an After abortion

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Thursday, July 3, 2003

Minnesota recently enacted the Women's Right to Know law. It mandates that women receive information about fetal development and the health risks of abortion prior to the procedure.

The Minnesota health department was asked to put together a handbook covering the mandated areas.

Here's what it says about the potential emotional impact of an abortion:

"Because every person is different, one woman’s emotional reaction to an abortion may be different from another’s. After an abortion, a woman may have both positive and negative feelings, even at the same time. One woman may feel relief, both that the procedure is over and that she is no longer pregnant.

Another woman may feel sad that she was in a position where all of her choices were hard ones. She may feel sad about ending the pregnancy. For a while after the abortion she also may feel a sense of emptiness or guilt, wondering whether or not her decision was right.

Some women who describe these feelings find they go away with time. Others find them more difficult to overcome.

Certain factors can decrease the chance that a woman may have a difficult adjustment to an abortion. One of these is having counseling before consenting to an abortion. When help and support from family and friends are available, a woman’s adjustment to the decision may be less of a problem.

Some reasons why a woman’s long-term response to an abortion can be difficult may be related to past events in her life. For example, negative feelings could last longer if she has not had much practice making major life decisions has limited support from family or friends or already has serious emotional problems."

And some women have a difficult long-term response to an abortion because they conclude that a human person was destroyed in the course of the abortion. (Although maybe the Minnesota Department of Health thinks that the belief that a baby was involved falls under the category of having a serious emotional problem?)

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