has killed more than 20,000 babies. According to him, "I've had patients who had abortions a year or two ago women who did the best thing at the time for themselves but it still bothers them. Many come in some are just mute, some hostile. Some burst out crying ... There is no question in my mind that we are disturbing a life process. The trauma may sink into the unconscious and never surface in the woman's lifetime ... but a psychological price is paid. It may be alienation, it may be a pushing away from human warmth, perhaps a hardening of the maternal instinct. Something happens on the deeper levels of a woman's consciousness when she destroys a pregnancy. I know that as a psychiatrist."[14]

Another veteran abortionist has found that, for women who decide not to abort, the opposite reaction is prevalent. Aleck Bourne, who confesses to having committed over 5,000 abortions, said that "I have never known a woman who, when her baby was born, was not overjoyed I had not killed it."[15]

Curiously, some pro-abortion experts see a pattern of repeated abortions as a symptom of mental illness. This is very significant, in light of the fact that 40 percent of all women who obtain abortions are repeaters.[16]

Not surprisingly, Planned Parenthood (which owns and operates the largest chain of abortion mills in the country) exhibits a profound degree of schizophrenia when addressing this topic. On the one hand, they loudly and persistently claim that women suffer few or no psychological impacts as a result of their abortions indeed, the organization states with a straight face that abortion is conducive to good mental health! On the other hand, one of PP's publications says that "People who work in abortion clinics have come to believe that any woman who has repeated abortions shows indications of being chronically mentally ill, inasmuch as she does not or cannot take control of her life."[17]

What About the Fathers?

The Current Situation.

The current controlling decision regarding father's rights and abortion is the United States Supreme Court's Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth decision of July 7, 1976.

Among other findings, the Court held that any requirement that a husband even be informed about his wife's abortion is unconstitutional.

This decision stripped fathers of any legal right whatever to protect their own preborn children. The father therefore has less of a right to protect his own child than abortion referral agents have to arrange its death, the abortionists to kill it, or the State to declare his slightest opposition unconstitutional and punishable. His relationship to his own child is deemed much less important than his relationship to a piece of property say a car or a microwave oven.

At least he has a legal right to defend his car or his microwave.

In his scathing dissent, Justice Byron White stated that "It is truly surprising that the majority finds in the United States Constitution, as it must in order to justify the result it reaches, a rule that the State must assign a greater value to a mother's decision to cut off a potential human life by abortion than to a father's decision to let it mature into a live child."

According to a national poll, more than half of all fathers including married men are not even told that their child has been aborted.[18] In one case, a father desperate to save his child filed suit to stop an abortion, and found that the only reason his wife wanted to kill their child was so that she would look good in a bikini when they went on summer vacation![19]

His wife had her abortion.

When challenged about the trivial justification for such abortions, pro-aborts will either duck the question entirely or slavishly insist that a woman's self-image is much more important than the life of her child or the right of the father to love his child.

This attitude, while bizarre in the extreme, is nevertheless understandable. After all, Neofeminists must have complete control. Control is their religion. They covet it. They need it. Yet they see no inconsistency in not allowing the father of a preborn baby to even voice his opinion on whether or not his child may live. While they squawk loudly about 'oppressive' males, they work for laws that give them oppressive veto powers over a father's most basic right the right to protect his own children.

Public Opinion Polls on Father's Rights.

Pro-abortionists love to quote heavily-doctored public opinion polls that 'show' that 75 percent (80 percent, 88 percent, pick a number that sounds good) of all American adults think that abortion should remain legal. They bring up these polls in order to paint pro-lifers as a tiny (but always 'vocal') minority who should be ignored by the public. They also point to the polls to shore up their assertion that the 'majority' should rule and abortion should remain legal.

Naturally, pro-aborts ignore public opinion polls that go against their positions. Pro-aborts always talk about public opinion polls except when they do not support the pro-abortion position. Then, suddenly, we are talking about "basic rights that everyone should have."

The most well-documented and well-known national poll on abortion attitudes was performed by the Boston Globe and WBZ-TV on March 27-29, 1989. Two questions addressed spousal rights regarding abortion;


QUESTION: "In this case, do you think it should be legal or illegal for a woman to obtain an abortion?"

                                                                      Illegal                Legal
"Mother wants abortion
   but father wants baby."                                  72%                   14%
"Father wants abortion
   but mother wants baby."                                75%                   11%

This extensive poll clearly shows that three-quarters of the American public wants each spouse to have essentially a "veto power" over the abortion decision. Yet pro-abortionists still insist that the pro-life view is a "minority position" that should be ignored by the general public. As always with selfish pro-aborts, their own rights are paramount, and the rights of everyone else take a distant second place.

For information on how pro-abortionists conduct phony public opinion polls and doctor other polls to reflect their own viewpoints, see Chapter 76, "Public Opinion Polls on Abortion."

The Impacts on the Fathers.

The impacts of abortion on the fathers of the preborn babies who go to their 'little deaths' are largely ignored by hard-line pro-abortionists and the medical profession. After all, if the preborn baby is just 'unwanted biological tissue,' and if abortion has 'no adverse psychological impacts on women,' as the pro-aborts claim, there must certainly be no reason for men to suffer any ill effects from abortion.

This attitude is obviously contrary to common sense. University of Maryland psychologist Arnold Medvene has correctly concluded that "Abortion is one of the major death experiences that men go through. It resurrects very important, very primitive issues, memories, and feelings."[20]

It is just plain stupid to summarily presume that men do not bond with their own flesh and blood, even if such flesh and blood is as yet unseen. Men who are commanded not to interfere while their own preborn children are slaughtered (almost always for pure convenience) must suppress their feelings of helplessness and outrage at the injustice of the 'system.' They are then expected to accept their aborting 'partner' as if nothing at all happened. They are many times even expected to pay for the abortion of the child that they often wanted so desperately.

Since a father has no rights whatever in the pregnancy, he may remain aloof from the mother because his child might be killed at any time, based purely upon her whim. Even when the mother and father make a joint decision to have a child, he can never be sure that she will not change her mind. Therefore, in order to lessen the pain of a possible loss, he remains aloof and unresponsive to the mother's pregnancy. This will cause tension between the mother and the father whether or not the pregnancy continues, and his aloofness may continue after birth or after abortion.

Studies have shown that more than eighty percent of the relationships that aborted women are involved in break up within two months after their abortions. In light of the powerful psychological forces working on both the father and the mother of the aborted baby, this is not at all surprising.

Yet More Inconsistency.

The general attitude of pro-aborts towards men and abortion is yet another example of the ingrained inconsistency and hypocrisy of the pro-death position. Neofeminists tell us that men should "get in touch with their feelings" and must "tap into the female aspects of their personalities." They also say that "men must become more involved with their children."

Meanwhile, they also tell us that a man is not allowed to even attempt to influence the mother of his child when she is considering aborting his preborn baby. His input is flatly labeled "unwarranted pressure."

The reaction of Louise Tyrer, vice-president of medical affairs at Planned Parenthood, is typical of the utter callousness that pro-abortionists show towards any rights other than their own; "But it doesn't matter how much men scream and holler that they are being left out [of the abortion decision]. There are some things that they are never going to be able to experience fully. I say, 'tough luck.'"[21]

And What About the Siblings?

Kids Discerning Parent's Attitudes.

Another largely-ignored group of people affected deeply by abortion is the vast pool of surviving siblings of aborted children.

Many children do not know their parents' stance on abortion. But many do. Children are remarkably perceptive and usually piece together their parents' positions on social issues through months and years of observation, even if the issues are not mentioned by name.

Many kids have parents who are active pro-abortionists or who are 'dilettantes' who occasionally contribute money to pro-abort groups or attend an annual pro-abortion event. Since the issue is constantly in the public eye, many kids hear about abortion and then ask their parents if they support 'reproductive rights' and receive an affirmative response of some kind.

Kids think a lot about their relationship with their parents. What messages are transmitted to the child(ren) of parents who they know are 'pro-choice?' What questions may arise in their minds?

The following questions and fears typically arise in the minds of kids who know that their parents have aborted one or more of their siblings;

• "How come you didn't abort me? What if I hadn't come at a 'good time?' What if I had been less than perfect? Why did you abort my sister or brother?"

• "Sometimes you tell me that I'm more trouble than I'm worth. Does this mean that you can still abort me or give me to someone else?"

• "Do I have worth all of my own? If I do, why would it be possible to abort me before I was born? Why do I have worth now but not then? After all, I was the same person!"

What message does a child receive from the knowledge that his parents are 'pro-choice?' What messages do kids get when they see a news program about a pro-abortion march that features a view of a small child with a sign around her neck proclaiming that "I'M A CHOICE, NOT A CHILD?" What does a child think when he sees or hears one of the most popular pro-abortion slogans, "EVERY CHILD A WANTED CHILD?"

Kids are not stupid. They have an innate common sense that has not yet been corrupted by the world. They know that the 'pro-choice' message means that they have no intrinsic worth of their own; all of their worth was assigned to them by another person. They were not even deemed to be human beings unless their mother willed it. If their parents now show disapproval of them, it means that, at least for a little while, they are "unwanted" and therefore less worthy than "wanted" children.

Kids As Things.

A recent national survey of aborting women performed by the Alan Guttmacher Institute found that 68 percent of all these women gave as a reason for aborting "I can't afford a baby right now."

What this statement means most of the time is this: "If I have this child, I won't be able to afford the things that I want." These things might include a vacation, a new car, redecorating, or a new wardrobe.

On a larger scale, a prominent psychologist has found that many more people are looking upon even their born children as just more "things" to have, as opposed to a new car or vacation or addition to the house. In other words, children are being evaluated in purely economic terms or in terms of how good they make the parents feel.[22] This is at least a partial and direct result of the attitude our society has towards preborn children.

The result of this pervasive attitude is that children are generally losing their intrinsic value and are being reduced to the level of possessions in general. This massive devaluation by society cannot help but lead to self-devaluation in children, especially those children of so-called "pro-choice" parents.

The Problems of the Survivors.

The psychiatric problems suffered by children who discover that their mother has had an abortion, either before they were born or after, include death phobias, impulses to run away from home, separation anxiety, outbursts of fear or hatred of the mother, anxiety attacks, recurrent and severe nightmares, stuttering, and even suicide attempts.[23]

Small children are remarkably aware of their mother's subsequent pregnancies and of their ultimate dispositions. Additionally, women who have abortions are more likely to have difficulties with their families than those women who do not abort. Therefore, they may be exposed to 'family mental health' programs that now urge them to tell their children when they have miscarriages or abortions.

Although many children may be jealous when they know that their mother is pregnant, this certainly does not mean that they wish death upon their preborn siblings. In fact, the opposite is true: They may feel grave guilt or may suffer from a cluster of other syndromes, some of which are listed below.

• The "haunted child:" The child knows that the mother was pregnant, but now is not. The child's mistrust of the parents is engendered by their unwillingness to tell him of the facts surrounding the sibling that is now gone, but he is terrified to ask for details because of the fear that the truth may be even more awful than the lurid fantasies he is having.

• The "bound child:" More than 98 percent of all abortions are done for convenience or for economic or social reasons, as proven in Chapter 87, "Statistics on Abortion." The parents try to insure that their living conditions will 'improve' to the point where another abortion will not be 'necessary,' and so they overprotect the surviving siblings to the point where his curiosity, adaptability, and intelligence are hobbled.

• The "substitute child:" All CPC counselors are aware of the fact that a large percentage of women who abort immediately become pregnant again out of a guilty need to replace the child that they have killed. This child may be overprotected, but, more frequently, must live up to very high expectations placed upon him by his parents expectations that they would have had for the previously aborted child. Since this aborted child is now idealized and can do no wrong, the surviving child is held to impossibly high standards and continually 'lets his parents down.'[24]

In a world where 'self-esteem' is said to be critically important to a child's healthy development, the 'pro-choice' message can only do massive harm to children who are lucky enough to survive the abortionist's knife. It can only lead to a cluster of fears and self-doubts that might be labeled the 'Sibling Survivor Syndrome.'

On the other hand, children of pro-life parents have something that kids from a pro-abortion family can never have. They know that they are accepted and loved just the way they are. They know that it would have made no difference at all to their parents even if they had been diagnosed as having birth defects before they were born.

Best of all, they know that they have worth that springs from their own existence, not worth that is conferred upon them only if they 'measure up.'

Reaching the High Schoolers.

All high school classes that are now graduating are composed entirely of teenagers conceived several years after the Roe v. Wade decision. These high schoolers are missing a quarter to a third of their classmates.

Despite this appalling slaughter, many of these teenagers are still pro-abortion. Why?

Because they want to be 'progressive' and popular, of course. It is a curious paradox that those teenagers who strive most vigorously to be 'different' from the 'establishment' become 'establishment thinkers' to a much greater degree than all of the rest.

But it is one thing for high schoolers to proudly shout about their knee-jerk pro-abortionism at a school presentation on abortion or at a debate between a pro-abort and a pro-lifer. It is another thing for them to think about the ramifications of abortion on a personal level.

When a pro-lifer asks the overtly pro-abortion element of a high school audience certain questions, there is invariably a colossal impact on the thinking and attitudes of the entire gathering.

Questions that a pro-lifer might ask include;

• "Are your parents 'pro-choice?' If they are, please ask them this question: "How many brothers and sisters don't I have because of abortion?""

• "If your parents are 'pro-choice,' ask them why they didn't abort you. What if you came at a difficult time? What if your parents were "shacking up" before they were married? If they were, you are very lucky indeed that you are here today, because 80 percent of unmarried mothers abort their children."

• "Would your parents have aborted you if you had a minor birth defect? What about a major birth defect? Where would they have drawn the line? Isn't treatment like this discrimination based solely upon a person's handicaps? Do you know anyone who is handicapped? Why weren't they aborted? Could it be because their parents are pro-life?"

• "Do you have any intrinsic worth now? If so, why did you not have any before you were born?"

Some pro-life activists might object that questions like these are cruel.

They undoubtedly are to a certain extent, but they will bring home the reality of abortion to teenagers like nothing else can.

If we do not tell the younger generations the truth, if we try to shield them from the reality of the slaughter, we are doing them no kindness.

Such questions will stick in the minds of high schoolers (and college students) and will demand a resolution one way or another. And they will ultimately require thought on the part of the teenager thought that will tend to cause an evolution in philosophy from unthinking and unquestioning acceptance of the 'popular' pro-abortion position to thinking and logical adherence to a pro-life philosophy.

Pro-Abortion Propaganda.

[I was] enclosed by a kind of anguish ... for the loss of a scarcely begun life, the destruction of a child I had conceived, should have carried, loved, and looked after. Appeasing the ache of physical desire I was also comforting that anguish, trying to numb it.

                                              "Sarah," who became promiscuous after her abortion.[25]

The Reasons for the Attacks.

The very existence of women suffering from post-abortion syndrome poses a very real threat to the abortion peddlers. Therefore, it is logical that pro-abortion activists should launch a propaganda campaign whose purpose is to refute the conclusions of a growing body of studies that show that abortion has serious psychological after-effects. In fact, some anti-life groups are going so far as to say that such studies simply do not exist, including the Speckhard study mentioned above!

This is really not surprising, in light of the typical pro-abortion attitude: If the data doesn't support abortion, simply ignore it!

There is a deeper reason to this close-minded attitude as well; as long as aborted women can deny the humanity of their children and the effects of their own abortions, they will never have to come to grips with their repressed grief.

Pro-abortionists, of course, have an organic, insatiable desire to continue believing that Abortion Is A Good Thing For Everyone. No true pro-abortionist will admit that abortion impacts anyone in any detrimental manner.

Pro-abort propagandists like to compare abortion to "having a wart removed" or "having a tooth extracted." Even these latter minor surgeries sometimes cause psychological trauma, and yet the pro-aborts would literally have us believe that not one of the 20 million individual women who have had one or more abortions in the last twenty years has suffered any kind of psychological trauma whatever.

Since the pro-aborts must deny that abortion can be damaging in any way, they will go to absurd lengths to reassure themselves and others that what they are doing pushing abortion is inherently noble and good, and that what pro-lifers are doing saving lives is "sadistic," "vindictive," and "exploitative."

For example, Lana Clarke Phelan, in a March 1968 speech before the Society for Humane Abortion, claimed that "Out of hundreds of women I have talked with across the United States who have undergone from one to 20 abortions each, not one has expressed any regret over the decision to abort, but all have expressed regret for the humiliation, hypocrisy and expense heaped on them by exploitive, sadistic [anti-abortion] law."[26]

A careful examination of this statement leads one to speculate as to what kind of company Phelan keeps.

Attacking Informed Consent.

In addition to denying the existence of post-abortion syndrome, the pro-abortionists have gone into an offensive posture by suppressing the provision of informed consent, which would certainly affect a woman's decision about abortion and her subsequent state of mind. They also attack and censor scholarly research in the field. After all the more women know about fetal development, the more likely they are to feel guilty about aborting. And guilt is the one thing that the Neofeminists want to be rid of most of all.

At the October 1989 annual conference of the National Abortion Rights Action League, pollster Harrison Hickman stated in a workshop entitled 'Framing and Selling the Pro-Choice Message' that "Probably nothing has been as damaging to our cause as technological advances that show pictures of the fetus."[27]

According to Dr. Vincent Rue, post-abortion syndrome expert and co-director of the Institute for Abortion Recovery and Research, based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Planned Parenthood successfully pressured the publishers Harper & Row into canceling Dr. Anne Speckhard's book Psycho-Social Stress Following Abortion.[28] It was later published by Sheed and Ward.

The Koop 'Non-Report.'

Pro-abortionists got a lot of mileage out of Surgeon General C. Everett Koop's January 1989 "non-report" on the psychological and physical impacts of abortion. This report, which had been ordered by the Reagan Administration, concluded that not enough data currently existed on the deleterious effects of abortion.

Pro-abortion liars and their toadies in the press immediately twisted the conclusions of the report. While the report stated "inconclusive" or "insufficient" evidence on the matter of PAS, the media reported instead "no evidence."

Koop himself was deeply enraged by this deception and manipulation, and said during an interview that "Instead of saying 'the Surgeon General could not find sufficient evidence to issue a scientifically statistically accurate report that could not be assailed,' the Associated Press said, 'He could find no evidence.' I know there are detrimental effects [from abortion]. I have counseled women with this problem over the last fifteen years. There is no doubt about it."[29]

The press also failed to mention that ongoing research, completed too late for inclusion in the Koop report, shows definite and concrete patterns that prove abortion is anything but the harmless procedure the pro-abortionists make it out to be.

Figure 45-2 lists just a few of the early studies that have conclusively proven the link between abortion and subsequent psychological disorders. The existence of such studies show that the media is being either extremely lazy or deliberately dishonest.


• Liebman and Zimmer, 1979: Recorded 24 different post-abortion negative 
• Cavenar, Spaulding, and Sullivan, 1979: Living children severely impacted 
   ("survivor syndrome")
• Shusterman, 1979: PAS caused by poor support, bonding with unborn baby, 
   dissatisfaction with decision.
• Fisher, 1979: Aborters have poor relations with men, masochistic tendencies,
   and poor impulse control.
• Brewer, 1978: Twenty percent of aborters experience negative psychic trauma.
• Cavenar, 1978: Anniversary reactions and psychogenic abdominal pain 
   common among aborters.
• Cavenar, Maltbie and Sullivan, 1978: Some women suffer for 20 years or 
   more; so do grandparents.
• Spaulding and Cavenar, 1978: Post-abortion guilt, psychoses, anniversary 
   reactions common.
• Blumfield, 1978: 34% of aborting women have underlying conflicting desire to 
   be pregnant.
• Bracken, 1978: Being married contributed to difficulty of abortion decision.
• Burke, 1977: Abortion patients deny aggressiveness and project onto unborn 
   babies to rationalize.
• Kent, 1977: Abortion major indicator of subsequent suicide attempts and 
   requirements for psychiatric care.
• Jacobsen, Perrls and Espvall, 1977: Aborter's psychological profile suggests 
   sadomasochistic desires.
• Greenglass, 1976: Three percent of aborting women attempt suicide.
• Lipper, et al., 1976: Repeat aborters acutely obsessive-compulsive upon seeing 
   dead baby.
• Evens, Selstad and Welcher, 1976: 20 percent regretted abortion. Pressure to 
   abort contributes to PAS.
• Adler, 1975: Typical post-abortion emotions; guilt, shame, fear, loss, anger, 
   remorse, and resentment.
• Blumberg, Golbus and Hanson, 1975: Eugenic abortions associated with higher 
   rate of depression.
• Bracken, Hachmovitch and Grossman, 1974: PAS aggravated by pressure or 
   lack of parental support.
• Moore-Carver, 1974: Review of existing PAS literature indicates range of 2%
   to 23% severe guilt.
• Martin, 1973: PAS aggravated by lack of support system and emotional 
   involvement in pregnancy.
• Barglow and Weinstein, 1973: PAS is aggravated by pressure to abort by 
   parents, peers, and partners
• Lawrence, 1973: Abortion does little to decrease overall anxiety over a life 
• Hutcherson, 1973: Women who abort were found to be low in self-esteem.
• Ewing and Rouse, 1973: 19 percent of aborting women expressed immediate 
   negative reactions.
• Kaltrieder, 1973: Second-trimester aborters who felt baby was human felt 
   guilty and sad.
• Perez-Reyes and Falk, 1973: 15 percent of aborted adolescents felt 
   depressed, guilty, angry and anxious.
• Osofsky and Osofsky, 1972: 16 percent of abortion patients were unhappy 
   and 25 percent felt guilty.
• Bracken and Suigar, 1972: PAS is exacerbated by being single, young, and 
   lacking support.
• Calef, 1972: Post-abortion anxiety can disrupt marital sexual relations.
• Colman and Colman, 1971: Stress from abortion can retard bonding with 
   subsequent children.
• Pare and Hermione, 1970: Post-abortion syndrome frequency increases with  
• White, 1966: Abortion increases bitterness towards men, especially the father.
• Sim, 1963: Abortion is not an appropriate treatment for, nor will it prevent,
   mental illness.

Reference. Vincent Rue, Ph.D. "Major Studies on Psychological Ill Effects of Induced Abortion." ALL News, December 1982, page 7.

Frightening Concessions from the Pro-Aborts.

Recently, a frightening trend of thought has become prominent among pro-abortion activists. This attitude acknowledges that abortion is definitely killing. However, instead of mourning or condemning this killing, the pro-aborts say that the killing is justified, and is not murder, since it is state-sanctioned.

This 'reasoning' is precisely identical to that of the Nazis in World War II who admitted that, when a Jew was shoved into an oven or gas chamber, killing definitely took place but that this act was not murder, since it was perfectly legal. Just as preborns are dehumanized now, the Jew was likened to an "infestation" or a "human weed."

Today, many rescuers feel chills run up and down their backbones as they witness abortuary owners testifying under oath, "Yes, it's killing, and yes, it's a baby, but so what? It's legal!"

It is humorous (in a rather lugubrious way) to see the pro-abortion movement contort itself while trying to come to grips with this 'new attitude.' The anti-life people know that the vast weight of biological evidence proves that life exists before birth. Therefore, they are forced to admit this fact.

For example, the authors of A Woman's Guide to Safe Abortion say that aborted women should "... allow yourself to mourn for the dead baby. Assuming, that is, that you feel you've killed a baby." (No, this is not a misprint)! In other words, a mere thought can define the baby as alive or dead.

In another book, Kathleen McDonnell, author of Not An Easy Choice, says that "Abortion is in some sense an act of violence, and indisputably results in the termination of life."

Yet these and other authors who harbor this strange attitude are strongly pro-abortion.

Organizations Dedicated to Helping Women With Post-Abortion Syndrome.

Abortions will not let you forget ...
I have heard in the voices of the wind
the voices of my dim killed children.

                                                                      Gwendolyn Brooks, "The Mother."[30]

Many women in your area, in your workplace, in your clubs and organizations, and especially in your church are suffering from post-abortion syndrome and have no place to turn, because nobody understands or acknowledges their situation. These poor women must suffer alone because the pro-abortionists and the media have successfully convinced the vast majority of the public that abortion is a guilt- and pain-free process.

There are more than a dozen nationally-based pro-life organizations that exist specifically to lessen the burden of aborted women. These groups research post-abortion syndrome, assist women in the filing of lawsuits against abortuaries that have injured them, and provide counseling and support.

These organizations, listed below, can also supply literature, counseling, and information on other resources in your area. If no local chapter of these organizations exists in your area, you might be interested in starting one.

There will be a pressing need for such groups until the last generation of aborted women passes away, and abortion is just an ugly memory, a historical curiosity for scholars with strong stomachs.

Abortion & Recovery Research
Vincent Rue, Ph.D.
111 Bow Street
Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801-3819
Telephone: (603) 431-1904

The Abortion Lawsuit Project
Family Concerns, Inc.
Post Office Box 550168
Atlanta, Georgia 30355
(Assists women injured by abortion in filing lawsuits against abortuaries).

Abortion Survivors Anonymous
Post Office Box 279
Fort Collins, Colorado 80522
Telephone: (303) 223-2097

Abortion Trauma Services and Outreach
1608 13th Avenue South, Suite 112
Birmingham, Alabama 35202
Telephone: (205) 939-0302

American Rights Coalition (ARC)
Post Office Box 487
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37401
Telephone: (615) 756-7065
(Assists women injured by abortion in filing lawsuits against abortuaries).

American Victims of Abortion
Olivia Gans
419 7th Street NW, #402
Washington, DC 20004
Telephone: (202) 626-8800

Christian Action Council
701 West Broad Street
Falls Church, Virginia 22046
Telephone: (703) 237-2100

The Elliott Institute and The Abortion Case Study Project
David Reardon
Post Office Box 9079
Springfield, Illinois 62971
Telephone: 1-(800)-634-2224.
(Post-abortion syndrome research).

Legal Action for Women (LAW)
1145 Candlewood Circle
Pensacola, Florida 32514
Telephone: (904) 474-1091
(Assists women injured by abortion in filing lawsuits against abortuaries).

National Organization for Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing  
St. John's Center
3680 Kinnickinnic Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53207
Telephone: (414) 483-4141 or
(For information on PAS and for a video series on how to train church-based PAS ministries).

Open ARMS (Abortion Related Ministries)
Post Office Box 1056
Columbia, Missouri 65205
Telephone: (314) 449-7672

Post-Abortion Counseling and Education (PACE)
Christian Action Council Education and Ministries Fund
101 West Broad Street, Suite 500
Falls Church, Virginia 22046
Telephone: (703) 237-2100

Post Abortion Ministries
Post Office Box 3092
Landover Hills, Maryland 20784
Telephone: (301) 773-4630

Project Rachel
C/O Milwaukee Archdiocese
Post Office Box 2018
Telephone: (414) 769-3391
(For Catholics suffering directly or indirectly from the effects of abortion).

Psychiatrists for Life and Family Values
16 East Brittany
Arlington Heights, Illinois 60004
Telephone: (708) 259-5269

Sorrow's Reward
(a quarterly newsletter devoted to articles and testimony about post-abortion syndrome. Suggested donation is $10 annually). 
Subscribe by writing to;
Human Life International,
7845-E Airpark Road,
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879.

Victims of Choice (VOC)
Nola Jones
124 Shefield Drive or
Post Office Box 6268
Vacaville, California 95688
Telephone: (707) 448-6015

Women Exploited by Abortion (WEBA)
Route 1, Box 821
Venus, Texas 76084
Telephone: (214) 366-3600

References: Post-Abortion Syndrome.

[1] An Apology to a Little Boy I Won't Ever See." Letter from an aborted mother in the Providence (Rhode Island) Evening Bulletin, April 23, 1980.

[2] Planned Parenthood "fact sheet," described in Keith J. Finnegan. "Post-Abortion Syndrome: An Emerging Crisis." American Family Association Journal, August 1988, pages 4 to 6.

[3] Flaunders Dunbar, M.D., M.SC.D., Ph.D., Director of Psychosomatic Research, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center from 1932 to 1948, David C. Wilson, M.D., Chairman, Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, Harry M. Murdock, M.D., Medical Director, Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital, Towson, Maryland, and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, May E. Romm, M.D., Institute of Psychoanalytic Medicine of Southern California, Harold Rosen, M.D., Ph.D., and Theodore Lidz, M.D., professor of psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, quoted in The National Committee on Maternal Health, Inc. The Abortion Problem: The Proceedings of the Conference of the National Committee on Maternal Health, Inc., at the New York Academy of Medicine, June 19 and 20, 1942. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins Company, 1942. Pages 31, 197, 203, 211, 212, 240, and 279.

[4] Sarah Lewit (editor). Abortion Techniques and Services: Proceedings of the Conference, New York, N.Y., June 3-5, 1971. Amsterdam: Excerpta Medica, 1972. Page 164.

[5] See for example Oregon Department of Human Resources, Health Division, Center for Health Statistics. Induced Terminations of Pregnancy, Oregon, 1988. Published in January 1990. Table 8-5, "Contraceptive Use, Number of Previous Abortions, and Number of Living Children By Age of Patient, Oregon Occurrence, 1988," page 208.

[6] Rebecca Altafut. "Abortion With Dignity," New Haven Advocate, February 26, 1986.

[7] As described in "The Curse of Self-Esteem." Newsweek Magazine, February 17, 1992. Also described in a letter by John Leonardi entitled "Abortion and "Self-Esteem."" ALL About Issues, September/October 1992, Page 6.

[8] Margaret Atwood. Surfacing. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1972, pages 164, 165, and 187.

[9] Barbara Ehrenreich. "Hers" column in The New York Times, February 7, 1985. Quoted in Rebecca Chalker and Carol Downer. A Woman's Book of Choices: Abortion, Menstrual Extraction, RU-486. Four Walls Eight Windows Press, Post Office 548, Village Station, New York, New York 10014. 1992, 271 pages.

[10] Sheila M. Rothman. Women's Proper Place: A History of Changing Ideas and Practices 1870 to the Present. 1978, page 89.

[11] "Abortion: The Mourning After." Mademoiselle Magazine, September 1983.

[12] Anne Speckhard. Psycho-Social Stress Following Abortion. Kansas City, Missouri: Sheed and Ward, 1987. 134 pages. Reviewed by Gary Crum, Ph.D., on page 44 of the October 1988 issue of ALL About Issues. This book analyzes the results of 30 in-depth interviews of women who have had abortions and compiles the results to arrive at a summary of all of the symptoms of post-abortion syndrome.

[13] Iago Gladston, M.D., at the 1955 conference on induced abortion held by Planned Parenthood. Quoted in Mary Calderone, M.D., Medical Director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (editor). Abortion in the United States. New York: Paul B. Hoeber, Inc., 1956. Page 117.

[14] Dr. Julius Fogel, quoted in Kathleen Kelly. "PAS, Professionals, and "Sorrow's Reward."" The Wanderer, April 13, 1989, page 2.

[15] Abortionist Aleck Bourne, M.D. Quoted by James Wilkinson, "A Doctor Speaks." London [England] Express, January 25, 1967.

[16] United States Bureau of Commerce, Department of the Census. National Data Book and Guide to Sources, Statistical Abstract of the United States. 1990, 110th edition. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office. Table 101, "Legal Abortions, By Selected Characteristics: 1973 to 1985." Also: Alan Guttmacher Institute and Center for Disease Control Abortion Surveillance Unit annual reports.

[17] "Let's Tell the Truth About Abortion." Pamphlet distributed by Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood. 1985, 22 pages. Fight Back Press, Post Office Box 61421, Denver, Colorado 80206. Page 9.

[18] Marie Shelton. "Abortion Often Causes Guilt, Regret, Poll Finds." Sacramento Bee, March 19, 1989, page A7.

[19] In re Unborn Baby H., No. 84C01 8804JP185, slip opinion at 1-2 (Vigo County, Indiana Circuit Court, April 8, 1988).

[20] Tamar Jacoby. "Doesn't a Man Have Any Say?" Newsweek Magazine, May 23, 1988, pages 74 and 75.

[21] Quoted in John Leo. "Sharing the Pain of Abortion." Time Magazine, September 26, 1983, page 78. For more information on men's role in abortion, see the book by Arthur Shostak, Gary McLouth and Lynn Seng. Men and Abortion: Lessons, Losses, and Love. Praeger Publishers, 1984.

[22] S. Spencer. "Childhood's End." Harpers, May 1979, pages 14 to 19.

[23] A.C. Cain, "Children's Disturbed Reactions to Their Mothers' Miscarriages." Psychosomatic Medicine, 26:58-66, 1964.

[24] R. Krell and L. Rabkin. "Effects of Sibling Death on the Surviving Child: A Family Perspective." Fam Process 18: 471-478, 1979.

[25] "Sarah," who became promiscuous after her abortion. Quoted in Paul Scott's The Raj Quartet. New York: Morrow. Book One, A Division of the Spoils, page 356.

[26] Lana Clarke Phelan. "Abortion Laws: The Cruel Fraud." Speech presented at the First California Conference on Abortion at Santa Barbara, California in March of 1968 by the Society for Humane Abortion, Inc., San Francisco, California.

[27] Charles Isenhart. "Experts Discuss Impact of 'Post-Abortion Syndrome'" National Catholic Register, June 24, 1990, pages 1 and 9.

[28] Human Life of Washington State. Human Life News, January/February 1990, page 1.

[29] Dr. C. Everett Koop. Interview with the Rutherford Institute, Spring 1989. Also recounted in The Abortion Injury Report (a publication of the American Rights Coalition, Post Office Box 487, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37401, telephone: 1-800-634-2224). Spring 1990, page 2.

[30] Gwendolyn Brooks, "The Mother." The Black Poets. New York: Bantam Books, 1971. Quoted in Eileen Farrell. "Abortion in Literature." The Human Life Review, Summer 1985, page 74.

Further Reading: Post-Abortion Syndrome.

Bill and Sue Banks. Ministering to Abortion's Aftermath
Impact Books, Inc., 137 West Jefferson, Kirkwood, Missouri 63122. 1982. Reviewed by Dr. Olga Fairfax on page 20 of the April 1983 ALL About Issues. A book for those counselors who are involved in professional help for women with various problems, but will also be of help to anyone dealing with a woman suffering from post-abortion syndrome.

Bernadell Technical Bulletin. 
This monthly newsletter, written by Dr. Bernard Nathanson and his wife Adelle, deals with technical and very valuable abortion-related issues in a format that just about everyone can understand. Particular attention is given to the effects of abortion. Subscribe by writing to Post Office Box 1897, New York, New York 10011.

Gale Brennen. Alone
1984, 32 pages, hardbound. Order from ALONE, Post Office Box 102, Elm Grove, Wisconsin 53122. The heartbreaking story of a young boy whose mother aborts his younger sibling and then attempts to justify her decision in the name of "openness." The numerous photographs accurately portray the charged emotions of the family members as the young boy asks questions that his parents can't answer, such as "Why didn't you abort me?" This book is reviewed on page 8 of the August 22, 1985 National Right to Life News.

Father James Tunstead Burtchaell. Rachel Weeping and Other Essays on Abortion
Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel, Inc., 1981. 383 pages. Reviewed by Dick Conklin on page 7 of the June 24, 1982 issue of National Right to Life News.

H.P. David, Z. Dytrych, Z. Matejcek, and V. Schuller (editors). Born Unwanted: Developmental Effects of Denied Abortion
Springer Publishing Company, 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012-3955. 1988, 144 pages. Synopses of eight European studies on the impacts of denied abortion on mothers and family members. These studies, carried out in Czechoslovakia, Sweden, and Finland, are extensive but in many cases very seriously flawed. It appears that some of the authors are bending over backwards in their attempts to arrive at the conclusion that denied abortion is detrimental for everyone involved.

Paula Ervin. Women Exploited: The Other Victims of Abortion
Huntingdon, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor, 1985. Reviewed by Dale O'Leary on page 8 of the October 24, 1985 National Right to Life News. Order from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. This book consists of testimonies from members of WEBA (Women Exploited by Abortion), linked together by the author's commentary. It was a pioneering work one of the first books on PAS and is significant as such; however, it has largely been surpassed by more recent works. It includes a wealth of case studies on the physical and psychological effects of abortion.

Thomas G. Klasen. A Pro-Life Manifesto
Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, Good News Publishers, 1988. 160 pages. Reviewed by John Hinshaw in the March 1989 issue of Fidelity Magazine. Mr. Klasen asserts that the pro-life movement is laboring under false assumptions and using less than optimal strategies. Although some of his assumptions are weak, he rightly demands that the Movement use the power of aborted women and to console them in its campaign to stop abortion. He proposes a series of "mourning centers" in large cities where women could go to mourn their dead preborn babies. The author says that we must recognize the silent victims of the American Holocaust before we can heal as individuals and as a nation.

Pam Koerbel. Abortion's Second Victim
Victor Books, Post Office Box 1825, Wheaton, Illinois 60187. Pamela Koerbel had an abortion herself and then found forgiveness in Our Lord. In this book, she describes her own experiences. She also shows how to obtain peace and forgiveness, either for yourself or for another aborted woman.

David Mall and Walter F. Watts, M.D. (editors). The Psychological Aspects of Abortion
Sponsored by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University. 1979: University Publications of America, Inc, Washington, DC. 156 pages. Order from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. This collection of studies covers post-abortion psychosis, abortion and the consequent abuse of siblings, the psychic causes of the abortion mentality, and how abortion depersonalizes both the individual and society in general. Written in layman's language, easily readable, and filled with good and indisputable information.

Father Michael Mannion. "Abortion and Healing: A Cry to be Whole." 
Kansas City, Missouri: Sheed & Ward, 1986. 111 pages. Reviewed by Regis Walling on pages 268 and 269 of the Fall 1986 issue of the International Review of Natural Family Planning and by Olivia Gans in the January 15, 1987 issue of National Right to Life News, page 18. Father Mannion's book draws on his experience in counseling post-abortive women and other troubled persons. This book could most accurately be characterized as a collection of the author's thoughts on abortion, ministry, and other subjects, with questions at the end of each chapter for the reader's reflection. The intended audience for this book is not aborted women themselves, but rather those who counsel them.

Nancy Michels. Helping Women Recover From Abortion
Bethany House Publishers, 6820 Auto Club Road, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55438. 1988, 192 pages. This excellent book is packed with references and statistics and quotes from studies that deal with why women have abortions, the impacts of abortion, and how abortion stresses can be healed. One chapter deals with the impacts of abortion on siblings and fathers.

David C. Reardon. Aborted Women: Silent No More
Crossway Books, 9825 West Roosevelt Road, Westchester, Illinois, 60153, 373 pages. Reviewed by John Hinshaw in the July/August 1988 issue of Fidelity Magazine, and by Johanna Rubin, M.D., on page 45 of the February 1989 issue of ALL About Issues. This book deals with the very detailed results of the surveys of 252 members of Women Exploited By Abortion (WEBA). The book describes in very personal terms the abortion 'experiences' of these women, and how they were pressured into the act in some cases, the quality of the so-called 'counseling' they received, the procedure itself, and its effects upon the women and their families and friends. If you have any lingering doubts that pro-life work truly benefits women as well as babies, you must read this book.

Ann Saltenberger. Every Woman Has the Right to Know the Dangers of Legal Abortion
1983, 237 pages. Order from Air-Plus Enterprises, Post Office Box 367, Glassboro, New Jersey 08028, or Sun Life, Greystone, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, or Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. Reviewed by Michael M. Donovan, M.D., on page 19 of the December 1982 issue of ALL About Issues, and by Daniel J. Martin, M.D. on page 8 of the November 24, 1983 issue of National Right to Life News. This book goes into minute detail about every imaginable type of physical or psychological harm that could possibly arise from abortion. It also addresses the impact on other family members, particularly siblings. The appendix features over 300 references.

Terry Selby and Marc Bockman. The Mourning After: Help for Postabortion Syndrome
Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49516. 1990, 150 pages. A guide to all of the various stages of post-abortion syndrome and all of the forms it can take, with special emphasis on breaking through denial.

Ann Speckhard, Ph.D. Post Abortion Counseling: A Manual for Christian Counselors
Published by Post-Abortion Counseling and Education (PACE), Christian Action Council Education and Ministries Fund, 701 West Broad Street, Suite 405, Falls Church, Virginia 22046, telephone: (703) 237-2100. 1987, 114 pages. Detailed information on identifying and counseling those with post-abortion syndrome (PAS), and how to use counseling skills to help women through the aftermath of abortion.

Kathleen Winkler. When the Crying Stops: Abortion, the Pain and the Healing
Northwestern Publishing House, 1250 North 113th Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226-3286. 1992, 180 pages. This book consists of detailed interviews with 15 women who have had abortion and are suffering from a variety of typical symptoms associated with post-abortion syndrome (PAS).

© American Life League BBS — 1-703-659-7111

This is a chapter of the  Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia Published by American Life League.