Media Hide New Research on Women Harmed by Abortion

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On January 19, women will gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. to share their testimonies of abortion’s destruction during the 45th annual March for Life. But don’t expect the mainstream media to give them a voice.

That’s not to say the media shy away from abortion stories. They don’t. But there’s a catch: The stories they share are positive ones. In presenting abortion in a positive light, the media not only dismiss countless abortion testimonies, but also overlook research.

A recent study published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons suggests that abortion affects women negatively. Titled “Women Who Suffered Emotionally from Abortion: A Qualitative Synthesis of Their Experiences,” the study features 987 respondents to an online anonymous “survey of women who had contacted crisis pregnancy centers for post-abortion care.”

Completed in 2012 and 2013 and published at the end of 2017, the study was led by Priscilla K. Coleman, a professor at Bowling Green State University. Women from the ages of 20 to 72-years-old were asked about the positive and negative effects of their abortions.

The responses, the study found, “were far from simple, echoing themes that are not reflective of contemporary feminist rhetoric.”

31.6% reported no “significant positives” from their decision to abort. But even the positives that were listed didn’t fit the pro-choice agenda. They consisted of “spiritual growth, involvement in pro-life efforts, and reaching out to other women who were considering the procedure or had obtained an abortion.”

The study also published some of the respondents’ testimonies. One woman elaborated on the effects of her abortion:

None, there are no positives. My life is no better, it is much worse. I carry the pain of a child lost forever. Although I know I am forgiven and have worked through the guilt and shame, the heart wrenching pain is still there. I would rather have been a single mother of two and have my baby here to love and dote on than the pain of empty arms.

But the negatives revealed by the women were even more harrowing. They included “deep feelings of loss, existential concerns, and declines in quality of life,” as well as “regret, shame, guilt, depression, anxiety, compromised self-appraisals, and self-destructive behaviors.”

As one woman revealed:

My child is dead and by my own choice. I spent years of anger, shame, and grief. It damaged my relationship with my husband, my children, and my God. For 30 years I did not speak of it to anyone but my husband. My grief overwhelmed him and left him powerless and ashamed. For years I cried every Sunday in church, experienced dark depressions, thoughts of suicide, and flashes of anger.

Another added:

The most serious negatives are my being angry at myself that I could abort three babies. The aftermath of abortion is destructive to the soul … My life was interrupted in a way that after 30 years, since my last abortion, I am still hurting, emotionally and mentally as a result of my choices.

And another: “I died with every abortion. I became very angry, depressed, and ended up becoming a drug addict and an alcoholic.”

And yet another:

Night times were terrible for nearly a year with getting up in my sleep looking for my daughter then when fully awakened I found I had a son and no daughter and why in the world was I in such a panic looking everywhere for a baby girl.

A little more than 20 percent of respondents declined to respond on either the positive or negative effects.

Anticipating critics, the study stressed that the “data suggest that the women as a group were generally psychologically healthy before their first abortion.”

13 percent said they visited a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor “prior to the first pregnancy resulting in an abortion,” but 67.5% pursued professional help after their first abortion. 6.6% of the women said they used prescription drugs for psychological health beforehand, but 51% reported prescription drug use after the first abortion.

These statistics are appearing in conservative, pro-life, and Christian news outlets, but nowhere else. While the mainstream media race to tell positive abortion stories, from Advocates for Youth’s 1 in 3 campaign to the #ShoutYourAbortion movement, women who regret their abortions don’t belong in their reports.

But women ravaged by the horrors of abortion do exist. Thousands have published testimonies of “regret” and “horror” through organizations like the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. Then there are the accounts of abortion survivors like Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden, as well as those of women conceived in rape – all alive because their mothers refused abortion.

Many in the media claim to speak for all women. In reality, they only speak for some women – the women who agree with them.

Abortion always ends one life. But, as these testimonies show, it can also ruin another.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org

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Katie Yoder serves as the associate culture editor at NewsBusters and is a columnist for CatholicVote.org. She is also the Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow for the Media Research Center’s culture division. Follow her on Twitter @k_yoder.

3 Comments

  1. Randal Agostini on

    The Truth will set you Free. The most difficult, yet the easiest decision anyone can make in their lives is to put God First. Only then will everything fall into it’s proper place and all the dots connect.
    Katie has written an important message that should be shouted from the pulpit and taught in our schools. We are not a bunch of accidental cells, but creations of God, creatures given individual opportunities with a purpose to excel – for the benefit of others, for the Glory of God.
    God gives our Mothers the greatest gift of all – to carry his souls and nurture them to maturity. How can we deny Him His purpose? Yet He loves and forgives.

  2. EUGENE PATRICK DEVANY on

    I was adopted as an infant before the U.S. Supreme Court made the mistake Roe vs Wade. My life has been very good and I am grateful to my birth mother. Even if she may have had little choice it was an act of love to let me live. I am an attorney blessed with children and grand children and pray for young women who don’t see adoption as a loving alternative to abortion.

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