Psychological trauma is, by its definition, an individual matter and the intensity of this experience depends on the cultural context in which the traumatized person developed. Post-traumatic stress disorder after an abortion (PTSD) is experienced by 14% of American women. Those who showed some symptoms of PTSD, but at insufficient levels to diagnose, brought the number up to 65% of American women. Also, this study gives the following additional statistics:
- 62% of American women agreed with the statement: “I cannot forgive myself.”
- The thesis “abortion is not acceptable from a moral point of view” was firmly rejected by 19% of Americans.
So, mental illness after an abortion is possible, but the possibility is influenced by cultural views. Abortion differs from other psychologically traumatic events such as divorce with one important aspect. The end of pregnancy is associated with hormonal changes that can affect the brain at the molecular level.
Officially, post-abortion syndrome does not exist because it is not included in the International Classification of Diseases. Also, it is not approved by the American Psychiatric Association because the science community doesn’t consider it as a distinct disorder. Unwanted pregnancy is a major stress itself as shown by a significant research; abortion leads to depression as often as unwanted childbirth.
Abortion is particularly dangerous if it is illegal. According to the WHO:
- Each year in the world (mostly in developing countries) 21.6 million women experience unsafe abortions.
- As a result, 47,000 women die.
- This means that for every 100,000 abortions, there are 217 deaths.
- At the same time, per 100,000 children delivered alive, in the third world countries, 240 mothers die.
As the law currently states, abortion is not murder. The right to live, as well as all other human rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, are applicable only after the birth of a person. Criminal law indicates that the removal of the fetus prior to the beginning of physiological childbirth cannot be considered murder. In dictionaries, the term “murder” is represented as killing someone else. For this definition, we can count not only the embryos but also, for example, antibiotics that kill bacteria.
Another argument that increases the level of abortion acceptance in society is the existence of abortion in nature. Some animals have the possibility for the embryo to disappear if an animal is living in bad conditions. Still other animals practice infanticide.
In the discussion of the moral aspect of abortion, first of all, we should dismiss the interests of the fetus because a fetus has no individual concerns. Rather, we should consider the future of the individual that might have been born and the interests of existing people: family members, who will need to sacrifice something for the sake of a child. The aftermath is not hard to predict. If the parents are not sure that they are capable of providing for the child, it would be better for them not to abort the pregnancy. Over the past hundred years, the population of the planet has increased four times. This has led to a huge loss of natural resources in many countries. The UN forecast of population growth for the year 2300 is tinged with the hope that the current positive trends will develop in the same way and as the level of women’s education around the world will raise they would have only planned and wanted children.