Abortion hurts deep – very deep! It is a personal tragedy which goes to the heart of the soul. Statistics show that eighty-five percent (85%) of women regret they had an abortion (regardless of the reasons why they had it!). Abortion harms the individual woman, all women, men, and society as a whole.
How abortion hurts the woman
● It destroys the child within her – ends his or her life. This goes against the woman’s natural instinct as a mother to protect her own child. A part of her dies with that child. As time goes by she is more and more aware that a part of her is missing and she longs to be whole again; to recover what she has lost. This hurt can last a lifetime!
● Forbidden Grief – Despite the hurt she feels, the woman is not able to fully or properly grieve. Society tries to convince her that she has not lost anything – that there is nothing to grieve about.
Generally, governments that legalise abortion do nothing in the way of providing post-abortive recovery services. They literally turn their backs on women. They do so in order to justify their actions, and, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, ignore the fact that post abortive trauma is very real and can have serious, long-term, life and health consequences.
● It is often not her “choice” but the woman is blamed by almost everyone. She, too, blames herself. Most women do not exercise “choice” when making a decision to have an abortion. At such a vulnerable time they feel pressured especially when persons who should offer support coerce them, or turn away.
Too many people (including counsellors and social workers) ask leading questions such as “Are you married?” “Are you working?” “Don’t you want to go to college?” How will you care for this baby?” By the time the young mother answers all these questions in the negative she feels an abortion is her only “choice”.
● She is not informed, misinformed, or out rightly lied to – mainly by abortion advocates and abortionists. She is told that she is not carrying a baby that “it’s only a blob of tissue”, that the procedure is painless, and that she will get over it quickly. These are all lies. Most times people who counsel her have a vested interest. Their job security and financial progress depend on her decision to have the abortion. Her decision puts instant cash into their pockets (as much as US$500 in the case of Planned Parenthood in the USA) (how much is it in the case of Planned Parenthood in Saint Lucia or Trinidad?). In some clinics there are financial incentives for staff who sell abortions. For this reason she will not even be allowed see an ultrasound of her baby before the procedure – lest she changes her mind!
● She is left physically scarred and exposed to future health risks.
In addition to the physical dangers and the documented health risks posed by the abortion procedure itself, a number of studies have suggested a causal link between certain types of cancer and induced abortion. Future pregnancy failure is increased by forty-five (45%) percent with just one previous abortion. Additionally there is greater risk of premature births, tubal pregnancy, sterility and damage to the cervix.
● She is left emotionally scarred.
The many serious negative psychological effects of abortion are well documented. Post abortive women may experience some or all of the following.
● Suicide: approximately 60 percent of womenwho have had abortions report suicidal ideation, with 28 percent actually attempting suicide,
● Alcohol and drug abuse: Over twenty studies have linked abortion to increased rates of drug and alcohol use.
● Eating disorders: Post-abortion stress is associated with eating disorders such as binge eating, bulimia, and anorexia nervosa.
● Sexual dysfunction: Thirty (30) to fifty (50) percent of the women who experience difficulty adjusting to a past abortion report experiencing sexual dysfunctions. These problems may include loss of pleasure from intercourse, increased pain, an aversion to sex and/or males in general, or the development of a promiscuous life-style.
● Child neglect or abuse: Abortion is linked with increased depression, violent behavior, alcohol and drug abuse, replacement pregnancies, and reduced maternal bonding with children born subsequently. These factors are closely associated with child abuse.
● Repeat Abortions. Women who have one abortion are at increased risk of having additional abortions in the future. Approximately 45% of all abortions are repeat abortions.
Consider the effect of all of the above on the woman’s quality of life – her ability to function and manage situations and relationships at home and in the workplace.
For more information and research see http://afterabortion.org/1999/more-research-on-post-abortion-issues/
How abortion hurts society
● Men are among the silent victims.
If women are forbidden to grieve, far less men who may have been partly responsible or whose children have been killed against their wishes – they being powerless to intervene. Men are among the silent victims of abortion but often they are just as devastated. Because of cultural factors they are less able to express their grief and sadness. They may recognise their mistake and feel guilty and responsible. Increasingly men are attending post abortive recovery sessions searching for healing. Some of the negative effects identified are: rage and anger, risk taking behaviors, alcohol and drug abuse, emotional abuse and or spousal battering (this may be directed at the woman “punishing” her for the abortion especially if it was done against his wishes). Some relationships deteriorate completely and result in separation or divorce.
● Abortion impedes the advancement of women
● Women are pressured or feel pressured toabort or to delay child bearing in order to advance their careers, or to maintain employment. This tells a woman plainly that this is a man’s world and she must suppress, even deny her femininity in order to succeed or to get that well deserved promotion.
● Too many colleges and universities are more prepared to promote women’s “reproductive rights” (to abortion) than they are prepared to invest in affordable, quality, day care facilities for student mothers. Planned Parenthood’s Abortion Clinics are strategically located in close proximity to colleges and universities all over the United States of America. This makes a women feel pressured to have an abortion so as to continue her education. A woman should not have to choose between her child and her education.
● Abortion leads to abuse of women’s rights
One-child policy – There is no greater abuse of women’s rights in the world today than one-child policy imposed by China.
What greater abuse of women’s rights can there be than for a woman to have her reproductive cycle systematically monitored and her fertility regulated by the state under the force of law; to be obliged to apply to the state for permission – “a quota” to have a baby! Women who do not comply face extremely harsh penalties like wage cuts and reduced social services. Women are sterilised against their wishes and forcibly aborted even after carrying their babies to term, day in, day out in China, under the force of law, by the state!
This is an unspeakable crime against women and children, a global tragedy which is crying out for justice. What does this do to worldwide efforts to promote respect for the dignity, rights and advancement of women? Why isn’t international pressure put to bear on countries like China? Why hasn’t there been a United Nations Resolution condemning this outrage!
Gendercide – As a direct result of the one-child policy,and the availability of sex selection, girls are decimated by abortion. Girls are not wanted, deemed very bad news, regarded as valueless, a burden to the family and the society. They are killed before birth, during birth, and after birth. As infants and small children girls are neglected, abandoned, disappear, slayed outright by family members. Sex determination clinics are spreading all over the world, and sex-selective abortions and infanticide, once thought to be unique to China and India is catching on in Central Asia, Latin America, and the rest of the world.
A 1984 UNICEF report on Bombay notes that of 8000 abortions done after prenatal sex selection 7999 were girls. According to a 1997 WHO report “more than 50 million women were estimated to be ‘missing’ in China because of the institutionalized killing and neglect of girls due to Beijing’s population control program that limits parents to one child.” (See Joseph Farah, “Cover up of China’s Gendercide” Western Journalism Center/FreeRepublic, September 29, 1997.)http://www.gendercide.org/case_infanticide.html . Farah refers to the gendercide as “the biggest single holocaust in human history.”
More recent UN figures suggest that as many as 200million women are missing in the world today because of gendercide.
This is a global human tragedy occurring in an era when girls and women have every right to be treated with respect and dignity on par with boys and men. Sex determination has become a lucrative business at the expense of the lives of women!
Abandoned Girls – In China girls who are not aborted or out rightly killed are abandoned in state orphanages uncared for and left to die in misery and squalor. It is estimated that 95% of children in state orphanages are girl victims of the one-child policy.
● There is a direct link between abortion of girls, sex slavery, and trafficking of women.
Because of the extermination of girls there is a critical surplus of men over women in countries like China. The Chinese Academy of Social Science has noted that there are at least 111 million men in China who will not be able to find a wife. This situation has resulted in kidnapping and slave trading of women to the extent that since 1990, official Chinese figures reveal that 64,000 women (about 8,000 per year) have been saved from forced marriages. If we consider that the majority of women have not been “rescued” we can only surmise how high the real figure actually is. Reportedly, the “thirst for women is so acute” that slave trader gangs are even reaching outside China, such as Northern Vietnam, in order to feed the demand in China.
● Decreasing Fertility.
Many countries in the world including a number of countries in the Caribbean are experiencing rapid decline in fertility. According to the UN Fertility Report 2007, during the period 1994-2005, five countries or areas in Latin America and the Caribbean including Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago recorded fertility below replacement levels. Saint Lucia recorded the fastest decline by 1.3 women per decade.
Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Dr Merle Lewis, recently sounded a warning about Barbados’ (and some other Caribbean countries) low fertility levels . Dr Lewis noted that the number of new births in the Caribbean was not keeping pace with the number of deaths, thus affecting broad population stability. The total fertility rate in Barbados for 2011 is 1.68 per woman (this figure is below replacement level).
The implications for such a drastic decline in fertility are serious and include:-
● The obvious detrimental impact on economic growth with an aging population and fewer younger people able to work to support the elderly (fewer people engaged in economic activity, home purchases etc, which keep the economy healthy).
Gary Becker 1992 Nobel Peace Prize Winner in Economics says that a steady population growth goes along with a steady economy whilst population decline leads to economic depression
● Decreasing family sizes means more social isolation, less social support from relatives – less aunts, uncles, cousins thus an overall decrease in quality of life.
● Abortion represents a general lack of regard for human life. It encourages crimes against the person.
Caribbean countries should heed the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta “… if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one other [?]. “
The English Speaking Caribbean is now the world leader in violent crime. Jamaica has the highest murder rate in the world! Trinidad and Tobago is not far behind! Crime and murder rates are rising rapidly in smaller Caribbean countries. This has a devastating effect on our quality of life and our economies.
We should continue to strongly resist international pressure to legalise abortion. Let us preserve our Caribbean heritage by taking a firm stand to protect family, human life and human dignity!