The American Psychological Association (APA) has announced that women who have one abortion do not experience any more mental problems than women who decide to give birth. But women who have had abortions, as well as other scientists and pro-life advocates are joining forces to refute these findings.
Alveda King, niece of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., has had two abortions and a miscarriage related to those abortions. She echoes her famous uncle’s call for civil rights for all people, saying that abortion “violates the civil rights and human rights of the baby in the womb and then it hurts the mother,” In her experience, most post-abortion women claim to have suffered irrevocable damage.
“The (APA) wants to say we are the exception to the rule … but for every one woman they can find that says they weren’t harmed by abortion … they could find 10 women who were,” said King.
King works on pro-life causes with Priests for Life, and was one of 2,000 women who signed sworn affidavits of the harm caused them by having an abortion. The affidavits were a project of the Justice Foundation, a non-profit public interest litigation firm, which responded to the APA report by posting a press release on its Web site naming 100 medical and mental health professionals who spoke out against the report.
According to these experts, choosing abortion can lead to “severe depression and loss of self-esteem,” and caution medical professionals not to ignore the “significant numbers of women who suffer serious physical, mental or psychological trauma as a result of abortion.”
“I think the study is flawed,” says Peggy Hartshorn, president of Heartbeat International. In addition to ignoring many credible studies that show a distinct link between abortion and mental health problems, she points out that the lead author is a recognized pro-abortion advocate.
“The study has to be politically motivated to perpetuate the myth that abortion is a helpful and positive choice for women,” Hartshorn said. “(The study) ignores the testimonies of women who have had several psychological and emotional issues after having an abortion.”
Also outraged by the APA’s announcement is Leslee Unruh, whose decision to have an abortion inspired her to found the Alpha Center pregnancy resource in her home state of South Dakota. She now dedicates her life to helping other women who have lived to regret their decision to have an abortion, and have suffered both emotional and physical damage as a result.
Then there is Theresa Burke, the founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, a Christian recovery program for post-abortive women. She also speaks out, saying, “The APA should advocate a closer examination of the grief and warn women of the well-documented dangers (of abortion)… Instead, the APA continues to censor information, de-legitimize research, prohibit opposing points of view, obstruct discussions, avoid scholarly debates and promote intolerance of those who are negatively impacted by abortion.”
“It’s one thing to take our money and do what they did to harm us,” says Unruh. “It’s another to dismiss our grieving. That is the ultimate slap.”
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