Taking in account post-abortion syndrome

Publié le 28 Feb, 2011

From the legalisation of the VTP, the post-abortion syndrome remains widely taboo. However, since the beginning of the year, several “general public” articles have been dedicated to psychological sequelae resulting from abortion.


VTP: right or trauma?


On 7th March 2011, during a colloquium on “the new challenges of VTP in 2011? “, the psychoanalyst Sophie Marinopoulos insisted on the pain due to abortion. For her, “whatever the choice of women, the VTP is an event which leaves a trace and to which they have to give way, otherwise there is a risk to disable their femininity and their future motherhood“. If this pain “cannot be seen, cannot be heard, is not rational, it is expressed!. Convinced that “these symptoms must not be trivialised but on the contrary must be expressed with words“, she called back the return of the pre-VTP psychological interview removed by the Aubry law of 2001.

A poll carried out by Opinion Way for the laboratory Nordic Pharma (main distributor of the RU 486 abortive pill) revealed that one French woman out of two considers that information on abortion remains insufficient. Moreover, 92% of women interviewed estimate that VTP may be a trauma event and 83% of them consider it is physically painful.


Accompany abortion


Psychologist and psychoanalyst Yannick Gillant published in Psychologie.fr an article called “l’avortement et le sentiment de honte” (abortion and the sense of shame). For him, “abortion is a traumatic event” reaching “several fundamentals of the woman: body, sexuality, motherhood“. This traumatic dimension is even accentuated by “the discordance between emergency and importance of the choice“.

The website Au Féminin.com affirms that the post-abortive syndrome is “comparable” to the post-traumatic syndrome: “it refers to the disability of some women to express their anger and their feelings of culpability. Indeed, from a mental point of view, abortion, which corresponds to the death of the child, generates a psychological anaesthesia, a kind of defence mechanism, to protect the mother from suffering“. Then the website mentions the denial for the suffering arising out of abortion: “The physicians who perform the abortion do not treat the question of post-abortive trouble with the patients, undoubtedly because they would be themselves trapped in their own feelings of culpability. The policies seem also not to hear this suffering as no law on abortion plans to prevention or treatment.” If “the experience of abortion depends on a great number of factors: religion, VTP reasons, freedom in taking the decision, comprehension of the relatives, age of the patient, etc. (…) it is not exaggerated to affirm that each woman will suffer, more or less intensively and in a more or less conscious way, after an abortion.” “Thus the priority seems to recognise this suffering and allows expressing it“.

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