Guilt Trauma And Reluctancy With Abortions
The long process of pregnancy can make a woman go from having a determined abortion to having reluctance on making the decision to have that procedure done. Those women who become reluctant over the course of their pregnancy, inevitably face a phycological process that is natural and can’t go away. It is also undeniable that if you are reluctant to make a decision that can significantly impact your life, especially if you’ve made a decision that you already regret, you experience stress and mainly guilt. Having guilt can be unbearable to live with, especially if you believe you took away a human life. Woman who abort reluctantly in the third trimester are more likely to have guilt trauma.
One question that can be answered through research is that to why a lot of pregnant woman would feel reluctant to have an abortion by the third trimester in the first place. When a woman is pregnant, there is a developmental relationship between the unborn fetus and it’s mother. Since the fetus is quite literally attached to the mother, there is an obvious physical connection between them. Surprisingly, there is a psychological connection between the mother and the fetus as well. According to Journal of Reproductive and Infant Phycology, the MFR (Mother Fetus Relationship) grows the longer they are pregnant. Like normal relationships, the more you put into the relationship, the more you are likely to grow and become more attached to it. For example, a woman who treats her body well by eating healthy is subconsciously demonstrating care and commitment for the fetus without her ever having the intentions to care and commit for it. Being able to physically feel the fetus move around their stomach creates intimacy between the two. Furthermore, the saying “Seeing is Believing” is quite true in the third trimester since the article Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms Following Childbirth: Associations with Prenatal Attachment in Subsequent Pregnancies states that more than fifty two percent of woman have more of an attachment to the fetus once she sees her stomach bulging. All of these examples of the MFR are unavoidable when pregnant in the third trimester. When the fetus is displaying signs of life inside the woman, everyone can agree that pregnant woman might have second thoughts on terminating the baby. Woman go through reluctancy mostly because they create a relationship with the baby without ever having the intention to. There are many more examples of the unavoidable intimacy between the MFR which doesn’t stray away from the fact that woman still go through with abortions even though she creates a bond with the fetus in the third trimester.
When having guilt, it is to be described that you are to recognize/believe that your thoughts, feelings, or actions have violated personal and/or moral standards of behavior values, believing one is responsible for the event, perceived lack of justification for behavior, and/or beliefs that the event was foreseeable and thus preventable according to Dimensions of Decision Difficulty in Women’s Decision-Making About Abortion: A Mixed Methods Longitudinal Study. It could be argued that woman who do not feel reluctant to have an abortion does not induce guilt because most who don’t feel reluctant believe that abortion doesn’t violate their own moral standards. For someone who feels reluctant, based on the information that is stated above, inevitably experiences things in their third trimester that might go against their formally established moral standards. However, whether a pregnant woman is in her first or third trimester, they will have internal conflict since the fetus’s intimacy with the mother is already there. 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 guilt and 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. Being the “aggressor” will not cause as much guilt as the “victim” because the mother made the decision that it was something she needed to do. Both the “victim” and the “aggressor” will experience guilt, but the “victim” puts the blame on themselves, which ultimately causes more guilt in them according to Post Abortion Stress. About forty-seven percent of eighty who had a third trimester abortion in a phycological test study by revealed that their brain wanted to avoid their guilt as much as possible. You could conclude that the forty percent of woman felt like they were a “victim” in the act of their abortion. A pregnant woman who is reluctant about having an abortion feels like they are a “victim” since she is subconsciously recognizing that she could of prevented the abortion and it was also foreseeable. Whether a pregnant woman is an “aggressor” or a “victim”, they both experience guilt but the differences that the “victim” recognizes things before the “aggressor” does before getting the abortion. The attitude of being a victim pours into the argument that feeling reluctant about going through with an abortion causes massive amounts of guilt.
Reluctancy to go through an abortion is caused by the uncontrollable intimacy you have in the three trimester you carry the baby for which ultimately makes the mother go through more guilt trauma. Guilt comes into play even before the mother even goes through the pregnancy if she is feeling reluctant about it. That is shown through the relationship mothers make with the baby without having the intent to. For a mother who is not reluctant to have an abortion in the third trimester, she doesn’t have as nearly as much as guilt as if someone who is reluctant because having reluctancy shows that they could of prevented it from happening. Prenatal attachment and many more MFR factors affects the reluctancy of woman who are planning an abortion which causes intense guilt trauma when they go through with the abortion.
Barnard, C. A. (1991). Post Abortion Stress. Retrieved October 27, 2020, from http://lifeissues.net/writers/air/air_vol3no4_1991.html
“Dimensions of Decision Difficulty in Women’s Decision-Making About Abortion: A Mixed Methods Longitudinal Study.” PloS one 14.2 (2019): e0212611–e0212611. Web.
Garthus-Niegel, Susan et al. “Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms Following Childbirth: Associations with Prenatal Attachment in Subsequent Pregnancies.” Archives of women’s mental health 23.4 (2020): 547–555. Web.
Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology (Online). London: Carfax Pub., Taylor & Francis Group, 1983. Print.