Abortion Aftermath: Beyond Statistics
Even if you are new to Biblically Responsible Investing, you probably know that there are two major things we focus on in building our LightPoint Portfolios: 1) finding companies that operate under the highest integrity – businesses that strive to be blessing the world, and 2) eliminating companies that provide equipment and services that promote or engage in activities related to a number negative practices including abortion, pornography, and activities that surround anti-family values.
Today we’d like to take a closer look at the abortion industry and why we hold such a strong conviction against financially supporting this industry in any way. Most obvious is a commandment of “Thou shalt not kill” and that we take the sanctity of life very seriously. And of course, while some women feel that they should be able to make any choice that involves their own body, we recognize the rights of the unborn child. Lately I have found myself wondering about the aftermath of an abortion. A decision was made, and the deed was done. What happens to that mother, the baby’s father, and that family in the weeks, months and years to come?
I looked to Dr. Laurel Shaler for some answers. Dr. Shaler is a licensed social worker with a Ph.D. in Counseling, a professor at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, and a speaker and writer who focuses on faith and emotional well-being. She is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and their Crisis Pregnancy and Abortion Recovery Network.
Cassie Laymon: Dr. Shaler, I have to believe that there are very few women who can go through an abortion and not suffer some emotional consequences. Can you share with me a little about the emotional aftermath of an abortion – what the mother experiences in the days and weeks that follow?
Dr. Shaler: There are thousands of abortions every day. Approximately 93% are related to reasons other than health of mother, baby, or rape.1 Having an abortion for any reason absolutely results in an emotional consequence. And the consequences are far reaching. The medical community does not as a whole recognize long term effects, but it is clear to everyone that in the immediate aftermath of an abortion, there are emotional consequences. While the initial reaction to the termination of an unwanted pregnancy might be relief, it is also accompanied by confusion and quickly leads to other negative emotions.
Cassie Laymon: Are there long term effects? How does this impact emotions and decision-making years in the future?
Dr. Shaler: Organizations such as Planned Parenthood use outdated research to claim that the long term consequences don’t exist;2 however, those who do recognize it use terms such as “abortion trauma,”3 “Post abortion syndrome,”4 and “post-abortion stress syndrome”5 which seem to adequately describe the phenomenon that women describe in the months and years that follow abortion. The symptoms vary, but include anxiety/panic, depression, difficulty with sleep, etc. Here’s the bottom line: if this was not real, why would people be flocking to abortion recovery programs around the country?
Cassie Laymon: What kind of impact, if any, is there to other family members involved – the father, and perhaps grandparents?
Dr. Shaler: The National Right to Life has produced a fact sheet that speaks to these very issues. In many cases, the relationship with the partner is significantly altered. The relationship with the parents of the individual who had an abortion can also be damaged either because of the secrecy or coercion involved. Abortions also significantly affect future relationships. More information can be obtained here: Abortion’s Psycho-Social Consequences.
Cassie Laymon: What is your view on the inherent moral conflict arising from having strong pro-life convictions and profiting from that very same industry through our investment dollars?
Dr. Shaler: I think we are either pro-life or we are not. If we are, we must do everything within our power to stand up against abortion and the abortion industry. Abortion is a $400 MILLION dollar a year industry. If I can help it, not one penny of any funds the Lord has entrusted to me will go to this atrocity.
Cassie Laymon: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers on this topic?
Dr. Shaler: Yes. Dear readers, if you have been impacted by an abortion, please know there is help. If you currently have an unwanted pregnancy, please know there is help. There are many resources available. The National Helpline for Abortion Recovery is 1-866-482-LIFE and the National Life Center (which gives guidance regarding unwanted pregnancy) can be reached 1-800-848-LOVE. Yes, giving your child life IS love! Finally, friends, no greater love exists than that of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. There is hope and healing through Him.
Our thanks to Dr. Shaler for her contributions on this topic. If you’d like to contact Dr. Shaler, you can visit her website at www.drlaurelshaler.com. You can also “like” her on facebook at www.facebook.com/drlaurelshaler or follow her on twitter @DrLaurelShaler.
1 The Basics: A compilation of recent and noteworthy information on the abortion issue
2 The Emotional Effects of Induced Abortion
3 What is abortion recovery?
4 Abortion’s Psycho-Social Consequences
5 What is Post Abortion Stress Syndrome?
This is revenue generated solely by first-trimester abortions in the US. It does not include 2/3 trimester data (10% of all abortions) or revenues generated by pharma companies manufacturing and distributing abortifacient drugs, medical devices, or fetal stem cell research revenues.