an After abortion

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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Shredding The Myths about Abortion’s “Benefits” to Women

Myth #2 (of 15), another Q&A from Planned Parenthood’s webpage, “Choosing Abortion - Questions And Answers:”

“How will I feel after an abortion?
Most women feel relief. Some women feel anger, regret, guilt, or sadness for a little while. Sudden hormonal changes may intensify these feelings…Some people who oppose women's right to make their own decisions claim that abortion causes long-lasting emotional problems, or ‘post-abortion syndrome’ [Author's note: PAS]. There is no scientific proof for these claims.”
The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM III-R), once listed abortion as a life event which can produce Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but it is no longer in the current edition. I bought the 1987 copy of that old version and it is in there, in black and white.

Keep in mind, I’m not saying, nor does the APA’s 1987 book say, that PTSD = PAS (Post Abortion Syndrome) or that PAS is a clinical diagnosis. But let me read to you from the DSM-III-R itself.

Page 247-251:
“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: …The…symptoms involve reexperiencing the traumatic event, avoidance of stimuli associated with the event, or numbing of general responsiveness, and increased arousal…The specific stressor and its severity should be recorded on Axis IV (p. 18).”
Axis IV lists several “psychosocial stressor” categories, one of which reads, on page 20:
“Physical illness or injury: e.g., illness, accident, surgery, abortion [emphasis this author].”
The DSM-IV, published in 1994, eliminated abortion as one of those psychosocial stressors.

I’ll quote from a good analysis I found on this website:
"Why did the APA consider abortion to be a psychological stressor in ‘87 but not in ‘94? This change was certainly not due to the findings of new medical studies on PAS, because no conclusive research was done during this period. The only logical explanation is that the APA could not continue to endorse something that is generally admitted to cause significant psychological damage. Therefore, it took the easy way out. The APA simply removed all evidence of psychological trauma caused by abortion from its DSM-IV.”
DSM-II was published in 1968. DSM-III in 1980, and DSM-III-R, the book I have, in 1987. I don’t know if abortion was included in versions before this one. Assuming it wasn’t, I find it fascinating that it took the APA only 13 years after abortion was legalized nationwide to recognize it as a stressor causing PTSD. And then: only 7 years for the abortion rights lobby to get them to remove it. [We posted at length on this here]

Lastly, regarding PAS’ existence, consider this: Jane Chastain, co-host of the "Judicial Watch Report" radio show, heard daily on the USA Radio Network, was a pro-choice woman who encouraged a close girlfriend to abort, and now, decades later, they both regret it deeply. She wrote an article in 2003 on WorldNetDaily.Net called “Death of a baby, birth of despair:”
“As the host of eight documentaries on the subject of abortion, I have met many other women who carry these deep psychological scars. In fact, I’ve met so many that I now believe that there are only two kinds of women who have had abortions: those who have hit the emotional wall and those who will.”
Myth #3 to be shredded tomorrow. I’ll post one a day every day from Oct. 19 through Election Day. Prior myth shredded can be found here.

(If anyone wishes to receive an emailed MSWORD document of the talk in its entirety, please just email me (see above right corner of blog).)

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