The Lancet, a medical journal, recently released a study about suicide ideation in women who’ve had abortions. While the mainstream media has claimed that this is a victory for the abortion industry, that’s actually not the case.
According to the study, the risk of suicide in women is the same before and after an abortion. While some claim that this shows that abortion doesn’t have a negative impact on women, in reality it demonstrates something entirely different. Besides, if abortion is “good” for women shouldn’t it decrease the suicide risk? The study even confirms that “women who had abortions had a higher risk of non-fatal suicide attempts compared with women who did not have an abortion.” The researchers try to brush this off by saying that there was an increased risk before the abortion as well, but that may be a critical part of why abortion was considered in the first place.
On shoutyourabortion.com, women share the heartbreaking situations that often lead them to consider abortion. Some of the stories are what you expect, but others confirm the complex and at times deeply unstable emotional state that some women experience. Here are just a couple of examples:
One woman describes how a sexual assault after a night of drinking and cocaine use led to a series of terrible decisions and drug abuse. Posting as anonymous, she wrote: “I drank myself to sleep that night, not before arranging for an abortion to be done later that week. I stole money from my father in the middle of the night a few days later to cover the cost of the procedure. When it was over, the first thing I did was buy a bottle of booze and drink until I passed out.”
Another woman shared about her two different abortion experiences, and the callus nature of one of the men. “I asked him, “Can we keep it?” Coldly, detached, he simply replied, “No.” I reluctantly agreed to have an abortion, and in that I gave all my power, my voice, completely away. I experienced significant emotional turmoil for years to come, and I promised myself I would never EVER have another abortion again, no matter the circumstances. I would NEVER again give my power away to another person.” She did end up having another abortion after a relationship with a man who was mentally unstable.
One woman shares about how she’s had five abortions, while in a relationship with an abusive man. Writing in as M, she shared: “I knew I didn’t want to be with him; he had put me through so much mental abuse, cheated on me, humiliated me in front of so many people & constantly talked down to me. Having his baby felt absurd.” After having an ultrasound, she did decide to keep one of her children, a baby daughter.
These stories are not meant to shame these women, but instead to demonstrate that women have abortions in the most difficult and darkest moments of their lives. The study may have demonstrated that the risk of suicide didn’t increase, but it didn’t decrease either. So, while abortion businesses claim that women are helped by abortion, this study shows that isn’t the case. In fact, it may increase the feelings of loneliness, isolation, grief, remorse and other emotions.
If you would like, I would encourage you to read more of these stories, though they are not for the faint of heart. Many of these women have experienced childhood abuse, homelessness, neglect, heartbreak, sexual assault, drug abuse and domestic violence. They are often deeply broken women, and you can use these stories to help empathize and minister to women in these situations.
Abortion is never the solution to the problem, but so many women feel like they are alone and that this is their only and best answer. That’s why pregnancy resource centers can be a refuge for women, men and children. A place where the answer isn’t easy, but lives can be changed.