By Hilary White

ROME, August 3, 2010 ( – On Saturday, Monsignore Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, the newly appointed head of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV), announced that his office is preparing a document on the effects of abortion on women, and that the document will also study the “habit of abortion,” or multiple abortions.

The announcement comes at the end of a month during which Carrasco twice announced that under his leadership the PAV will be focusing on post-abortion syndrome.

Msgr. Carrasco warned that habitual or multiple abortions are already a common phenomenon in Eastern Europe and the problem is spreading through the promotion of the abortion drug RU-486.

The PAV paper is expected to be published next year.

In an interview with the Vatican’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Msgr. Carrasco said, “We believe that in studying this issue [of post-abortion syndrome] a distinction must be made. The existence of post-abortion syndrome is a well-known fact that has already been developed in much literature.

“I am referring to the state of depression that isolates many women who have undergone an abortion.”

However, the existence of post-abortion syndrome has been denied by the abortion industry and its apologists, even as research continues to come forward showing long-term negative psychological and emotional effects of abortion. In May this year another study, published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, found that women are significantly more likely to experience substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and mood disorders after abortion.

Msgr. Carrasco said, “It is true that abortion, in addition to killing an innocent person, profoundly affects the conscience of the woman who undergoes it. It is a question, then, that cannot be ignored, especially from a pastoral point of view.”

But he said that another issue that the Church also considers “very dangerous,” but that is rarely addressed, is the “grave phenomenon of the habit of abortion.”

Carrasco referred to the discovery by a team of doctors sent from Italy to help victims of the 1989 earthquake in Armenia. When they arrived in the region, he said, they found that many women in the area had undergone as many as 20 abortions, or more.

“For them, having an abortion had become something like having a cup of coffee. Thus they talked about the dramatic phenomenon of completely erasing any moral sensitivity to the issue of abortion.”

The “habit of abortion” is a prominent social problem in former Soviet countries. A missionary society that maintains a women’s centre in the port city of Vladivostok, in the extreme east of Siberia, has backed up Carrasco’s concerns, saying that induced abortion is the primary method of family planning in Russia today. Estimates vary, says the Mary Mother of God Mission Society, but most experts agree that the average Russian woman will have between 5 and 12 abortions in her lifetime, with many women admitting to having 25 or more.

Carrasco warned that this kind of multiple abortion habit “could spread to the European populations in the wake of the recent commercializing of the pill RU 486.”

“There is no question that facilitating its use could result in the banalization of abortion and the transformation of unwanted pregnancies into something akin to a bothersome cold that can be taken care of with a pill. What I mean is what happened in [Armenia] could happen in European countries,” he said.

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