Post Abortion Syndrome

Common symptoms

Most women would prefer not to have an abortion. Following an abortion many women find themselves feeling angry, mostly towards men, and sometims turn to alcohol and drugs to mask their pain. They commonly avoid anything to do with babies and often this includes sexual intercourse. Some women become very depressed and even attempt suicide and many experience a sense of sadness and worthlessness.

Suffering from PAS

There is evidence that shows that Post Abortion Syndrome (PAS) may occur either soon after an abortion or, more commonly, several years later. You may be suffering from PAS if you are struggling to deal with feelings (especially those related to your abortion), have increased alcohol or abusive drug use, have difficulties with relationships, or are uncomfortable around pregnant women or babies, or with sexual matters.

The Need for Recognition

There is little official recognition of PAS. The first step of helping women to find healing of any pain is to "Name the Pain". PAS is often missed by professionals who may be unfamiliar with the symptoms, or influenced by current professional literature that ignore or minimise PAS for various reasons. Sometimes post-abortive patients may be unaware of the significance of their abortion and they may not think to reveal their abortion when seeking counselling.

Its okay to cry

Women who have aborted are often scared that once they start crying they will never stop. In the course of a post abortion recovery programme, the woman is told: "It's okay to cry. You have permission to cry."

The Big Secret

Thousands of women have abortions every year in New Zealand but most don't talk about it. Some women lie to their family and friends and say they had a miscarriage. A woman may remain silent for fear of rejection if they are told "You are the one who made the decision. Get over it!"

How Abortion Affects Men

Michael Simon, M.S., M.A., argues that abortion is a traumatic experience and therefore impacts on the way men, as well as women, view themselves and also how they relate to others.

Young teens having babies

Young teenage girls especially can grieve when they learn their mother has had an abortion. This can cause behavioural changes and some teenage girls deliberately seek to become pregnant themselves, to replace the baby their mother aborted.

A wounded generation

On some level, the children born after the legalisation of abortion are aware that they are survivors where many thousands of their generation are missing.


While "official" studies continue to conclude that the negative effect of abortion is "minuscule from a public health perspective", persistent anecdotal information (from people in clinical practice, and from numerous women who have experienced abortion) suggests otherwise.

Official recognition

In 1987 the American Psychiatric Association recognised abortion as a "psychosocial stressor." In 1993 they did an "about-face," realising they could not continue to endorse something [abortion] that is generally admitted to cause significant psychological damage.

Abortion & suicide

"Having an abortion dramatically increases the likelihood of suicide" is the finding from research in the United States, Britain and Finland.

Feminist issue

Because abortion is regarded as a woman's 'right' it can't be allowed to be seen to have any major negative effects. Early feminists were against abortion and it was actually men who persuaded today's feminists to demand abortion as a 'right'.

Religious Attitudes

Pope John Paul II: "I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision..."

Double standards

Most official bodies refuse to accept that Post Abortion Syndrome exists for women who have had an abortion and yet they do accept that abortion providers have symptoms associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Family Siblings

Children everywhere are becoming aware of abortion(s) that their mothers have had or are talking about having. If others know about it then your children probably will find out sooner or later..

Men Have No "Rights"

Although men are equal participants in procreation and required by law to support their children, they are denied any say when it comes to abortion...

Forgotten fathers

Extensive research has focused on abortion and women, while men have been legally, psychologically and medically bypassed. Many men reported having a difficulty with the abortion experience and felt considerable guilt, remorse and sadness.