PAS Defined- Women who have experienced abortion often have mixed feelings shortly after the procedure and sometimes many years later. Reminders of the pregnancy loss can resurface those feelings. Reminders might include contact with people who were part of the abortion decision, the anniversary of the abortion or the expected due date, future children and other losses (especially pregnancy related losses). Because many women feel they have no right to grieve their loss, these conflicting feelings can create what’s often referred to as Post Abortion Stress, or PAS. PAS is not a diagnosis, it is defined as stress that results from the memory of an abortion and the events surrounding it compounded by the lack of emotional support for the loss that occurred. For some women, the abortion procedure (regardless of type) is one of her most traumatic life experiences. Her ability to deal with it often depends on the other stresses in her life. Read about the signs of PAS.
Abortion relief versus emotional fallout- The widely reported sense of relief immediately following an abortion and the frequent absence of clearly attributable symptoms in the first few years after the procedure may lead one to believe that abortion causes little emotional harm. That, however, doesn’t align with the experiences of most women seeking our post-abortion services. They consistently describe disturbing negative emotions as well as self-destructive behaviors related to their abortion experience.
Does PAS exist? Even though the existence of Post-Abortion Stress has been in contention among professionals studying the issue, a growing body of evidence affirms the existence of PAS in some women. More longitudinal studies are needed, since signs of disturbance often become apparent 5, 10, or even 15 years after the procedure. Research has shown that several factors may increase the risk of Post-Abortion Stress. They include the woman's age, the abortion circumstances, the stage of pregnancy at which the abortion occurs, and the woman's religious beliefs.
Get support for your healing- The more signs you have, the greater the likelihood you may benefit from peer support at A Hope Center. Serious emotional disturbance, however, should be addressed by a professional counselor.
Please call A Hope Center at 260-422-3544 for an explanation of our program and/or a referral to a mental health professional. Remember … You are welcome here. You are safe here. You will find help here.