Welcome to “Abortion Recovery Awareness Month”
We are halfway through April, which you may not have realized has been dubbed "Abortion Recovery Awareness Month" for the second year in a row by Texas Governor, Rick Perry and Minnesota Governor, Tim Pawlenty.
Just for the record: Abortion Recovery Awareness Month is not designed to offer comfort to women needing to recover from the experience of trying to obtain an abortion under ever more present restrictions (the newest being Nebraska's recent law requiring mental health screenings for women seeking the procedure). Nope, this "month" is simply another way for abortion opponents to showcase tired old scare tactics in the hopes of demonizing a procedure that 35% of all American woman will have before they are 45.
As Texas governor RIck Perry told the Christian Post, “An abortion is a tragic ending, not only because of the loss of a life, but also because of the physical and psychological trauma caused by the procedure itself."
That abortion is physically and psychologically traumatic is just a given to a lot of folks--even to many people who support a woman's right to a safe legal abortion. But this conventional wisdom isn't actually backed by science. In 2008, the American Psychological Association found that while having an abortion can be a difficult decision that can cause feelings of sadness, serious mental health issues are not a direct result of having an abortion.
"Some people cite “post-abortion syndrome” as a consequence of having an abortion, although there is no medical diagnosis with this name. So-called post-abortion syndrome has been likened to post-traumatic stress disorder: a lasting depression, often resulting in substance abuse and sometimes even suicide attempts. The APA task force found that research to date does not show a direct connection between a single elective abortion and such mental health issues."
Furthermore, early abortions, performed by trained medical professionals, are generally uncomplicated medical procedures and are far safer for women than, say, carrying a pregnancy to term. The Guttmacher Institute explains, "Abortion is generally safe in settings where the procedure is legal and openly available."
Sadly, I have a feeling those things don't matter much to the Perry's and Pawlenty's of the world, people who it should be noted, will never need an abortion, yet who seem convinced that they know just how those who do will respond to one.