an After abortion

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Monday, March 31, 2003

Psychological Screening

Anecdotally and in small studies, as I have discussed before, there are factors that seem to predict who is most likely to experience trauma as the result of an abortion. Pressure from others, ambivalence, and having already had children are some of the risk factors.

I was interested and somewhat saddened to be reminded by this article that in other areas of life, psychologists are happy to help figure out whether a person is a good candidate for weathering certain experiences with aplomb.

The article, "Braving the Ice", is about a research psychologist who has made a life work of figuring out who will be able to successfully winter-over in Antarctica:

"Past work by psychologists has shown that the services are much needed. For example, psychologist Eric Gunderson, PhD, a major contributor to the field of Antarctic psychology, found that living and working under extreme Antarctic conditions for several months can produce moderate to severe psychological dysfunction. He has studied psychological screening predictors for winter-over candidates for more than 30 years."

260 people winter-over each year, a tiny fraction of how many women get abortions every year.

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