When Abortion Becomes A Part Of Your Life

Abortion Hurts | Stuck In A Moment:

Abortion and Trauma Reenactment

According to the Elliott Institute, women with a prior abortion experience are four times more likely to choose to abort when pregnant again than are those who have never aborted. Approximately 45% of all abortions are now repeat abortions – nearly one in two young girls and women who come out the back door of the abortion clinic will be going back in the front door one or more times.


Why do women keep coming back to the abortionist? There's a study that was published in the March 2005 Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) that has some interesting data, but first let's see what Julie has to say....

There is yet another reason proposed for repeated abortions: the trauma reenactment cycle associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, which Dr. Burke describes as “the adrenaline fix.” We’ve all heard about adrenaline junkies, thrill-seekers who engage in dangerous activities for the “high.” This “high” is a natural part of the fight/flight/freeze response, and is produced by endorphins such as oxytocin and vasopressin. Oxytocin has opiate-like qualities, and has a calming psychological effect. When it acts in certain areas of the brain, it “rewards” that brain activity. Because it is like an opiate, the reward is powerful.
Okay, at first glance, it seems a little hard to believe that there could be an adrenaline thrill in having an abortion, but keep reading....
An author once wrote, “Destiny struggles to assert the pattern that was meant to be.” In the case of the traumatized aborted woman, perhaps it is her body that is struggling to assert the pattern that was meant to be. When we end a woman’s pregnancy, we terminate the need for the anterior cingulate to use this oxytocin for maternal bonding, and the newly-developing sense of self as "Mother." When we end a woman’s pregnancy with purposeful violence, traumatizing her, that oxytocin supply will be taken up by the amygdala in her brain, and she will learn to associate the pregnant condition with fear. And in a struggle driven by deeply rewarding, psychologically calming oxytocin, she will unconsciously struggle to assert the pattern that was meant to be by becoming pregnant again, and by aborting that pregnancy, too. She may also engage in other risk-taking behaviors out of the same need for the oxytocin fix, such as self-mutilation; starvation (anorexia); promiscuity (note that oxytocin is also related to sexual behavior); or she may seek to replace it with other substances, like drugs and alcohol.
Now it's starting to make more sense. If I read Julie's analysis properly, she's saying that abortion pours all of the pregnancy-induced oxytocin into the same fight-or-flight mechanism that is triggered by trauma. I think I get it.

If Julie's theory is correct, then we should see some sort of a pattern that links repeat abortion with other types of trauma. Remember that CMAJ study I mentioned earlier?

CMAJ | Characteristics of women undergoing repeat induced abortion:

In summary, a key finding of our study is that women undergoing repeat induced abortion were considerably more likely than those undergoing a first abortion to have experienced physical abuse by a male partner or sexual abuse or coercion. These results emphasize the need for screening for a current or past history of physical or sexual abuse at the time of presentation for abortion. Such screening could result in offers of referral and counselling that might prove helpful to the woman in dealing with a history of physical or sexual abuse, and could potentially help avert a future abortion.

Battered Woman Syndrome, Rape Trauma Syndrome, Post-Abortion Syndrome ... how many ways can we find to say Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Julie's blog has a number of excellent posts in a series that she's writing about abortion and PTSD. You owe it to yourself to stop by and get educated.

(cross-posted at Naaman the Ex-Leper)




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