Recently, the pro-life community in Canada has been upset by the discovery that up to 17 weeks of leave are granted to women after an abortion. Now, one’s initial reaction might be that this is crazy. What on earth does a woman need 17 weeks for if there is no baby?
But this is where we in the pro-life community know better.
We know, for example, that abortion not only mars the life of an unborn child but that of the woman as well. Abortion causes physical and emotional damage, and this requires recovery.
Almost 10% of mental health problems are directly linked to abortion. Women with a history of abortion experience an 81% increase in the risk of mental health problems compared to women who had not had an abortion. The study also reveals that, post-abortion, the increased risk for anxiety disorders was 34%; for depression, 37%; for alcohol abuse, 110%; for marijuana abuse, 220%, and for suicidal behaviour, 155%.
We also know that coming to terms with abortion is a grieving process.
So, while it may seem ludicrous on the surface, I think this policy might actually give us room for hope and growth. I’m aware not everyone will agree with me (you can call me a nutty optimist), but we do agree that abortion isn’t “no big deal” and admitting the horrific act of abortion requires a recovery time acknowledges this.
Nearly half of all abortions are preformed on women whom have already had abortions. If used correctly, if counseling is offered by us, if we can help acknowledge the loss and the pain, 17 weeks might just be long enough to break the cycle.
Andrea adds: I’m afraid I would put you in the nutty optimist camp. First of all, I’m not sure that women who have had abortions are even aware of this “loophole.” Secondly, while it is certainly true that women experience a decline in mental health after abortion, offering state-funded benefits to recover from this merely solidifies the idea that no matter what your choice is, no matter how terrible, we’ll help you out. There ought to be repercussions somewhere on the road–otherwise we are nurturing women into making bad choices. This is what state funds do, my opinion would be entirely different if private sources of charity were kicking in 17 weeks of help. At this point in Canada one of the best things pro-lifers can hope for is that the state stops funding what is a lifestyle choice. This means defunding the abortion procedure itself, and certainly not funding benefits afterwards.
Jenn adds: I was thinking that as well, that women aren’t aware of this leave time, and that if they are they still wouldn’t take it. Taking 17 weeks off work means an explanation on the woman’s part (to family, friends, co-workers who will ask), something she probably doesn’t want to do. The women I know who have had abortions usually want to return back to their “normal life” straight away to avoid thinking too much about it.by