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Abortion and health


Post-Abortion Syndrome: all viewpoints

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Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS) is a term used to describe a long interval of negative emotional and spiritual experiences following an abortion. PAS often involves overwhelming levels of guilt and depression.

As is so common on matters relating to moral and ethical problems with a religious component, no consensus exists and the truth about PAS is difficult to discern:

  • Many pro-life organizations promote the belief that PAS is widespread, severe, and frequently experienced by women who have had abortions.

  • Many pro choice groups teach that PAS is extremely rare or non-existent.

  • The American Psychiatric Association has concluded that PAS is rare.

From what little information is available on PAS, it appears to exist. However, it is less common than postpartum depression that women sometimes start to experience shortly after childbirth.

PAS seems to occur mainly to women who:

  • Are pressured to have an abortion against their will,

  • Decide to have an abortion without having carefully thought out all aspects of their decision, and/or

  • Change their beliefs after having had an abortion about the nature of human embryos, so that they now believe that the abortion ended the life of a human person rather than ending the life of an embryo that had the potential to develop into a human person.

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Copyright 1998 to 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2010-OCT-09
Author: B.A. Robinson

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