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Chapter 4. Psychological Consequences of Abortion

женщина, беременность

The second victim of abortion is a woman,

but who takes seriously her pain?

Hardly anyone even think about it.

Bernard Nathanson

Abortion is an unnatural act that causes, except physical complications, real spiritual disorders, personality changes, and a sense of inner emptiness. All these manifestations are called “post-abortion syndrome”. Its symptoms are described in detail in the psychological and medical literature.

Such action as abortion contradicts maternal instinct and feminine nature so much that it can be compared with a time bomb, which a woman puts into her own subconscious mind.

Norms and rules of society, parents, who cannot accept the fact that their daughter would “bring shame” their family, a single mother status is putting pressure on a pregnant woman with a weight of a multi-ton monolith. And she accepts, as it seems to her, the most correct solution – abortion. But even numerous reasons, such as lack of man, job, which a woman says to defend herself, cannot affect the deeper layers of the psyche.

After killing the child, she kills a part of herself. Think about it: people with amputated limbs or internal organs can feel their energy presence even after a long period of time. This phenomenon is known as phantom pain. The child is an inseparable part of the mother, not only on a physical level, but also at the level of the soul. Even after the birth, mother and child are connected within a few years, and experienced doctors know that if a child is sick, then they should primarily cure his mother. To kill a child means to kill something in you.

According to psychiatrists, after abortion the installation on self-destruction for the resistance of the natural course of things is formed in the deep layers of the subconscious of a woman. As a result, the woman begins to experience a number of pathological conditions. Post-abortion depression develops. The majority of women imagined abortion as a necessary remedy for depression, which may occur as a result of an unplanned pregnancy. And the opposite happens: only after abortion they learn what a real depression is, they are waiting for relief from abortion, but get real grief as a result:

“I want to scream. Why did I do that? But already I cannot return anything. And I in fact was able to give birth to my second child, but I went and… Almost 2 months passed but I don’t want to live! Who gave us, women, right to decide whether a child should live or die? We were also given a life!!! I hate myself, but I cannot return anything back! I look at my little son, and remember - I was waiting for him so impatiently! I calculated every week of his life in the tummy! And then I did that... please forgive me, baby”.

They may try to hide this grief, but it still escapes to the outside:

“And then Natasha screamed. Anesthesia passed, and she was conscious, but not yet completely. And the fact, that she tried to hide from herself, broke through. She begged to return her child, she tossed on the bed, tore to get up and go after him. And it was probably the most terrible thing I've ever seen in my life. Crying of the mother for the child, who was killed by her. She needed him, but because of the false ideas about what is right and what is wrong in this life, what is important and what can wait, she lost him. She would not forgive herself”.

The main symptom of depression becomes a permanent return to the moments, lived through, in the subconscious. The following symptoms are the most typical:

• The feeling of irretrievable loss, emptiness, sorrow

Even if a woman has easy attitude to the abortion procedure, convincing herself that the fetus in her body is just a set of cells - the soul and conscience cannot be fooled:

“I was explained that during abortion just a small piece of flesh is removed, that this procedure was almost painless and took about five minutes. When I was lying on a gynecological chair, and they literally “sucked” a living being out of me, I had a feeling of profound guilt in front of a child, which I deliberately did not allow to be born. Я I left the room, becoming a completely different person. Those five minutes were the beginning of a life full of despair, fear, shame, hopelessness, hatred of my husband...”

On a subconscious level, a woman nevertheless understands that not embryo was killed, but a living creature. And she will mourn about the loss, feel an irreparable loss, emptiness and blame herself. Usually such feelings appear when we lose our close person. But abortion in this case is no different from death, moreover, that this death was our consciously made decision. This spiritual emptiness is difficult to be filled with something:

“Year passed from the date of the second abortion; I remember everything as if it were yesterday. Nervous breakdown and horrifying headaches within 3 months that do not stop even for a moment, as a result of which I am addicted to tranquilizers. Misunderstanding myself. And the infinite void”.

“And everything was broken in one day. Ultrasound examination... Tears... Gynecological chair... Anesthesia... Emptiness... One month passed, and I do not have a single minute without thinking about my unborn little baby”.

“And I still feel like I made a mistake. When something alive was removed out of my body, I felt an unbearable emptiness. The child was gone. This loss is irreversible. After an abortion, some blunt, terrible, gaping void was left in the soul - in fact the murder was committed”.

Sorrow is a natural consequence of any loss. Therefore, women who had an abortion should go through this, absorbing a lot of time and energy, process of regret and contrition. To live through it is always more difficult if you yourself are in any way involved in the loss. This partly explains why women who had abortions suffer more than those who had a miscarriage at the same stage of pregnancy. Not having possibility to openly express their feelings, they become apathetic, indifferent, irritable and exhausted. They can tell about these feelings to no one, and no one will sympathize, because it was a conscious decision.

Often wide-spread idea prevents at least to understand their condition – “it was not a child”. These words can deceive the mind, but not the deep layers of the psyche.

A woman, who has an abortion, condemns herself to the experiences, equal to those that occur, when you lose a close person, but it denies all rights to the sympathy and even to openly express their grief.

• Obsessive memories:

Post-abortion syndrome is characterized by re-experiencing the abortion, as nightmares, obsessive thoughts, representations of unborn child image. Especially such experiences become acute in abortion anniversary or in a possible child's birthday:

«…And again March… In mid-March he was to be born … Again, I am counting his days of birthday and crying. I look at my son, and I think how that kid would look like”.

Quite often, women tell about the nightmares during sleep:

“Now I often have nightmares, in which I have again and again experienced an abortion. If I had kept our child, it would have been otherwise…”

Memories come to the surface when a woman sees other children of the same age, when she is watching her subsequent children. She looks at the kids, and the image of her own unborn kid stands in front of her eyes, what it would be right now.

“I had an abortion, and since then, I am counting how old he would be, my baby. He now would have been 2.2 years old. I do not know who it was - a boy or a girl, but for some reason I suspect that it was son. I often imagine that next to my elder son the youngest child is going, how they are fussing, play together... I’m sorry, my dear... I did not want”.

One of the doctors, psychotherapist, recalls:

“ I recently met a woman, who has completely realized herself in life. She has two children, and already grandchildren. She is almost 60 years old. Then one day she told me: “My middle child would be already 29 years old!” That is, she still counts years old of that unborn child. And for 29 years she is living with the feeling that the third child could also live”.

Knowing that the unborn child will never be either five, or ten, or twenty years old is excruciatingly. Regrets do not leave you, while constantly they are accompanied by a sense of guilt, and it is one of the following symptoms.

• The sense of guilt

It increases during the meeting with the children, watching the thematic material, communicating with friends and acquaintances. The seeming condemning views of parents and other close people provoke remorse, self-reproach, and a strong desire to have a child. As a rule, a woman realizes that all the reasons for which she refused to give birth, in fact, do not justify such an act.

“I'm 26 now, I'm married and pregnant. This child is highly desired, my husband is happy, seeing my growing belly, I am also happy, but there is one “but” - the sense of guilt is gnawing me. Guilt over those two kids whom I killed. Right now, it hurts me most of all to think about them, guilty in nothing, deprived of life and maternal love. They were no worse than my baby that I wear under the heart”.

They say that time heals, but the memories of abortion and the associated sense of guilt remain with a woman for a lifetime:

“My grandmother is already 87 years old, sometimes she recalls her life ... and all her memories, about the war or about the village sittings with her friends, end up the same way - silent tears of her fourth child. She had an abortion. One and only in her life. And she is always crying about the same: "Well, I gave birth to three children, I should leave alive the fourth kid... My son ... or daughter ...” She has three children, a lot of grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, she could just live and be glad ... I mean, abortion is irreparably act, and you should not think that it will be forgotten over time ... No. The pain will be only sharper, and understanding that you cannot correct it will be acuter”.

It is much easier to remove the baby from the womb of the mother, than the memory of him from her soul. Grief, sense of guilt will periodically cover her after an abortion, even if you try to cram them into the farthest corner of consciousness. They will live inside and keep coming back, even at senile age, when, already wise, woman finally faces cold reality.

The sense of guilt is amplified, if a woman stays childless. The realization that she is to blame herself in childlessness, comes. If the birth of subsequent children can weaken the sense of guilt, then infertility can only aggravate. Miscarriages, as a result of previously made abortions, are also very difficult to bear for women. It is known that abortions increase by several times the likelihood of subsequent pregnancy loss. The more miscarriages happen, the more the sense of guilt is enhanced.

To live, constantly feeling that spectrum of feelings that has been described above is quite difficult. Women are depressed by the memory itself of an abortion. They try to find ways that would protect them from the sense of guilt, remorse and depression.

Many of women have suicidal thoughts, as an effective way to solve the problem. In the human mind during this period the suicide looks like a believable illusion of the exit from a current, extremely unfavorable, situation, with which a person cannot cope yet:

“Two months ago I had an abortion from my beloved man. I cannot understand myself, why I agreed to this all. Everything was like a dope. After an abortion, my life is like hell. Every night I fall asleep with tears, I wake up with tears also, constantly I think about suicide, even have chosen the method. How I regret about abortion cannot be described in words. I think that suicide will help me to get rid of sorrow. It seems that the huge fire burns inside me”.

“My boy, my baby, every day I beg for forgiveness. Sometimes, thoughts of suicide come to me, as I cannot live with it!”

“I wanted to die, or at least, to go crazy, so that everything ended: these torments, the nightmares about the children, self-loathing and self-destruction”.

Dr. Robert Balfour, a consultant gynecologist, gave an example of observing 5,000 women in Finland, conducted between 1987 and 2000. The results showed: women, who had an abortion after an unplanned pregnancy, up to six times more likely to commit suicide than those who carried and gave birth to the child.

Another way to forget about the experiences - to escape into the world of daydreams and sick fantasies with the help of alcohol and drugs, resulting in a deep addiction, it practically cannot be cured:

“After the abortion, I stopped to communicate with old friends and found many new friends. I was addicted to drugs and alcohol. In order not to think about what happened, I wanted to remain permanently on drugs or get drunk until I lost consciousness”.

“I started to drink to forget everything and to escape from the pain. Before abortion I was engaged in gymnastics and led a healthy lifestyle. And then I began to feel guilty, lost respect for myself and began to think about suicide. I was interested in nothing”.

Doctors officially declare that it is necessary to explain to women the threat of potential risks to mental health after an abortion. Not so long ago, scientists of the University of New Zealand conducted a study of thousands of women and found that 40 percent of those who had abortions suffer from post-procedural mental disorders. These problems include depression, addiction to alcohol or drugs, sleep disorders, suicidal thoughts, and accompany women, who had an abortion, more often than those, who had a miscarriage or kept pregnancy before giving birth.

Sometimes milder methods of compensation are selected, but still, a woman is trying to build her life so that it brings less pain. She sees the way out in the rejection of dialogue, avoiding new acquaintances, seeks to be alone and withdraw into herself, so that nothing reminded about what happened.

Women try to avoid anything that somehow reminds them of children. It happens that a terrible aversion to everything that concerns the children develops. They avoided pregnant women, they are afraid to be in the presence of kids… Even in the stores, such women pass sections for babies in a hurry. Such avoidance often makes a subsequent pregnancy problematic.

For someone aggression becomes a way to protect them from the pain:

“Already 7 months passed since the day I had an abortion. I'm 21 years old; it was my first pregnancy from a man, whom I loved more than life. I will not tell the whole story; it was too long and sad. I have already tried to commit suicide. I became aggressive and rude”.

First of all, aggression extends to doctors, who recommended or performed abortion (often arguments that they have not told about the consequences are given), second - to the child's father, if he offered such a way out of the situation, or even just did not stop the mother who decided to have an abortion. So a woman is trying to justify herself, guilt is projected to the outside, to those who are nearby.

In any case - no longer just nervous disorders appear, there is a complete transformation of personality. Aggression, with which the abortion began, continues to live in women. Such behavior becomes a cause of conflicts with loved ones, and, ultimately, of the destruction of families.

Women, who had an abortion, are inclined to cruel attitude to their children. H. Barker found out that most often those mothers, who previously had abortion, show violence in relation to children.

Some of the mothers, who had an abortion, have an aversion by touching the baby, born already at the end of the desired pregnancy:

“I desperately wanted a child after an abortion, but when they gave it to me, I immediately returned it… Something went wrong”.

They are prone to inadequate reactions; one of them described the attacks of fury, which covered her every time she heard the crying of her newborn baby:

“I did not understand why her crying made me so angry. She was a charming child, and very calm. What I did not realize, it's the fact that I hated my daughter for the fact that she could do anything, what my lost (during an abortion) child was deprived forever”.

We should not be surprised that abortion increases the likelihood of child abuse. Described above is not an extreme manifestation of the problem. There are some reported cases, when women after abortion tried to kill their children, already born.

For example, Renee Nicely from New Jersey, USA experienced a “psychopathic fit” on the day of abortion, as a result of which she had beaten her three year old son Sean to death. She told the court psychiatrist that she “knows that abortion is bad”, and that she “should be punished for abortion”. This psychiatrist, who was an expert-witness for the prosecution, testified that the murder was directly related to the psychological reaction of Renee to abortion. Unfortunately, the victim of her rage and self-hatred became her own son.

Similar tragedy happened to Donna Fleming, a week after her second abortion. Being in a state of deep depression, Donna “heard voices” and tried to kill herself and her two sons, jumping off a bridge in Long Beach, California. Donna and her five year old son were rescued, but her two year old son was killed. Subsequently, Donna claimed she tried to kill herself and her children, to reunite the family.

The one, who took the life once, will continue to do so in the future. The mother, who killed the child, has already formed the habit to kill, and kill herewith her own children. It may seem that all these stories are not out of this world, they do not have anything common with us, and this cannot happen with a normal ordinary person. However, Donna and Renee before abortions, after which they had mental disorders, were completely normal women, who loved their children.

Even if externally everything is good, the other children will feel the danger coming from the mother, these feelings may manifest themselves through dreams or fantasies:

“Since childhood, I often have dreams where my mother wants to harm me. For example, she is chasing me with a knife, beating me, trying to kill and hate. I could not understand why I have such terrible dreams about my mother, because in this life we have normal relations, she loves me and never treated me cruelly. But recently I read an article that described the syndrome of survivors after abortion. Mom had two abortions, one before I was born, the other was after. Once, when I was 10 years old, I had creepy dream where two boys came into our house. It seemed that they were hostile and fussy. They began to eat greedily, then played with our toys, and pushed us away. They went to sleep on our beds, and we had to sleep on the floor ... I told this dream mother. She later confessed that she had 2 abortions and felt that they were boys”.

The presence of killed children will be felt all the same in the family, not only by failed mother, but also by other relatives. If the children know about the miscarriages or abortions of their mothers, it is likely that they would not be able to understand why they survived and their native brothers and sisters - no, why they were chosen to live, and their brother or sister were killed, and in connection with children's egocentrism to blame themselves in this incident.

The feeling of guilt for the fact that he is alive, an inexplicable fear of the mother, the fear of being “unwanted”, difficulties in forming loyalties, problems with the disclosure of potential, concern for the future, the burden of expectations that he cannot justify, problems with trust to parents — such a spectrum of emotions is formed in the child's inner world, if he has brothers and sisters, killed by abortions.

Children learn about abortion in various ways. They have intuition. In their dreams, drawings they are often able to express that they know that mom was pregnant, and the pregnancy was lost.

Abortion is a blow not only for the psyche of women, but also for the psyche of all her children.

The author of the following letter has tested on herself multiple consequences of abortion, aggression, despair, guilt, painful memories, everything mentioned above. Abortion was presented to her as an easy way to solve the problem, but it turned out to be absolutely not so:

“I was not told that, after the abortion, the incredible hatred to me will devour me from the inside and will lead to mistrust, suspicion and extreme inability to take care of myself and of others, including my four children. I was not told that the baby crying sound will cause an explosion of anger in me, that I would not be able to stay close to children.

I was not told that for me it would become impossible to look into my own eyes in the mirror. Or that my self-confidence will be so shattered, that I would not be able to take any important decisions. Hatred to myself did not allow me to achieve career advancement. I thought I did not deserve success.

I was not told that I would hate all those who advised me to have an abortion because they were accomplices in the murder of my children. I was not told that the abortion with the permission of my husband will lead to the fact that I would start to hate the father of my children, that I would not be able to maintain any normal, long, bringing satisfaction relations.

I was not told that I would think of suicide every fall, at the time when both of my murdered children must have been born.

I was not told that at the birthdays of my living children, I would remember those two, for whom I would never bake a birthday cake. That on 8 March I will be thinking about those two, who never presented me with love, gifts made with their own hands. That every Christmas would remind me of those two, for whom there would be no gifts under the Christmas tree.

Abortions were to become simple and quick way to solve my problems, but I was not told that there is no simple and quick way to get rid of regret and remorse”.

Many women are going to have an abortion with the thought: “Soon everything will be over. I just will not think about it. I'll just continue to live as before, as if nothing had happened”.

Even statistics show that most likely everything will be quite different. For example, according to research by Dr. Speckhard, conducted in the University of Minnesota in 1985: 100% of the studied women experience grief and sense of loss, 92% - a sense of guilt, 85% of women were surprised by the intensity of negative emotions caused by abortion, 81% feel betrayed, 65 % had suicidal thoughts, and 23% of women have tried to commit suicide. The consequences of abortion in the field of mental disorders affect nearly every one of those, who resorted to this intervention. It would be naive to think that they will bypass someone.

Each person understands at the level of conscience that abortion is the killing, but because of certain social attitudes he finds for himself necessary excuses to hide deeper the sense of guilt by logical arguments. But sooner or later this inner disharmony necessarily manifest itself, no matter how hard a woman convinced herself that it was “just a clot of cells”, “mini-abortion is small potatoes”.

Thoughts “what would have happened if ...”, the memory and nightmares for a long time do not leave alone those who once decided to have an abortion. But as they say, it is better to prevent disease than to treat it. Those, who are only going to have an abortion, should think about its consequences. Only few women are able to cope with feelings of guilt, loss, pain, loneliness, and depression. Usually these feelings are pursuing a woman for life.

Why do women agree to have an abortion? Who and what drives them to it? In our society, we are talking about the right of free choice. But this philosophy is attractive only when it is divorced from reality, is revered as an ideal, is regarded as an abstraction. From the point of view of women, filled with despair, horror, guilt and denial, this philosophy is cold and disappointing. From the point of view of the consequences in the form of breast cancer, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancy, alcohol abuse, suicide mania, and depression – it is a mockery. From the viewpoint of reincarnation in the infernal worlds, and other karmic consequences – it looks more tragic.