Skip to main content


Abortion and Depression (Part 2 of 2)

3/4/2006 - 1:30 PM PST

Advertisment

Interview With Theresa Burke of Rachel's Vineyard

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pennsylvania, MARCH 4, 2006 (Zenit) - Depression over a past abortion is an often hidden and ignored link that needs to be addressed, says a counselor who deals with post-abortion trauma.

In the second part of this interview with us, Theresa Burke, founder of the Rachel's Vineyard Ministries, explains how depression is a natural effect of abortion that may erupt years later.

Rachel's Vineyard organizes weekend retreats for those struggling with the emotional or spiritual pain of an abortion.

Q: What are the risks of depression stemming from the guilt of an abortion?

Burke: Because abortion is legal, it is presumed to be safe. Indeed, it is commonly identified as a woman's "right."

This right, or privilege, is supposed to liberate women from the burden of unwanted pregnancies. It is supposed to provide them with relief -- not grief and depression.

One of the big problems is that when women are assaulted by their own natural reactions to their loss, they don't understand what is wrong with them.

Many women go into treatment for depression, anxiety, or addictions, but simply don't understand the roots of their illness. In many cases they are drugged and diagnosed but never led on a path to healing and recovery.

Unresolved memories and feelings about the abortion become sources of pressure that may erupt years later in unexpected ways. Unresolved emotions will demand one's attention sooner or later, often through the development of subsequent emotional or behavioral disturbances.

Professor David Fergusson, a researcher at Christchurch School of Medicine in New Zealand, wanted to prove that abortion doesn't have any psychological consequences.

He was surprised to find that women who have had abortions were one-and-a-half times more likely to suffer mental illness, and two to three times more likely to abuse alcohol and/or drugs.

Fergusson followed 500 women from birth to age 25. "Those having an abortion had elevated rates of subsequent mental health problems, including depression (46% increase), anxiety, suicidal behaviors and substance use disorders," reads the research published in the Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology.

Abortion is in fact responsible for a profound array of problems:

-- a 160% increase in rates of suicide in the U.S., according to the Archives of Women's Mental Health, in 2001;

-- a 225% increase in rates of suicide in Britain, according to the British Medical Journal, in 1997;

-- a 546% increase in rates of suicide in Finland, according to the Acta Obstetrica et Gynecologica Scandinavica, in 1997.

In total, the average boosted suicide risk of these three studies is 310%!

This high suicide rate following abortion clearly disproves the myth that termination of a pregnancy is safer than childbirth.

The best record-based study linking psychiatric admission rates following abortion reveals that in the four years following pregnancy outcome, women who abort are two to four times more likely to be admitted for psychiatric hospitalization than women who carry to term.

Another record-based study reveals that even four years after abortion the psychiatric admission rate remained 67% higher than for those women who did not have abortions.

Aborting women were more likely to be diagnosed with adjustment reactions, depressive psychosis and neurotic and bipolar disorders, according to the Archives of Women's Mental Health, in 2001.

The risk for postpartum depression and psychosis during later wanted births is also linked to previous abortion.

An average of eight years after their abortions, married women were 138% more likely to be at high risk of clinical depression compared to similar women who carried their unintended first pregnancies to term. This is according to the British Medical Journal of January 19, 2002.

In the category of drug and alcohol abuse, we see many women trying to cope with their inner conflict and grief through a 4.5 times higher risk of substance abuse following abortion.

And this is only based on those who are reporting substance abuse. Think of all those who think that drinking eight glasses of wine each night is simply a way to "unwind." This aspect was reported in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, in 2000.

The results of the first international long-term, follow-up study led by Dr. Vincent Rue reveals overwhelming evidence of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Statistics collected in America reveal the following:

-- 55% of those who had abortions report nightmares and preoccupation with abortion;

-- 73% describe flashbacks;

-- 58% of women report suicidal ...

1 | 2  Next Page

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

0 Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Job 9:1-12, 14-16
Job spoke next. He said: Indeed, I know it is as you say: how ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 88:10-11, 12-13, 14-15
Do you work wonders for the dead, can shadows rise up to praise ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:57-62
As they travelled along they met a man on the road who said to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

October 1 Saint of the Day

St. Therese of Lisieux
October 1: Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called ... Read More