designed woman to bear a child, and it
is child-bearing and becoming a mother
that completes her. From the time a woman
becomes pregnant, her God-designed bodily
processes start the work to bond mother
and child together. The woman's body literally
nurtures the life of the child. When the
child is born, the mother's body continues
the process of nurturing and forming the
child, including the crucial aspect of
providing needed nutrients through breastfeeding.
Abortion abruptly halts this intimate
process, and thus leaves a terrible
void in the life of a woman, including
the terminated processes in her body.
All the cells in her body, geared towards
the nurture of the new life within her,
are suddenly at a loss. Her physical
balance is suddenly thrown into confusion
and disarray. Now we see that even her
brain is affected, thus in turn affecting
her emotions and her whole psychological
make-up. And of course, perhaps unfortunately
unknown to her, her very soul is affected.
Abortion is a terrible act, not just
against the innocent unborn child, but
also against the woman on whom God has
entrusted the propagation of life itself.
Psychological Impact of Abortion Results
from 'Hard-Wiring' in Women's Brains:
Thaddeus M. Baklinski
YORK, September 21, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com)
are hard-wired for relationships—and
a woman’s relationship to her
baby is one of the most powerful of
all, whether she realizes it or not.
The hard-wiring of the brain may explain
many women’s disturbing post-abortion
feelings," write Evelyn
Birge Vitz and Paul C. Vitz in an
article published in
the September 20 issue of Public Discourse.
Vitz is Professor of French and Affiliated
Professor of Comparative Literature
at New York University. Paul C. Vitz
is Professor Emeritus of Psychology
at New York University and Senior Scholar
at the Institute for the Psychological
the article the authors relate spending
a semester with students studying the
stories of women who shared their experiences
after an abortion.
authors found that "many of these
women are in acute pain; some are almost
totally incapacitated" by their
is particularly striking is that most
of the women who have these powerful
emotional reactions to their abortion
are stunned by them. They were not opposed
to abortion; many were actively pro-choice.
They were blind-sided by their own reaction.
One woman lamented—and thousands
of others echo her mystified anguish—‘If
this was the right decision, why do
I feel so terrible?’”
that "this disturbing phenomenon
is so widespread, and found among women
from varied backgrounds and different
parts of the world," the authors
postulate that "it seems likely
that the brain itself—in particular,
the nature of women’s brains—may
shed some particularly useful light
on this unexpected negative emotional
authors cite research into the differences
between women's and men's brains, especially
as these differences relate to the realms
of emotion, stress, and memory.
few of these differences can make a
very large difference with regard to
decision-making and its emotional consequences,"
the authors say, pointing out that "the
part of the brain that processes emotion,
generally called the limbic system,
of women functions differently than
that of men.
experience emotions largely in relation
to other people: what moves women most
is relationships. Females are more personal
and interpersonal than men."
the handling of stress, the authors
note that research has found that "men’s
behavior under stress is generally characterized
by what is called “fight or flight,”
whereas women respond to stress by turning
toward nurturing behavior, nicknamed
“tend and befriend.”
post-abortion stress disorder this "tend
and befriend" response may manifest
itself as depression and anxiety due
to the lack of a focal point for the
responding to the stress of the abortion,
she may well be drawn to nurturing,
to ‘tending and befriending’
behavior: this is, we saw, characteristic
of women. But one of the key persons
she might have tended and befriended—her
unborn child—she has just terminated.
She therefore has no ready outlet to
cope with this significant stress."
to this already toxic mix the very power
of the memories involved in most unwanted
pregnancies and abortion experiences,"
the authors write, "such as the
nausea or other physical symptoms, often
exacerbated by hormonal instability
and mood swings; the anxiety over the
unwanted pregnancy; the drama of the
pregnancy test; often, the difficulty
of making the decision, then the waiting
before the abortion can take place;
perhaps protesters in front of the clinic;
the abortion clinic waiting room, crowded
perhaps with other emotional women and
men; the abortion itself—the doctors
and nurses, the stirrups, the vacuum
or other machinery—then the recovery
room; the pain and bleeding afterward.
these dramatic experiences are likely
to provide her with indelible memories.
A woman may return to them and relive
them over and over."
authors conclude that "though a
woman can decide rationally to have
an abortion ... a terrible and shocking
reaction sets in after their abortion.
Often what lasts is not the relief or
the power of the logical arguments:
these may prove very short-lived. It
is, rather, the failed, betrayed relationship
between the woman and her fetus—now,
in her mind, her dead baby—that
has staying power."
authors call for a greater honesty from
the medical profession toward women
contemplating abortion "to prevent
at least some women from having to experience
this painful surprise."
need to be told the truth. They need
to be prepared for what may be the consequences
of this major life decision. This is
what informed choice means."
The full text of Vitz's article, titled,
"Women, Abortion, and the Brain"
is available here. (http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2010/09/1657)
related LSN articles:
Finds Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Increased 61% After Abortion
British Artist Hangs Herself Due To
Grief After Abortion
to me to live is Christ, and to die
is gain." (Phil 1:21)