Sunday, February 20, 2005

Abortion as a Form of Self-Abuse

Julie has a great post up about abortion as a form of self-abuse. Part of what she discusses is pre-abortion counseling at abortion clinics and the need for counselors to explore the past history of clients and identify those clients with risk factors for having negative emotional reactions after an abortion

In brief:
'An unwanted pregnancy certainly causes psychological distress. Abortion will provide temporary relief from that stress using a kind of amputation – the removal of the natural, biological consequences of procreative sex. Abortion can also repeat the trauma of sexual and physical abuse by invading the most intimate part of a woman’s anatomy at a time when she feels most helpless. The goal of abortion is destruction. The result of sexual abuse is also destruction. Often a woman who “succumbs” to coercion to abort is repeating a pattern learned earlier in life, that her body is not her own to control, and she must give to others the right to inflict pain on her. Cutting, burning, and other expressions of self-injury can often be a way for her to feel in control again. “It is MY body, and I will be the one to hurt it,” certainly seems odd, and is an echo of the pro-choice battle cry, but for the woman who learned to equate love with pain and helplessness in childhood, it makes sense. '

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