By Gudrun Schultz

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pennsylvania, March 6, 2006 ( – Abortion interrupts the psychological process undergone by the mother during the nine months of pregnancy, contributing to her experience of severe trauma and loss, says abortion trauma counsellor Theresa Burke.

In a two-part interview with Zenit News, the founder of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries offered a series of insights into the effects abortion has on women. Rachel’s Vineyard offers weekend sessions to women for healing after abortion.Â

“When a mother is abruptly and violently disconnected from her child there is a natural trauma. She has undergone an unnatural death event. In many cases, she has violated her moral ethics and natural instincts. There has been a crushing blow to her image of “mother” who nurtures, protects and sustains life.”

Ms. Burke identified research that shows most women who obtain abortions do so at the urging of others. In 95 percent of all cases, a male partner plays a central role in the decision to abort the baby.

“… There is a high level of coercion driving women into unwanted abortions,” she said. “In far too many cases, behind every woman having an abortion you will find a host of persons that are very much involved in her “choice” and often manipulative in their persuasion.”

She also spoke on the frequency of women reacting to their abortion with self-hatred, guilt, and destructive behaviour.

“Abortion is a death experience. It is the demise of human potential, relationship, responsibility, maternal attachment, connectedness and innocence. Such a loss is rarely experienced without conflict and ambivalence.”

“I have counselled thousands of women whose lives have been shattered by the trauma of abortion, which they experience as a cruel and degrading procedure. There is grief, sadness, heartache, guilt, shame and anger.”

All of these factors lead to the experience of persistent depression, she said, that is so common in women who have undergone abortions.

“Unresolved memories and feelings about the abortion become sources of pressure that may erupt years later in unexpected ways. Unresolved emotions will demand one’s attention sooner or later, often through the development of subsequent emotional or behavioural disturbances.”

Ms. Burke cited extensive research showing severe psychological problems as the result of abortions, among them studies showing dramatic increases in suicide rates among post-abortion women, averaging 310% increase over typical statistics.

To read the full interview, see:

Abortion and Depression (Part 1)

Abortion and Depression (Part 2)