Women Who Regret Their Abortions Will Speak Out at Upcoming March for Life
by Steven Ertelt
January 21, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The pro-life movement has a rich history of focusing not just on the death of an unborn child in an abortion but on the pain and regret millions of women fell following an abortion. Some of those women who wish they could undo their abortion decision and choose life will speak out again at this year’s March for Life.
Members of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, a network of men and women harmed by abortion, will give their personal abortion testimonies at Thursday’s event.
They will join the hundreds of thousands of marchers in the nation’s capital, but they will also be on hand in San Francisco, where more than 25,000 pro-life advocates from the western part of the nation are expected to gather for the Walk for Life West Coast.
The Silent No More women and men have suffered years of torment because of abortion, Janet Morana, co-founder of the group, told LifeNews.com.
"This week they will stand in front of the Supreme Court and on the streets of San Francisco to proclaim that the time for healing has begun," she explained. "To be pro-life is to be pro-woman. Everyone still locked in silence and shame can come forward and embrace new hope and peace.
Georgette Forney, a keynote speaker at Saturdays Walk for Life West Coast and a woman who regrets her own abortion decision, says those who speak out are not doing so to judge other women who are comfortable with their own abortions.
We who oppose abortion do not oppose those who have had abortions; rather we embrace them with love, she said.
At the same time, Forney wants to help women who may consider abortion in the future to understand the medical and mental health ramifications of such a choice. They can do that by sharing their own stories of regret, grief and both physical, spiritual and psychological scars.
We who have lived with the pain and regret of abortion declare to our nation that abortion is unjust, cruel, and oppressive. If hope is truly to be restored, abortion must end," he said.
The public testimonies follow a group of new studies showing women suffer from a myriad of mental health complications following an abortion.
In December, Dr. Priscilla Coleman, a professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University, and her colleagues published a study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research showing the abortion-mental health link exists.
The research team found induced abortions result in increased risks for a myriad of mental health problems ranging from anxiety to depression to substance abuse disorders.
The number of cases of mental health issues rose by as much as 17 percent in women having abortions compared to those who didn’t have one and the risks of each particular mental health problem rose as much as 145% for post-abortive women.
For 12 out of 15 of the mental health outcomes examined, a decision to have an abortion resulted in an elevated risk for women.
"What is most notable in this study is that abortion contributed significant independent effects to numerous mental health problems above and beyond a variety of other traumatizing and stressful life experiences," they concluded.
A second study from December had researchers at Otago University in New Zealand reporting their findings in the British Journal of Psychiatry. They showed women who have abortions have an increased risk of developing mental health problems.
The study found that women who had abortions had rates of mental health problems about 30% higher than other women. The conditions most associated with abortion included anxiety disorders and substance abuse disorders.
Abortions increased the risk of severe depression and anxiety by one-third and as many as 5.5 percent of all mental health disorders seen in New Zealand result from women having abortions.
A third study, from a team at the University of Queensland and published in the December issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, found women who have an abortion are three times more likely to experience a drug or alcohol problem during their lifetime.
The study showed that women who had experienced an abortion were at increased risk of illicit drug and alcohol use compared with women who had never been pregnant or who gave birth.
Since the launching of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in 2003, 2,739 women and men have shared their testimonies publicly at over 325 gatherings in 44 states and seven countries.
Related web sites:
Silent No More Awareness Campaign – https://www.SilentNoMoreAwareness.org
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