The Abortion Experience
The only people who know what an abortion is like are the women who have gone through it.
22-year-old university student
How does abortion affect women psychologically, and how do they subsequently adjust? These questions are as controversial and polemic as the moral acceptance of abortion. Despite the massive data on the psychological effects of abortion, studies in this area are contradictory and inconclusive. The conclusions range from the suggestion that psychological complications are almost inevitable after abortion to a finding of their virtual absence. Depending upon the seriousness of the disturbance, these studies can be organized into three sections: (1) serious psychological reactions, (2) insignificant or negligible psychological reactions, and (3) minimal psychological reactions.
Representing one end of the extreme position are the studies, mostly clinical, that claim that abortion almost always results in psychological disturbances such as guilt, depression, and self- reproach.1 These authors warn that these reactions are serious,____________________