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...

Young Age & Abortion During the Second Trimester are Risk Factors for Repeat Abortion (AJOG, 8/10)

Late-Term Abortion Ups Repeat Pregnancy Termination Risk Women who have an abortion in the second trimester of pregnancy are more likely than women who terminate their pregnancies earlier to have repeat abortions, new research shows. And women who initially have a late abortion are also substantially more likely to have a second late abortion, Dr. Oskari Heikinheimo of Helsinki University Hospital in Finland and colleagues found. They also found that being younger than 20 sharply increased a woman's risk of having repeat abortions, and of having repeat late abortions. The further along a woman is in her pregnancy the more risky it is to terminate the pregnancy, the researchers note in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. "Several studies have shown that the later the abortion is performed, the greater the risk of complications is," Heikinheimo explained in an email to Reuters Health. "The most common complications are bleeding and infection." Abortion is still very common around the world even though birth control options have improved in recent years. Late termination of pregnancy — meaning abortion at 13 weeks gestation or later — represents 5 to 10 percent of all abortions, the researchers note, while from 30 to 47 percent of women who have an abortion will have another later on. To better understand factors associated with repeat abortion, as well as risk factors for having an abortion after the first trimester, Heikinheimo and colleagues looked at 41,750 Finnish women who had an abortion between 2000 and 2005 — 1,900 of whom terminated their pregnancies in the second trimester. Compared with women who had first trimester abortions, those...

So Much of Me Died… Repeat Abortions

So Much of Me Died: One Woman's Story of Repeat Abortions I remember the events surrounding my abortions clearly. There are some things that are so utterly terrible, so devastating, they never fade from the mind or heart. I idolized my boyfriend, whom I met when I was 17. We had been together on and off for several years. Despite his treatment of me, which at times could be very cruel, and his vicious temper, I truly loved him. I just had to try harder, or be better, or take more care to avoid upsetting him. I dreaded his temper and would put up with just about anything to avoid a scene. I think that he became aware of this gradually, because over the years his dominion over me increased to a point where he became a tyrant. I had to wear what he said, do my hair the way he wanted, never have friends of my own over unless he was out of town. I really never stopped to analyze any of this. I guess I was too young and besotted with him to realize that ours was not a normal relationship. I believed that if only I could please him more, everything would be all right. When I found out I was pregnant, I was thrilled. It had not been planned, but I was truly happy. I spent most of the day working out the baby’s due date, who it would look like, and thoughts of that nature, but when my boyfriend arrived home and I broke the news, he flew into a terrifying rage. I wept,...