Gloria Feldt denies that many women suffer after abortions, but is that true?

Prominent pro-choice feminist Gloria Feldt wrote a book defending abortion where she claimed that (postabortion syndrome” or “PAS”) was a myth and that most women feel nothing but relief and happiness after their abortions. She denied that women suffer from emotional distress after their abortions, and maintained that abortion is a positive event in women’s lives. As she says in the following quote:

“… Websites abound with “help” for women suffering from this imaginary syndrome, and the inventors of PAS have pushed for legislation requiring that women be (mis)informed about its risks during mandatory pre-abortion counseling sessions… Women who experienced psychiatric symptoms such as depression reported having those symptoms before the procedure – the abortion itself did not contribute to their symptoms. None of this is meant to suggest that abortion is a decision to be taken lightly, but the reports of PTSD, flashbacks, depression, and suicidal tendencies are wildly exaggerated. Instead, researchers have found:

  • For most women, the process of choosing abortion represents a maturing experience, a successful coping with a personal crisis.…

  • 98% of women who have abortions say they have no regrets and would make the same choice again under similar circumstances.”

Gloria Feldt The War on Choice: The Right-Wing Attack on Women’s Rights and How to Fight Back (New York: Bantam Dell, 2004) 154 – 155

Of course, no reference is given for the 98% statistic. In reality, these websites are visited by many thousands of women every year. There would not be so many groups for postabortion women if there were not a need for them. Silent No More, which is only one of many postabortion support organizations, has over 2000 postabortion testimonies in its database, all from women who regret their choice. And that’s only the women who allowed the page to share their testimonies; the ones who allowed themselves to go public about their abortion and their healing. Anyone who does a Google search for “after abortion stories” will find many many sites that have stories of regret and only one (that I know of) that highlights positive abortion experiences. Thousands and thousands of women go on retreats every year to help them cope with regret after their abortions – these retreats would not be necessary if women did not regret their abortions.

In addition, studies have shown that women who have abortions have a higher rate of psychiatric hospitalizations, suicide, and depression. Multiple studies have shown this. Pro-choicers do not like to accept the reality that many women regret their abortions. Their attitude, that women should be happy after their abortions, is a real barrier that prevents pro-choice women from getting healing from abortion regret.

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About Sarah

Sarah is a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians.
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