Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Post-Abortion Syndrome in the 1800s

Marvin Olasky writes:
The psychological stress [of abortion] is particularly interesting, because supporters of abortion have labeled "post-abortion syndrome" a recent invention of anti-abortion forces. And yet, in 1875 feminist Elizabeth Evans was describing the effects of abortions on women who had them a decade or two earlier. One woman, she reported, was "wild with regret at my folly in rejecting the (alas! only once-proffered) gift of offspring." Another woman described how her "thoughts were filled with imaginings as to what might have been the worth of that child's individuality; and especially, after sufficient time had elapsed to have brought him to maturity, did I busy myself with picturing the responsible posts he might have filled."

This sad lady added that she never "read of an accident by land or by water, or of a critical moment in battle, or of a good cause lost through lack of a brave defender, but my heart whispered, 'He might have been there to help and save; he might have been able to lead that forlorn hope; his word or deed might have brought this wise plan to successful issue!'" Other women told Evans similar stories, and she concluded that "the enormity of the crime of foeticide may be, in some degree, estimated by the excessive remorse which, sooner or later, is sure to follow its perpetration."

Pro-life forces distributed gripping accounts of psychological damage. "I was for a long time as near as being insane as one can be without really going mad," one woman recalled. "I had an idea that I had lost, through that unnatural deed, the normal powers and qualities of a human being. I no longer ate and drank with the old hunger and thirst, nor slept the quiet sleep of innocence; I took no heed of the passage of time, and all that I saw and hear seemed to be the occurrence of a dream, as though my life was already finished for me."