Common Issues Post-Abortive People Experience

Choosing abortion can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved. This trauma can have many “faces” depending on the circumstances surrounding the abortion and the time since it occurred.

Rarely does the post-abortive person suffer every symptom of Abortion PTSD. Some indicators may not even be included in the list below or outlined on the video.

If someone has endured two or more of these symptoms, their pain could be centered on an abortion experience. With multiple abortion experiences, these symptoms can be intensified.


Abortion PTSD

Anger – Anger may be a tool used to combat depression. It can be felt, either directly or indirectly, towards anyone involved in their choice to abort.

Alcohol and Drug Use – Drugs and alcohol are often used to numb post-abortive pain, keeping the memories of an abortion at a distance. Sadly, the overuse of these elements can lead to other problems at a mental and physical level.

Anniversary Reminders – This “anniversary” can be the aborted child’s due date, or the date of the abortion. On these dates, individuals can feel horrible and act out for no apparent reason. It can take years to realize these dates are related to their abortion experience.

Anxiety (i.e., anxiety or panic attacks) – Many report that after their abortion they started feeling tense and could not relax. Others outline physical reactions like dizziness, pounding heart, upset stomach, headaches, etc. This may also include worrying about the future, struggling to concentrate and not being able to sleep.

Avoiding Children or Pregnant Women – Post-abortive people can feel uncomfortable around babies, pregnant women or children near the age of their aborted child. This avoidance behavior can include: skipping baby showers, avoiding the baby aisle at the grocery store, walking around the block to avoid a playground, or making excuses to escape events that include children or pregnant women.

Depression – Everyone is sad once in a while. Abortion regret can make the person feel hopeless and unlovable. They may cry uncontrollably for no reason or feel like they are losing it. Perhaps they can’t eat or sleep. Others eat too much and sleep all day. The things they used to enjoy before their abortion are now avoided.

Eating disorders – Episodes of anorexia or bulimia are common after abortion. Some get fat or thin to avoid anyone wanting them at a sexual level fearing another pregnancy.

Experiencing the Abortion Again – It is not unusual to re-live the abortion experience in your mind. Memories can be triggered by simple sounds heard during the abortion procedure – like a vacuum cleaner or a dentist drill. For those who endured medical abortions, it can be the sound of a toilet flushing. Yearly OB/GYN physicals can also resurrect these memories. Others experience ongoing nightmares involving children, perhaps in pain. They can even have the same nightmare over and over again.

Fear that Future Children Will Die – Some live in fear that children they had before or after the abortion could easily die, which can lead to overprotecting their children at an unhealthy level.

Fear of Infertility – Many fear they may have aborted the only child they will ever have. Others suspect the abortion could have harmed their fertility.

Feeling “Numb” – To avoid the painful thoughts, many post-abortive people work to shut off their emotions. That could mean abandoning friendships and family, particularly if these individuals were part of their abortion experience. When someone shuts down emotionally, they don’t feel sorrow or joy. Many turn to drugs or alcohol to assist in numbing these memories.

Guilt – A mother’s heart is genetically designed to “protect their child at all costs.” Abortion can short-circuit that basic human instinct, leading to feelings of guilt, and feel that when bad events happen, they “deserve it” for making this choice.

Replacement Pregnancy – Some women immediately attempt to get pregnant again to replace their lost child. Many work to replace this child to also ensure that they are still fertile.

Self-Punishing Behaviors – Some may cut themselves, hoping to release pain. Others remain in abusive relationships feeling they “deserve” the abuse.

Thoughts of Suicide – Some post-abortive people get so sad that they think it would be easier to die than continue living.

Unable to Bond with Present or Future Children – For women who have children before or after the abortion, they can be a reminder of the child they aborted. This can result in emotional distancing or even abandonment, believing they are disqualified to be a parent.

If you are post-abortive and are experiencing two or more of these symptoms, you could be struggling with Abortion PTSD.  If that is the case, taking this course can help you discover God’s healing and peace.

Recommended Resources

Abortion Recovery

Her Choice to Heal:

Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion

Abortion Recovery Guide and A Journey in Ramah

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