I’m not ignoring this story, doing the rounds, I promise, showing that there are no negative mental health effects after abortion. I just feel like with a topic as political as this one, I should read the study before I link to it and have some commentary on what they did or did not do.
I have not yet had the time to do so. But I will say this: This study flies in the face of a great number of other studies indicating precisely the opposite. And I will also add that all those other studies showing abortion does indeed harm a woman’s mental health did not get the press this one is getting.
My beef is with the media for quickly picking up on this story, while concealing other studies that show the opposite outcome. They think they are being “feminist” or woman-friendly by reporting this story, because they are “pro-choice” but in fact what they are doing has quite the opposite effect. Since so many women do indeed suffer after their abortions, this type of press tells them their suffering is unwarranted and that there is something wrong with them for feeling bad.
This is not to say that every woman feels bad after an abortion. Some don’t. But for every one woman who doesn’t, there’s a defensive woman who, quite frankly, hasn’t quite processed what she’s done, and then there are, of course, those who truly do feel bad and suffer suicide, suicide ideation, increased drug and alcohol use, etc.
I’m sure we could get to a point where no woman ever felt bad about her abortion. This is fully possible. But is it desirable? Would this not mean a distancing from our own selves? A truly clinical approach to something so intimate and personal is not the direction we want to go. I’m not asking for women to feel bad, no. I’m asking for them to be empowered enough that they wouldn’t make the decisions that leave them with lousy decisions in the first place.
All of these ideas on what it means to be a truly strong woman, one who is confident, bold, assertive and makes good decisions as a result is whispering into the wind when it comes to the media who are stuck on the notion that apparently there is an “undo” button for sex. Which there isn’t. Sex isn’t a recreational activity–therefore the outcomes of poor choices–babies or killing said babies–aren’t recreational either. A lack of poor mental health after killing your baby is possible, but wholly undesirable. When we truly reach that stage where studies return this outcome based on good research methodology, we’ll have a lot more than abortion to worry about.