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Abortion: Psychological And Spiritual Impact

Why some abort


Millions of women in nearly every country in the world abort yearly. In most countries abortion is
legal, in some countries abortion is still illegal. Legalizing abortion makes it safer than that of illegal
abortions, which can be more risky, but even legalized abortion carries with it risks.
Women have abortion for different reasons. An unwanted pregnancy is one. Another is the prenatal
testing of the fetus, which might indicate that there is some type of congenital defect in the fetus.
Sometimes that defect is major, such as in the case of Down's Syndrome, at times it is minor or there
is some possibility that there might be a birth defect.
In the U.S. perhaps 30% of pregnant teenage girls abort the fetus of their baby. In one large high
school in Newark, the SAC coordinator and counselor stated that, "it seems like every girl that walks
through these doors, (her office), is pregnant. (Other sources put the number at approximately 40%.
See: Statistics in Adolesent Pregnancy. Teen Shelter Org).
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Education and psychological effects
Education provides one solution towards preventing abortion. Girls need to be taught by their
parents and through their public education, to respect themselves, their bodies, and learn the value
of monogamy as well as how to avoid to what might lead to an unwanted pregnancy. Promiscuity
carries with it a heavy emotional and psychological price tag. Abortion also carries with it emotional
and psychological burdens which sometimes are long-lasting. It is said that even the fathers of the
fetus that has been aborted, often times are in need of therapy because of guilt or grief over the lost
life. (Kalish, S., May/June 2004. Psychology Today), Depression can result when a girl or woman has
an abortion or series of abortions. It is not uncommon.
In many states, (New Jersey being one) abortion is permitted for minors without parental consent or
even notification. In other words, a 13 or 14-year-old can become pregnant and go to the
neighborhood Planned Parenthood and have an abortion without her parents being informed.
(ACLU)
If a teenage girl becomes suddenly withdrawn or depressed, or behaves erratically, a hidden
abortion might be one possible reason.
The grief or guilt that comes with having an abortion can last, for some, for decades, and some never
fully heal emotionally, always wondering what or who that baby would have been. Having an
abortion is not something to be taken lightly, even in the case of a baby with congenital defects.
About 20% of woman who have an abortion have severe mental distress 5 years after the abortion,
compared to around 2% who had miscarriages. (Health, BBC News. December 12, 2005).
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Down's Syndrome and Abortion

The majority of Down's Syndrome babies are aborted in the United States. Not all children with
Down's Syndrome are equal in the severity of the disorder. Some are quite functional, and from
working with a number of Down's Syndrome children in special education, I can say honestly, very
lovable and gentle, lovely. The alarming statistic of close to 90% of fetuses detected with Down's
Syndrome being aborted in the U.S. is of note.
Many Down's Syndrome children attend school and learn, are well adjusted, and "make it," when
they are raised in a loving family. "I am so lucky I get to do so many things," she concluded. I just
want you to know, even though I have Down syndrome, it is O.K.," said Sarah, 11 1/2 years old.
(Harmon, A., May 9, 2007. New York Times).
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Abortion - Coping With Guilt and Religious Issues
For those who have had an abortion and feel that they are depressed as a result, or who are having
difficulty coming to terms with it, one's faith and the spiritual or religious aspect of life does come
into play. The grief of abortion goes beyond the borders of psychology and into the realm of religion.
Going to a therapist and talking things out can be of help, but, one's relationship with God and
working things out spiritually are of utmost value. If one feels guilt or has suppressed memories, or
tends to block God out of the picture, as a result of an abortion, but has a desire to face the issue
and overcome it, open communication with God about the specific situation is of value.
We can openly confess our sins to God and to each other. If we do this and pray for forgiveness, pray
humbly for God's help, then a person can recover from guilt or depression that might be associated
with having an abortion.
One must realize also that God is merciful and kind. He does not burn people in hell, the Scriptures
say that "God is love." 1 John 4:8. Therefore, we can approach him humbly with an open heart, and
ask for his help and forgiveness, and to restore our relationship with him, if it has in any way been
damaged.
Psalms 103:7-10 is a beautiful scripture to meditate on. At the same time, we always want to strive
to do what is right in His eyes, because God teaches us for our own benefit," not to place
unnecessary restrictions on us, but because he loves us and wants us to find happiness and a true
purpose in life.
One other Psalm of note on the subject of abortion is what the Psalmist David poetically said, "My
bones were not hidden from you when I was made in secret, Your eyes saw even the embryo of me,
and in your book all its parts were down in writing."
This is written from the viewpoint of an educator, research, observed psychology and from nonjudgemental religious consideration of the subject. The author is an educator in the public school
system, as well as a writer on children's and teen issues, psychology. For more information, details
and documentation on this and other articles, see http://www.winmentalhealth.com, The Association
for Natural Psychology.
Some of the topics considered are depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, OCD, schizophrenia, eating
disorders, anxiety disorders, as well as epilepsy, autism and related issues. The emphasis given
consideration is non-pharmaceutical solutions and strategies, as well as building a network of coping

skills in dealing with these mental health and neurological difficulties. Thank you.
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References on Abortion:
Abortion 'leaves mental legacy', (December 12, 2005). BBC News.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4520576.stm
Harmon, A., May 9, 2007. Prenatal Test Puts Down Syndrome in Hard Focus. New York Times.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/09/us/09down.html
Kalish, S., May/June 2004. Psychology Today.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/pto-20040625-000001.html
NJ Supreme Court Strikes Down Parental Notification for Abortion Act, (August 15, 2000). ACLU.
http://www.aclu-nj.org/news/njsupremecourtstrikesdownp.htm
Statistics in Adolescent Pregancy. (Retrieved October 5, 2008). Teen Shelter Org.
http://www.teenshelter.org/data.htm