White Paper- clementine

Working Hypothesis 1

If women today were informed that they could possibly endure a painful emotional disorder called Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome after going through the process of having an abortion, woman will want to give birth instead of aborting the baby. 

Working Hypothesis 2

If woman were informed that there are positive alternatives to having an abortion, they would be less likely to have an abortion. 


The course of mental health after miscarriage and induced abortion: a longitudinal, five-year follow-up study

Miscarriage has always been seen as a distressing life event for a woman. This tragic event could cause anxiety, depression, and in some cases, traumatic. A research study was done to compare the physiological implications of abortion and miscarriage. BMC Medicine hypothesized that woman who have had an abortion have more mental disturbance than women who experience a miscarriage. They compared the mental health outcomes of both woman over the course of 5 years after their miscarriage/abortion. The results show that in the span of 5 years the woman who went through the abortions felt a great deal of grief and the grief was consistent. They also found that woman who went through an abortion felt so shameful and angry a lot. Woman who had induced abortion felt two times more anxiety than woman who had a miscarriage. Their quality of life was also just as diminished as if someone who had a miscarriage. These statistics leave me to believe that having an abortion is not an easy option like people say it is. 


Stress Reactions in Women Related to Induced Abortion

PTSD requires that a person has gone through something that is not usual of human experience and is marked distressing to anyone. However, Post-Abortion Syndrome is a category of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that is specific to trauma after induced abortions. PAS was never originally recognized within the medical community but as it is being widely discussed, it is being accepted now. Anyone who has had an abortion can be affected by it so it is not rare. A study was done on 80 women who had abortions that experienced PTSD symptoms, 3-5 years following their abortion. Shockingly, almost fifty percent of the woman re-experience the traumatic event in flashbacks. Surprisingly, forty percent of the women experienced difficulty falling asleep and hypervigilance after the abortion and the study says they never experienced these symptoms before the abortion. This study shows that a great percentage of women who have abortions experience life shifting symptoms after an abortion. 


Post-Abortion Syndrome as a Variant of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome 

Robert C. Erikson states that going under abortion constitutes the action of harm. The decision to abort implies already that the intention is to do harm. This intention will always be a conflict with the per-existing tendency to be attached with the un-born child. This conflict that woman go through is already in itself the experience of stress. Woman who are pregnant have an intimate physical interaction with the baby without realizing it. This is why having an abortion for some woman is so incredibly hard. Woman will inevitably go through internal conflict of whether it is a good idea or not because intimacy is there already. To cope with this conflict, the mother either decides if she is the “victim” or “aggressor” of abortion subconsciously. If she is the victim, the mother is already going through traumatic stress but if she thinks she is the aggressor and wanting to get rid of the baby for sure, she is trying to get it over with and put her feelings aside because the abortion is what she needs to do.   


 Does abortion increase women’s risk for post-traumatic stress? Findings from a prospective longitudinal cohort study

When PTSD is addressed, many studies show that abortion is a traumatic experience. This study tests the hypothesis that women who receive abortions are more likely to experience PTSD than women who are denied abortion. The study lasted for four years which included nine naves of interview data from the Turnaway Study. For the results, they used a PTSD screen which is a validated screening tool designed to be used to examine someone’s PTSD risk. This screening included 4 questions questions that required yes or no responses asking about anything traumatic happening in their life. They modified the questions asking the women if they experienced anything traumatizing in the last month instead of their lifetime. Those who answer yes to 3 or all 4 of the questions are considered to be at risk of PTSD. The results of the study concluded that ten percent of woman who experience an abortion are at a very HIGH risk of PTSD. Many others are at risk that have mild cases of PTSD but ten percent of them are severe. 

Is PTSD Contagious? 

Caleb Vines is a veteran who was sent to Iraq to serve in the war and happened to come back with PTSD. His wife Brannan and their daughter, both were experiencing symptoms of their loved ones disorder even though they never been to war. Branna Vines experiences hyperawareness, hypervigilance, and also has triggers. She ended up having secondary traumatic stress which is still super severe. Trauma is a contagious disease. Their daughter would lash out for no reason and Branna knew that it was secondary trauma. They sent their daughter to a school therapist to help her as well. The family has had a hard time keeping together because of how much it has changed their life. 

Topics for Smaller Papers

Definition/Classification Argument: 

Woman think that having an abortion is an easier route than giving birth to the baby, when in reality, going through an abortion is more difficult than you think. 

Cause/Effect Argument:

Having an abortion and going through PTSD because of it could cause families (if she has one) to become broken. 

Rebuttal Argument:

Woman would still want to have an abortion if it meant that they would go through emotional pain to make their life as they want it. 

Current State of the Research Paper

After having my mandatory conference for my working hypothesis, I have felt more confident in researching my topic. While researching for this assignment, I have actually learned more about my topic and have new ideas to incorporate into my paper. Even though I had felt more confident in researching my topic, actually finding sources to support what I want to talk about was pretty difficult. However, not finding a lot of sources was a good sign for me because it tells me that what I am writing about is something that is somewhat original. Now that I have this White Paper done, I feel as though I am on the right track to having a great paper.

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3 Responses to White Paper- clementine

  1. davidbdale says:

    This is fascinating work, Clementine. I have read it through with interest. Classifying abortion as a traumatic stress that will have lasting results is a fresh angle on abortion that rescues your proposal from the usual “Abortion is Murder” college paper category. I applaud your innovation.

    I don’t think anybody should be surprised that a woman who has gone through a medical procedure with moral overtones is more likely to demonstrate after-effects than a woman WHO HAS NOT had such an experience. That’s just obvious and not at all remarkable.

    Woman who had induced abortion felt two times more anxiety than woman who had a miscarriage. Their quality of life was also just as diminished as if someone who had a miscarriage.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but that outcome should have been clear from the start.

    Elsewhere, though, your sources are useful at detailing the severity and range of traumas and lasting effects of an elective abortion. I look forward to learning more through your research.

    Regarding your reported difficulty finding new sources, I have a strong recommendation.

    1. Don’t depend on an “omnibus source” like lifeissues.net. It’s a good place to start, but as two of your articles say at the top of the page:

    The following article is a summary of a paper entitled The Long Term Psychological effects of Abortion, presented by Catherine A. Barnard, PhD, a clinical psychologist, currently in private practice in Santa Rosa, Cal,. at the annual meeting of the Association for Interdisciplinary Research in Values and Social Change, Sacramento, Cal., June, 1990.

    2. By all means seek that original source.
    3. Read it for yourself to fully examine what it has to offer.
    4. Don’t depend on someone else’s summary.
    5. EXAMINE ITS BIBLIOGRAPHY! No doubt Dr. Barnard based her research and findings on the work of others, as you are doing.
    6. HER sources may become your best resources too.


  2. davidbdale says:

    Similar comments apply also to the BMC article.
    Not only are the References for this article a gold mine, but also the authors refer to sources within their report (even to earlier reports of their own as in the following):

    In our previous article [15], we found that feelings of guilt and shame 10 days after a pregnancy termination predicted high IES avoidance scores two years later (a statistical interaction effect showed that this tendency was even more important for women who had had an induced abortion). It is possible that feelings of guilt and shame associated with the induced abortion contribute to a slower improvement in mental health.


  3. davidbdale says:

    Still very weak on sources, Clementine. I hope you’re citing them in your short arguments and have merely failed to update your White Paper with strong academic sources.


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