an After abortion

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

It appears great minds think alike. Emily has just blogged on this while I was writing mine. I'll cull through it after reading hers and edit accordingly so as not to repeat.
"Having an abortion can cause five years of mental anguish, anxiety, guilt and shame, according to a new study...by researchers at the University of Oslo."
From other research and our own personal experiences, we know that these problems can and do subsist much longer, decades for many. This BMC Medicine Journal abstract reveals they only studied women's reactions as late as five years after the pregnancy termination event. But this is just one more piece of cold hard evidence.

The first article above allows comments with a free registration. The one comment there is stark:
Anonymous Posted: 12/12/2005 14:39
How could you possibly avoid thinking about this event? Women have effectively killed themselves after having this procedure. It's so unfair on women.
Effectively, or literally too, indeed.

Other articles on this in the UK's Telegraph and PsychiatrySource.com.

It turns out this group of researchers has been studying this a while, too.

Before this, Broen, Anne Nordal; Moum, Torbjørn; Bødtker, A.S.; Ekeberg, Øivind and studied "Psychological impact on women of miscarriage versus induced abortion: a 2-year follow-up study,' published in Psychosomatic Medicine 2004;66(2):265-271.

Seems they found this effect to exist after two years first, then decided to study women who were five years after the event. Seems like a progression. Next we may see a 10 year or 20 year study.

This study found that
At all measurement time points, the group who had induced abortion scored higher on IES [Impact of Event Scale] avoidance. Women who had a miscarriage were more likely to experience feelings of loss and grief, whereas women who had induced abortion were more likely to experience feelings of relief, guilt, and shame...CONCLUSION: The short-term emotional reactions to miscarriage appear to be larger and more powerful than those to induced abortion. In the long term, however, women who had induced abortion reported significantly more avoidance of thoughts and feelings related to the event than women who had a miscarriage.
Relief, guilt then shame. That was surely my pattern. The relief went away long ago.

They also did a third study: "Reasons for induced abortion and their relation to women's emotional distress: a prospective, two-year follow-up study" published in the journal Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2005 Jan-Feb;27(1):36-43.

Dr. Broen's email is given as a.n.broen@medisin.uio.no.

Very telling among these findings was this one:
When the reasons for abortion and background variables were included in multiple regression analyses, the strongest predictor of emotional distress at T2 [6 months] and T3 [2 years] was 'pressure from male partner.' CONCLUSION: Male pressure on women to have an induced abortion has a significant, negative influence on women's psychological responses in the 2 years following the event. Women who gave the reason "have enough children" for choosing abortion reported slightly better psychological outcomes at T3.
But only "slightly better."

And whaddya know? Two of these researchers are women.

Thanks to reader/friend Lee Anne for the alert

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