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Chilean psychologists affirm that abortion hurts women

In Chile, almost two hundred psychologists, psychiatrists, and other medical doctors have signed an important new statement of the negative effects of abortion on women’s mental health in an effort to make clear the real cost of abortion and refute claims by abortion advocates that the mental health effects of abortion are minimal or non-existent.   The publication of this document comes after efforts made by the Chilean College of Psychologists to downplay the negative impact of abortion on women’s mental health in a paper released just as the Chilean congress is considering legislation to legalize abortion in cases of foetal anomaly, rape, and the health risk to the mother.

The Chilean College of Psychologists published a paper entitled “Mental Health and Therapeutic Abortion in Cases of Vital Risk to the Woman, Fetal Inviability, and Rape” which was written by the College’s Commission on Gender and Sexual Diversity.  In this paper, the Commission writes, “An undesired pregnancy and its forcible continuation has implications for the mental health of women owing to the experience of subordination of those who wish to end their pregnancy and don’t have the legal option to do so.”   

The Chilean College of Psychologists also claims that the association of paternity with men and maternity with women is a “cultural construction” and that “‘Post Abortion Syndrome’ does not exist”.   

However, the dissenting mental health professionals contend, “The fact that there does not exist a ‘diagnostic’ to name this condition called ‘Post Abortion Syndrome,’ does not in any way mean that there is no risk of developing a psychological or psychiatric disorder stemming from an abortion.”  

The paper goes on to cite numerous studies which demonstrate a connection between abortion and serious mental health conditions.   

The new report goes on to criticize the statements made by the College of Psychologists as not only being wrong but also highly offensive.  It states, “The idea that the killing of innocents can alleviate the pain of a rape and its psychic consequences is to use this horrifying reality as an instrument, casting aside the complex factors that are involved.”   

The fact that so many mental health professionals are willing to speak up against the negative effects of abortion is encouraging, and testament to the fact that scientific evidence supports the pro-life message.  Abortion hurts both women and babies and we must continue to stand against it.


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