Possible Adverse Effects

After 3 Abortions: ‘I Face Depression, Put on 50 Pounds Overeating’ (2015)

Pro-choice author Eve Kushner interviewed a number of post-abortive women for a book she was writing. Most of the women she interviewed had had multiple abortions.

What was striking about the testimonies is the pain that seems to be festering under the surface of so many of them, even the ones where the woman denied that they regretted their abortions.

Here is one typical testimony:

“Toni is a 23-year-old African-American with an easy smile. She makes frequent eye contact as she rattles off all the feelings she had about her abortions. Only gradually does a dissonance emerge between her animated gestures and her words. As she discusses the 3 abortions she had in the last 2 years – the most recent pregnancy ending 4 months ago – it turns out she is downright depressed. Toni conceals her unhappiness, hoping that if she focuses on the positive, her bothersome emotions will disappear.…

“She explains that when she recalls her abortion experiences, ‘I’ll get deep feelings of sadness and confusion.’ The feelings, she adds, are ‘related to being pregnant and having an abortion.’

“Sometimes an event jogs her feelings. She notes, ‘I’ll be reading a magazine. It’s usually related to birth. I’ll think of how I could have had children, but I didn’t. Then that jars other things.’

“One night she came home to find her roommates watching an HBO special about abortion experiences. Her roommates felt moved by the story, but Toni became distraught. ‘I sat there bawling,’ she recalls. Afterword, the feelings lingered. The HBO special and the article may have been designed to elicit emotion, but Toni can become upset by the mere sight of pregnant women; usually, she feels guilt and envy at those times. Even reading an ad to contribute a story for this book ‘shook up all these emotions.’

“The intensity and frequency of Toni’s feelings bother her. She says that after her 3rd abortion, she felt especially frustrated, ‘because I couldn’t control those feelings. I had these rushes of sadness and anger with myself. It was so many emotions all at once, except for positive ones.’…

“Toni explains, ‘I felt angry at myself, because I couldn’t get over it.’…

“It’s almost 2 years since my first abortion, and I still have feelings about it – sometimes very vivid feelings. When do they die? When do they just become like, ‘Oh well, I had an abortion and I don’t think about it’?”…

“Toni is so afraid of relaxing that she cannot let herself sleep. She says, ‘I’ve been an insomniac for 2 years, since my first abortion.’ Toni explains, ‘Since my abortion, I can’t sleep in my mind.’…

“Toni observes, ‘In 2 years, I put on 50 pounds, because depression resulted in my overeating.’ Eating is an easy way of avoiding troubles and finding temporary happiness.”

Eve Kushner Experiencing Abortion: A Weaving of Women’s Words (Binghamton, New York: The Haworth Press, 1997) 3-5

LifeNews.com Note: Sarah Terzo is a pro-life liberal who runs ClinicQuotes.com, a web site devoted to exposing the abortion industry. She is a member of the pro-life groups Pro-Life Humanists, Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians, and Secular Pro-Life.