Planned Parenthood’s touting a July, 2015 Plos One research study that,“examined women’s emotions and reports of whether the abortion decision was the right one for them.” Based on the lack of obvious regret among a tiny sample of women, pro-aborts joyfully conclude that 95% of Post-Abortive Women Do Not Regret Their Abortions.
Say what? Yep, #AbortionDistortion strikes again!
Just a few obvious mistruths are in play with this erroneous 95% conclusion.
Plos One surveyed JUST 667 women for only three years after their abortion. What about the millions of silent post-abortive women who are beyond the three year window? Does post-abortive silence mean women feel wonderful about their abortions? Or does this silence speak volumes about the shame and guilt that often accompanies this choice beyond the three year mark?
Sadly, post-abortive silence allows abortion providers to continuously conclude that abortion is “good for women.” Yet if our abortions were not filled with regret, wouldn’t we be coming to the defense of Planned Parenthood during this heated defunding climate?
Everyone knows regret changes over time and comes in various shapes and sizes making it difficult to outline in a survey format. It also impacts hearts at many points of life experiences. What I regret today is far different from three decades ago. Three years after my abortion, I had no idea how my abortion would impact my future! Fast forward a decade and my regret was not only obvious but multi-leveled.
Here are some other points that reflect Planned Parenthood’s distorted conclusion:
Changeable – How a woman feels today may not be the same as how she feels tomorrow. The survey’s three year window is not significant enough to conclude anything about the lifetime impact of an abortion decision. Regretful emotions can ebb and flow over just a few hours which makes this 95% conclusion illogical.
Practiced Innocence — Post-abortive women can be oddly “practiced” in the art of never admitting they had an abortion. If they are rehearsing their silence, they will likely never reveal their truthful feelings on ANY survey instrument.
Recovery Impact — Some women initially cope well after abortion but later find themselves in an emotional upset. Others may be immediately overwhelmed with regret and grief but find emotional healing and discover peace. Those who have found healing present vastly different survey information than those who are coping well with their decision and don’t need emotional support.
Impact of Emotions Over Time – Emotions can change when women reach other life milestones like the death of a loved one, infertility, subsequent pregnancies, etc. Emotional pain and grief can also be delayed and/or denied. Many women spend great amounts of emotional energy over the years simply working to forget they ever choose abortion.
Impact of Abortion Procedure – Women who endure surgical abortions have a different physical experiences from those who utilize the medication option or have late term abortions. In medication abortions, women take a series of two pills. It can take 1-4 days for the lemon-sized placenta to be expelled. Women are then faced with very human looking child that they often flush down the toilet. During first-trimester surgical procedures, women do not face the humanity of their lost children at all. Sadly, late term abortions can be vastly more at an emotional, spiritual, psychological and physical level. The resulting trauma from each procedure can vacillate along with long-term reactions of regret.
Faulty Research Methods – The Plos One research method is simply inadequate in uncovering deeply entrenched emotional reactions for this “difficult to discuss” procedure. Women are rarely truthful about their abortion EVEN on medical intake forms! If they are lying regarding their health, they likely are not going to be truthful on a generic form or with a strange interviewer who asks troubling questions.
Until we have a practical surveying method in place, information related to abortion regret will remain unavailable at a statistically significant level. That doesn’t mean post-abortion pain or regret does not exist.
Pregnancy centers are one of the few locations where post-abortion women are interviewed about a past abortion experience, particularly if they are in a subsequent unplanned pregnancy situation. While they may not outline their abortion on the intake forms, they typically are more honest when interviewed by a compassionate pregnancy center advocate where confidentiality is assured.
So next time you are wondering how abortion impacts women, visit your local pregnancy center and ask for their insights! They care to listen at a personal level and offer abortion recovery services!
Sydna A. Masse is President & Founder of Ramah International, Inc., a ministry dedicated to ministering to abortion’s wounded. She is the author of the book, Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion.