Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

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Abortion can kick-start ‘vicious cycle’ of repeat pregnancies, abortions: UK expert

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
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LONDON, June 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The British government’s own policies promoting “safe sex,” contraceptives and “free” abortion, have caused the problem of so-called “repeat abortions” that garnered complaints in the press last month, according to one British expert.

Margaret Cuthill, a post-abortion counselor of 20 years experience, told LifeSiteNews.com that the government’s programs have been an “abject failure,” with abstinence simply ignored and “looked on as impossible.”

The news hit the British press last month that as many as 34 per cent of abortions committed in the UK were on women who had already undergone at least one abortion in the past. Newspapers blared that the National Health Service had spent as much as £1 million in 2010 on repeat abortions, and pro-life commentators warned that abortion’s wide-open legal status was allowing the practice to be used as a “form of birth control.”

Cuthill, the national coordinator of the Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline (ARCH), told LifeSiteNews.com that the problem has deeper roots than mere negligence, however; it originates in the psychological trauma that inevitably comes with abortion.

“Abortion is a death experience, it is an unnatural choice to make,” she said. Women who are grieving the loss of a child frequently become pregnant as a coping strategy leading directly to the large numbers of women undergoing repeat abortions.

The simple facts, she said, putting aside all rhetorical arguments for and against, is that “abortion kills children,” and parents “are not wired to destroy their young without experiencing evidence of emotional and psychological damage.”

Promiscuity, she said, is a major issue for many women following an abortion, leading to a further abortion. There is, she said, an “instinctive need” to become pregnant again, but the result will be abortion again if “there has been no healing or their external circumstances are unchanged.”

“A vicious circle occurs and a conflict in the heart that the question arises, ‘how can I let you live, when I aborted a previous child?’ This question can be in the now or caught up in the mix of the fear and panic surrounding being pregnant again.”

Cuthill quoted a study that found that on average, 59 per cent of teens who had experienced a pregnancy loss - generally due to induced abortion - become pregnant again within 15 months. Another study showed that 18 per cent of teenage abortion patients had become pregnant again within two years.

Post Abortion Trauma (PAT) is a type of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, she said, and it “also damages those who promote and perform abortions,” a result that has vast implications in a society where abortion is as widely practiced and promoted as it is in the UK.

She quoted Dr. Phillip Ney, a Canadian family therapist and pioneer in post-abortive trauma counselling and world authority on abortion and abuse. Ney identified what he called the ‘Tragic Triangle of Abuse,’ stating that abortion, a form of violent abuse, is never done in isolation. There is always an onlooker, society; a perpetrator, those who promote and perform abortions; and victims, the child, the mother, father and wider family.

The broader societal implications of the abortion abuse triangle, she said, are evident in Britain, and the numbers of repeat abortions are only the start. To some degree, PAT affects everyone in a society where there is legal and freely available abortion. With nearly 200,000 children aborted per year in Britain, millions more, fathers, grandparents, siblings, friends, are affected.

“At each point of the triangle we are the perpetrators, the onlookers, or the victims in this life tragedy. We are all culpable either being part of the problem or part of the solution. No-one is unaffected by the death of our children,” Cuthill said.

Young women are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of abortion, Cuthill said, being less likely to recover emotionally, so that many will “re-enact their trauma through a cycle of repeat pregnancies and abortions.”

Teens, she said, often suffer acute psychological and emotional trauma after abortion with studies showing they are 2 to 4 times more likely to commit suicide and are nearly three times more likely to be admitted to mental health hospitals than women in general. They are more susceptible to “troubled relationships” following abortion and overall, younger women “need more counselling and guidance regarding their abortion experience”.

She countered the common claim of the abortion industry that most women do not regret their abortions, saying that the reaction is often delayed. After an abortion, the mother copes in one of two ways, either denying what has happened but struggling internally, or at some point down the line, “her denial is broken and she will live in the hell of knowing she killed her child.”

“No woman is unaffected but for many it may take another loss experience or life tragedy to bring the unresolved emotional trauma to the surface.” 

Cuthill believes that this explains the claim that abortion does not affect women or the women who insist it is the right decision. Each post-abortive woman is unique, she said, but “most women no matter the degree of acknowledgement live with the deep secret that she has had an abortion”.

“She will judge herself, feeling guilty, ashamed, measure how people treat her by her view of herself, hating what she did and believing she doesn’t deserve a future or there will be a pay back time for the decision she made.”

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