Post-Abortion Syndrome is the emotional pain, grief and regret that follows an abortion decision.
Following an abortion, women typically feel “relieved” and “better.”
- The worries and fears of hiding the fact that they were pregnant no longer exist.
- Most women who choose abortion believe once the abortion is over, they will be back to their normal lives and normal selves.
Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS) can start anytime following an abortion, from immediately to the rest of one’s life.
- Women who were told abortion removes “tissue” or “a clump of cells” in the abortion later learn about life in the womb.
- Women who become pregnant again frequently see an ultrasound of the developing fetus.
- The joy of being pregnant can be overshadowed by the regret of a previous abortion.
- For many post-abortive women, the emotional pain sets in like a fog over the landscape, quietly and progressively with the passage of time.
- Most typically, women may not feel these sensations until five or more years following the abortion.
A person suffering from Post-Abortion Syndrome may have a few, some, most, or all of the long list of symptoms one can experience with this syndrome.These symptoms can affect a women’s ability to reach her full potential. PAS symptoms can be debilitating and can affect relationships, personal growth, professional growth, and the ability to parent subsequent children.
Here are PAS symptoms:
- A sense of hopelessness about the future
- Aggressive behavior
- Alcohol abuse or addiction
- Anxiety attacks
- Child Abuse
- Conflict with authority
- Crying fits
- Denial, anger, guilt, despair or depression
- Denial of feelings about the abortion.
- Diminished interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Difficulty concentrating
- Drug abuse or addiction
- Eating disorders
- Fear of God
- Feelings of shame
- Feelings of spiritual crisis
- Flashbacks to the abortion
- Grief or mourning
- Fear of men
- Inability to forgive others
- Inability to forgive yourself
- Inability to maintain loving or trusting relationships
- Depression or grief on the anniversary of the abortion.
- Intense depression or grief on the anniversary of the baby’s due date
- Intrusive thoughts
- Low self-esteem
- Marital problems
- Outbursts of anger or rage
- Preoccupation with death
- Recurring nightmares
- Risk-taking behaviors
More descriptors of PAS:
- Post abortive women later share how they never talked about the abortion –
- Not with their friends, not with the father of the unborn, and not with family. It may seem like no one wants to hear how hurt, abandoned and grief-stricken you are. We live in a society that says, “You had an abortion. It’s legal. You’re okay. Move on. It’s only your hormones out of balance.” This message of denial describes not only what you may hear from your friends and family, but sadly, most doctors, psychiatrists and clergy may not connect your depression with other post abortion symptoms you are experiencing. They may give you an antidepressant or encourage therapy for your symptoms, but they won’t listen to your sadness and validate it by saying, “Yes, you are grieving for your baby. You had an abortion.”
- When people grieve the loss of a loved one, there is usually the opportunity to come together to support one another at a funeral service.
- This is not possible with an abortion experience, as most women keep an abortion decision private.
- There is no closure for the grief and loss an abortion experience brings later in life unless you seek help.
- There is hope and help for you to deal with this pain, to forgive yourself, and to move forward in making positive decisions for your life.
- Working with professionals who are trained to help women experiencing grief after abortion is key to your recovery.
- The first step to finding such trained professionals may be only a click away on any of the following website links:
If you are seeking information for yourself or for anyone you love who is suffering following an abortion, you are encouraged to visit:
You should know that it is impossible to disguise the 9 stages of Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome. See:
While the media claims that Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome is not a recognized condition, many studies and much research attest to its reality and its close relationship to Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Theresa Burke, MA, Ph.D., DAPA, NCP, LPC, writes about Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome in her book, Forbidden Grief – The Unspoken Pain of Abortion.
(See http://184.108.40.206/rachelsvineyard/development/ for more information on Theresa Burke’s research and work in Post Abortion Stress Syndrome).