Abortion, Motherhood, and Mental Health: Medicalizing by Ellie Lee

By Ellie Lee

Centering at the declare that abortion can lead to publish Abortion Syndrome, the writer examines the "medicalization" of the abortion challenge on either side of the Atlantic. Lee issues to contrasts in felony and scientific dimensions of the abortion factor that make for a few vital modifications, yet argues that during either the USA and Britain, the PAS declare in truth constitutes an instance of the bounds to medicalization. She contends that exam of contests over PAS issues now not rather a lot to demedicalization as to the development of its alternative—motherhood—as a mental ordeal. Centrally, Lee makes the case for trying to the social dimensions of psychological illnesses to account for and comprehend debates approximately what makes ladies in poor health.

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Additional resources for Abortion, Motherhood, and Mental Health: Medicalizing Reproduction in the United States and Great Britian (Social Problems and Social Issues)

Sample text

Postabortion Syndrome 21 “symptoms” of a condition women “suffer from,” which the leaflet describes as follows: When you’re hurting inside and can’t understand why you feel: Grief; guilt/shame; anger—against your partner, against your parents, against your doctor, against those who suggested abortion; self-pity; depression; you’re moody, withdrawn, constantly crying; you’re playing around with drugs; you’re overeating; you’ve gone off your food; you’re having nightmares; you can’t sleep; you’ve gone off sex, or to overcome your pain you’re using sex; you don’t like yourself very much; you feel ashamed.

The DSM states that the kind of “stressor” that can lead to PTSD includes threats to the lives of one’s children. e. the intentional destruction of one’s unborn child, which is perceived as sufficiently traumatic and beyond the range of usual human experience” (1995:21). Throughout his writings the claim that abortion, for some women, is perceived as the “death of a child” is key to the argument that abortion can lead to a form of PTSD. Rue has described abortion as a “death experience,” stating If elective abortion is nothing more than the removal of nondescript cells or tissue, then it would be highly unlikely that such a procedure could cause any significant psychological harm, much less resemble the symptom picture of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

There may be a long period of denial before a woman seeks psychiatric care, and “indeed for many women, the onset or accurate identification of PTSD symptoms may be delayed for several years” (1997). Hence, while there may not be large numbers of women with PAS at the present time, there will be many PAS sufferers in the future. Moreover, any of the many symptoms ascribed to PAS, at whichever point they exist following an abortion, can be used as evidence of PAS. Since the woman has denied and repressed her feelings, these symptoms can emerge much later in her life and appear to her and to other people to be unrelated to the abortion experience.

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